I have had the opportunity to correspond with Tom Filak about Alumni Association happenings and his ideas of making the returning Chapter even more successful. Getting back to our regular routine of Alumni Interviews, I am pleased to share with all of you my interview with Brother Thomas Filak.
Tom, what years did you attend UW-Whitewater and what is your degree in?
I started in Whitewater in 2003. I was previously at UW Superior in 2002. I graduated Whitewater in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science and Communication.
What are you doing now, professionally?
I work for AT&T as a retail sales manager. I’ve been working for them for the past three years, and had previously been selling their product for an indirect company.
Are you still living in Wisconsin and working for AT&T?
Yes, I recently just relocated to Milwaukee to take my own store in the New Berlin area.
Steve Ryan played a “dirty trick” on me and invited me to come “hang out” at the fraternity house and meet some of his friends. Little did I know, it was a Rush event. I hold him responsible for everything to this day. Turned out to be the best choice I made while in college. He had told me several times over and over about how great Lambda Chi Alpha was for him, and I always discounted it. Little did I know how much the fraternity would do for me over the next several years.
And what year was that, when you joined?
In the Spring of 2004…with a group of great guys.
Did you hold any offices while you were an Active Member?
I was the Gamma [secretary] and the Tau [treasurer] for a short time.
Did you receive any awards or recognitions while you were an Undergrad?
I was awarded “Most Dedicated” in the spring of 2005.
Congratulations, that is a great honor. Did you have an opportunity to live in the House? Did you have a favorite room?
Yes, I lived in the house for a short time (summer before we were shut down) in room 7. My favorite room in the house was the attic. I was always wishing I could find more ways to use that room.
Was there a Brother who had a major impact on your fraternal experience?
I would say that Matt Grace probably had the biggest impact on my experience. I’d consider him my best friend these days. The funniest thing about that is that we didn’t get along all that well at first. He and I attended several conferences together with Lambda Chi. I think we got along so well since I was one of the only guys that could understand him at first because he talks so fast.
Do you have any nicknames you would like to share?
My nickname in the fraternity was “Fifi”…I got this from Gary Wallace when we were enjoying a round of golf at Prarie Woods. He called me Fifi, and it never went away. I still get weird looks in the bars if someone calls me that.
Anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
I’d like to give a shout out to Boelk. I know he’s computer illiterate, so he’ll probably never see this, but he’s been a tremendous asset to all of the men that have been involved with the Chapter at Whitewater over the last 25 years. I don’t think all of the late night voicemails from Trezek could explain how much we all love and respect him. If you haven’t heard one of those, I’m sure Tom still has a couple saved on his voicemail.