Creating Positive Culture Change Through the Authentic Chapter Elevation Program

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (October 1, 2013) – Seeking to reduce  negative feelings caused by closing a chapter while simultaneously creating an atmosphere of positive culture change through a change management approach, Alpha Tau Omega partnered with Plaid to save the 125-year old Beta Iota chapter of ATO at Georgia Tech.

Progress began in January 2013, after the chapter was found responsible for several risk management violations leading to sanctioning.  As opposed to closing the chapter or having a membership review in which the majority of the chapter members would have been expelled, ATO worked with Plaid to implement Plaid’s Authentic Chapter Elevation (ACE) program.  Over the course of the spring semester, the chapter was able to reevaluate their purpose, principles and mission to align their personal values with those of the national organization.

Alpha Tau Omega Chief Executive Officer Wynn Smiley shared, “I am impressed with the chapter’s decision to take on the tough challenges posed by Plaid and Plaid’s ability to facilitate the chapter’s decision to change its culture.  Instead of dealing with alumni who would have been upset with the undergraduates and the situation of the chapter closing, we have a chapter and its alumni who are excited about ATO and Georgia Tech. I’m pleased Georgia Tech allowed us to pursue this alternative as opposed to requiring a closure.”

Plaid, an organizational management firm, uses the Birkman Method™ personality assessment instrument as a tool to help students understand themselves and others around them.  Chapter members now have a deeper awareness of their individual needs and stress behaviors, as well as the challenges they face as an organization.

In December of last year, closure seemed inevitable.  Today, the chapter membership has committed to reach their new strategic goals and has shown significant improvement.  During fall recruitment they secured the second highest number of new members on their campus.  They have also begun steps towards achieving ATO’s highest chapter distinction of becoming a True Merit Chapter.  Through the continued support of the national headquarters and ATO alumni, Plaid’s ACE program has given these members a second chance to achieve personal ambitions, resuscitate their brotherhood and elevate their organization.

ATO is continuing its work with this chapter through use of Plaid’s Holistics online program this fall.  The Holistics program allows all chapter members to understand their individual needs and stress behaviors so that chapter leaders can maintain and improve upon the gains already made.  The program also allows the national office to better understand its members’ individual and group strengths and challenges and to support chapters accordingly.

Plaid partners with institutions and organizations to provide educational programs and tools needed to achieve desired outcomes. Plaid is comprised of higher education and organizational management professionals who offer exemplary client services across a wide variety of subject matters important to colleges, universities, fraternities and sororities. For more information about Plaid, please visit

Contact for Further Information:
Name: Bradley Carter, Director of Marketing
Address: Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
Phone: 317-684-1865