Meet Trustee Denise McDermott, Beta Eta

During this summer’s virtual Foundation Business Session, three new members joined the Foundation Board of Trustees and we’re excited for you to get to know them better. Join us for #TrusteeTuesday each week to meet these fantastic leaders, continuing this week with an interview with National Council Vice President and Trustee Denise McDermott!

There are many incredible organizations that are worthy of your time and talents. Why is it important to you to serve on the Phi Mu Foundation Board of Trustees?

Phi Mu has given me so much through the years, beginning as a collegian and continuing through today.  From leadership opportunities to emphasizing the importance of service and philanthropy to providing a supportive place of community in the Beta Eta chapter and as I’ve moved around the country in the years that followed.  As well, I was a Phi Mu Foundation scholarship recipient while at Miami.  I believe in the purpose of Phi Mu Foundation and I am passionate about giving back to our sisterhood that I love because of all it has given me.

What is your favorite Phi Mu Foundation fundraising campaign and why?

That’s easy!  The M3 Campaign in March!  This time of year is always very special to me as I attend our local Founders’ Day event, wear my badge with reverence and reflect on our founding, the women that have come before me, my initiation day and our ritual.  Contributing to M3 is a part of that celebration.  I think it is a very meaningful way to honor our Founders as we reflect fondly on our sisterhood and the positive contributions it has made in each of our lives.

On top of many Phi Mu accomplishments, each of you has also experienced remarkable professional success. Tell us more about your career and how experiences from Phi Mu and your professional life have overlapped.

I have worked for over 27 years at one of the world’s leading entertainment companies.  I have held leadership positions of increasing responsibility spanning operations, workforce management and project management.  The professional experiences and business acumen, acquired during this time, have aligned nicely and complimented my volunteer roles within Phi Mu including my current service within Phi Mu Fraternity National Council as a National Vice President.  Leadership skills including team collaboration, influence, communication, delegation, sound judgment, financial management and strategic planning have been applicable in both worlds!

Picture this: you’re on the TV show Shark Tank and have the opportunity to pitch the millionaire panel for 30 seconds on why they should invest in Phi Mu Foundation. What do you say?

Do you believe leadership & educational programming can aid in women’s growth and development?  Do you feel higher education is critical and academic scholarships can really give someone a leg up?  Do you believe that historic preservation can provide a lens into our past and help us light the way forward?  Do you believe in an organization that can provide a financial helping hand when members encounter hardship and difficulty?  If you believe in even one of these previous statements, an investment in Phi Mu Foundation is an investment in our shared future.

What do you hope will be the headline for the Foundation’s progress for 2020-21?

We live in unique and difficult times.  We are challenged as individuals and as Greek organizations.  Maintaining and enhancing the financial strength of Phi Mu Foundation during this next year is critical so that we can best serve our members now and in the future.  I encourage all Phi Mus to make a contribution during one or more of our annual fundraising campaigns.  As well, if not a member of a Giving Program, joining Rose & White ($20 monthly) is a great place to start.  If already a Giving Program member, please consider enhancing your gift by increasing your program level.  Your gifts today ensure that together with Phi Mu Foundation, our legacy will remain strong for generations of Phi Mus to come!