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Client Success Story: Sigma Phi Epsilon


Facilitation Training Makes a Big Impact for One Sigma Phi Epsilon Facilitator


Ryan Blanck, with Sigma Phi Epsilon, recently took the Leadership Strategies 4 day workshop – The Effective Facilitator in Washington, DC.

“It was a lot of fun! Eye opening! And I just really enjoyed it.” -Ryan Blanck, Education and Performance Specialist, Sigma Phi Epsilon


Sigma Phi Epsilon is a fraternity originally founded back in 1901 at Richmond College, which is now known as the University of Richmond. Currently the organization has more then 262,000 lifetime members which include 13,500 undergraduates across the country. They are the largest fraternity in terms of undergraduates and their mission is to “Build Balanced Leaders for the World’s Communities.”

In Blanck’s position he oversees 30 programs that impacts over 3,000 undergraduates throughout their organization. He facilitates frequently and shows others how to facilitate and how it can affect a session. He was fairly confident in his raw facilitation skills but wanted to tie a process to the techniques he had been using for years, one that could be repeated to achieve the same desirable results again and again.


After reading through the book The Secrets of Facilitation by Michael Wilkinson, attending a webinar and speaking with his Client Relationship Manager, Patty Gaddis, Blanck decided to attend the May 2009 public session in Washington, DC lead by Bill Olsen.

Over the course of the 4 days Blanck was given the opportunity to not only learn new techniques, but also see these techniques modeled by the course trainer and practice with other participants.

“Learning it, but also having it reinforced through Bill and his techniques really cemented the education and development…” – Ryan Blanck, Education and Performance Specialist, Sigma Phi Epsilon

Some of the things covered in the class were:

  • The 5 P’s of Preparation
  • Starting with I-E-E-I (inform, excite, empower, involve)
  • The Power of the Pen
  • Dealing with Dysfunction


Following the facilitation training Blanck was a part of a Leadership Institute put on by Sigma Phi Epsilon. There were 150 of the top undergraduates in their program from around this country brought in to The College of William & Mary for this four day program. Ryan was responsible for facilitating one of the small groups.

Following his session evaluation forms were filled out rating him on his session. Here are a few of the comments:

I came away with much more then I thought I would. Thank you, Ryan.” -Anonymous

I loved his energy, it kept me attentive.” – Anonymous

Session would not be the same without him. Best facilitator I have worked with (I’ve worked with many).” – Anonymous

After Bill’s session I went out and bought all the bells and whistles and built up my facilitation tool box…which included everything…including stickers. Positive rewarding is a huge ‘ah-ha’. We do it, but do we do it enough and why do we do it…really keeping them engaged. That was key.” -Ryan Blanck, Education and Performance Specialist, Sigma Phi Epsilon

Since Blanck’s training he has become a member of the National Facilitation Database and is looking forward to becoming a certified facilitator.

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