Phi Beta Kappa Association of Phoenix

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I am pleased to be serving as President of your Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Phoenix Metro Area and look forward to telling you about my Phi Beta Kappa family legacy and qualifications later in this letter.

What do President Teddy Roosevelt, NFL star Peyton Manning, President John Quincy Adams, actor Kris Kristofferson, actresses Glen Close and Ashley Judd, Amazon founder and owner of the Washington Post Jeff Bezos, and President Bill Clinton have in common? Like us, they are all members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The Society is composed of an elite group of individuals who are recognized for their excellence in university level liberal arts and sciences. Fewer than 1% of college graduates can claim this designation.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic society in the nation. Today there are 280 chapters and some 60 associations (for those who have already graduated) in the United States. The chapters and associations remain steeped in the tradition of nurturing inquisitive minds and stimulating meaningful dialogue on important issues in the liberal arts and in society. This appreciation for inquiry coupled with diversity and academic excellence continues to make a noticeable difference in both the local community here and through the rest of the world.

Do you remember how excited you were -- and how proud your family members and friends were – when you first got the invitation to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa when you were in college? Now as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, you have the opportunity to be an educational leader, involved in your community, a role model and/or mentor for young, motivated students who represent our future leaders. One of the primary activities for our association is raising money for, and then selecting outstanding, deserving undergraduate and graduate scholarship students.

We need your ongoing support to help fund dreams for these students. Twice a year you will receive a letter requesting donations for scholarships. There are other ways to be involved as well. You may also be interested in serving on our Board of Directors -- if so, please let us know. We invite you to attend one of our events, including, happy hours at world class resorts, such as the Montelucia in Paradise Valley and we recently toured the Musical Instrument Museum in north Scottsdale. This February 14th and 15th, 2014, we are co-hosting, along with the National Phi Beta Kappa Society, Washington, D.C., an invitation only leadership breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore featuring luminaries from the national educational and academic scene, including, Arizona Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales, PBK National Secretary and Rhodes Scholar John Churchill, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, myself and others to discuss the state of American education, particularly in regard to the humanities, arts and sciences. Then, on February 15th, at 6pm, we are hosting at ASU's Art Museum a complimentary appetizer and cocktail reception for over 100 "Betes" as we recognize ASU and Dr. Neal Lester's "Key of Excellence Award" for Project Humanities. These events always provide great professional networking and socializing, so watch for our email invitations and please join us.

Our signature event is our Annual Phi Beta Kappa Dinner, traditionally held in mid-October. We have compelling speakers who have ranged the gamut from notable political figures, newspaper reporters, educators, lawyers, philanthropists and communicators. Our lecture is accompanied by a gourmet 3 course dinner in an intimate salon setting where engaging discussions occur as participants comment on the topic at hand and raise additional questions.

Although my accomplishments pale in comparison to the superstars referenced at the beginning of my letter, I am proud to be a second generation member of Phi Beta Kappa (or a "Bete") -- my grandfather, Dr. G. Ray Sherwood, earned his key in 1922. I am also a second generation lawyer and community leader (my father, mother, sister and I all attended law school) and I have experience as an Assistant Attorney General, large international law firm lawyer and as a public company general counsel in Silicon Valley and Phoenix, and am often listed in "Arizona's Best Lawyers," receiving the 2013 State Bar of Arizona "Outstanding Leadership Award". In keeping with the PBK academic tradition, I still lecture widely on various legal and academic topics such as corporate law, ethics, venture capital and technology issues, matters pertaining to higher education, and others, at ASU's College of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, the Arizona Technology Council, Phi Beta Kappa and the State Bar of Arizona. Articles and publications relating to my career appear in BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, the Arizona Business Journal and others.

Phi Beta Kappa members typically have wide ranging interests and I am no exception -- as evidenced by my varied leadership posts, including, service on this Phi Beta Kappa Board as Vice-President since 2009, as President of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Greater Phoenix since 2011, elected to the National Board of Directors of the U of M Alumni Association, as Vice-Chairman of Phoenix Opera, as an elected member of, and Chairman of, the State Bar of Arizona's Administrative Law Board and its Securities Regulatory Board and as Chairman of my University of Michigan Law School and Albion College Class Reunions and related capital campaigns. In my spare time, I still play competitive tennis and qualify for regional and national championships, having played 4 years of varsity collegiate tennis and serving as a teaching professional for several years.

We look forward to meeting you at an event during the year, or contact us through the PBK website. We really enjoy hearing from our members. If you have an idea for an event or a speaker topic, please let us know. We want our association to continue being a vibrant organization that is meeting its members’ needs. Let us hear from you!


Ann-Marie Anderson, Esq.


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