June 12, 2013: Oxford, Ohio—For Doug Adams, Miami ’81, it is all about passion.
“I don’t get involved in things that I am not passionate about,” he said. “I would never encourage any of the people I talk with to be anything but passionate about what you get involved in. There are way too many people who get involved with organizations just to have it on a resume and don’t give anything back. If you are going to be on a board you need to be engaged, both mentally and monetarily.”
Adams is passionate about a lot of things, currently serving as a board member for the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America; as a board member of the Cincinnati Zoo Foundation Board of Trustees; as the board president for the Cincinnati Community ToolBank; as an Advisory Board member of the Reds Community Fund; as a member of Cincinnati Christian University’s President’s Advisory Board; as the board treasurer of the Cincinnati Arts and Technology Center; and as a board member of the American Institute of Public Service.
He is also the chairman of Phi Kappa Tau’s housing affiliate, Old Main Holdings LLC. In addition, he is active in the Rotary Club of Cincinnati.
Much of his time and money has gone to improving southwest Ohio, where he resides with his wife, Tiffany, and two sons.
The Ohio native’s service and dedication to the community has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2005, Phi Kappa Tau’s Phi Award in 1989, the Boy Scouts of America’s “Silver Beaver Award” and as an Ohio Magazine Ohio Hero in 2006.
Long before the board appointments and awards, Adams sold pumpkins. Alpha chapter annually had a pumpkin sale during his undergraduate years to raise money and give back to the community.
“You learned very quickly there what it takes to be involved with the community and organize an event,” he said.
Adams eventually used that experience as he worked on numerous community service endeavors. After finishing a project for the Cincinnati Fire Department in 2005, through connections made on that project and an out-of-the-blue phone call to a man he saw on television talking about building the first handicap accessible tree house in Ohio, Adams knew his next goal: The Big Tree House Project, which he co-chaired.
While working on the project, he led a fundraising effort resulting in more than $500,000. The wheelchair-accessible tree house was built in 2006 at a municipal park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“It is truly a magical place,” Adams said. “It melts your heart when you see a young person in a wheelchair being able to climb a tree like their peers to sit 25 feet up and the look of amazement on their face. It was worth every single minute I spent on it.”
Professionally, Adams has accomplished a lot in the banking industry since he entered it in 1985. He now serves as a senior vice president at PNC Bank.
Just as Phi Tau provided a jumpstart to his community involvement, he gained valuable working experience as a Phi Kappa Tau leadership consultant for two years following his graduation from college.
“I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world,” he said. “For two years I traveled all across the country, met all sorts of different people and saw different parts of the country I wouldn’t have seen any other way.”
Even though, his time on staff was only for a couple years, he has stayed active with the Fraternity. Aside from his current position with Old Man Holding LLC., he has served as Alpha House Corporation president, worked on several committees and donated to the Foundation since 1984.
He took some time to share his thoughts on his commitment to the Fraternity and Foundation.
Foundation: Reflecting on your association with Phi Kappa Tau, what is the one thing that stands out as a point of pride?
Adams: I am, and always will be, a Phi Tau. Seeing our Fraternity continue to grow, and meeting the inspiring people who are leading the charge and are as passionate as I am about Phi Tau, makes me very proud.
Foundation: As a generous supporter of the Foundation, why is your continued support significant to you?
Adams: It is important to me to give back to the organization that gave so much to me. As an undergraduate, past staff member, and alumni volunteer, Phi Kappa Tau has provided me with the experiences that have made me who I am today. I hope that my donations can help provide this same experience to the undergraduates for years to come.
Foundation: What encouragement would you offer to a graduate brother who has not yet engaged the Fraternity as an alumnus?
Adams: The fraternity experience is not just what happens during your time as an undergraduate, or just at your college. It is a life-long commitment. Take the opportunity to get to know other Phi Taus in your area and become involved with the local chapter. The connections could be priceless, both personally and professionally.
Foundation: As you look at the young men on campus today, what challenges do you perceive that they face and how might Phi Kappa Tau play a role in equipping them to meet those challenges?
Adams: Today’s undergraduates are very engaged in trying to make plans for their future employment, through such things as clubs, internships, and community involvement. Phi Kappa Tau can help them achieve their long-term goals. Our Fraternity has always been on the cutting edge of leadership development, which better prepares our members to become leaders in their companies when they do enter the workforce. Our chapters are also very engaged in giving back through volunteerism and fundraising, whether it be through their local communities or through Phi Tau’s involvement with SeriousFun Children’s Network, which builds character. And finally, they should never miss the opportunity to connect with those alumni who serve on the Board of Governors or House Corporation or those who return for visits. Not only could they be their future employer, they can also learn a lot about Phi Kappa Tau from these dedicated alumni, who care enough about the Fraternity to come back or to stay involved.
Foundation: Do you have a particular Phi Tau memory that stands out the most?
Adams: My favorite memory would have to be sitting on the front porch at Alpha on a warm, sunny afternoon, with the Phi Tau flag flying high, and the brothers having a great time on the front lawn while the music played loudly.
Adams has and continues to fully live the mission of Phi Kappa Tau.