Why did you join Chi Phi? I joined Chi Phi in Fall 2008; I was attracted to its status as the oldest national social fraternity, I got along great with the brothers during rush and loved my time around the house. When rushing Chi Phi, I felt my conversations were the most casual; nothing was forced and it was easy to be friendly with the brothers. I have since come to appreciate the longer-term benefits that came with being in Chi Phi - the alumni network, the connection back to 1530 Washtenaw, and my connection to my classmates with who I shared my experiences in Chi Phi.
With whom do you stay in contact? I am still close with my pledge class, as well as many people in the couple of pledge classes that came before and after mine. I still participate in a fantasy football league with many of the people who lived at 1530 with me (a league we started while we were at U-M), and recently attended the first wedding for a member of my pledge class (Mike Syty).
Did you live in the house? Yes
If so, who were your room-mates? Tell us about a memorable time with them. I was in a single for both of my years living in the house
Can you tell us about your career? I currently run a men's sock business called Tall Order (www.tallorder.com), a business I launched with my twin brother, Mike, in 2017. At Tall Order, we produce fun and fashionable casual/dress socks for guys who don't fit comfortably in standard-sized socks (we carry 3 sizes: 9-11, 12-15, and 16-20). We also donate a portion of our profits to Tuesday's Children, which assists communities in the wake of terrorism and traumatic events, in honor of their assistance when we lost our father, Andrew Friedman, in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Geographically, where are you now, and where have you been since leaving Ann Arbor? After U-M, I moved to New York City, where I worked for Bloomberg in Analytics and Sales for their Core Terminal product for 4+ years. After leaving Bloomberg and starting Tall Order, I have since moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I am currently pursuing my MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. After my planned graduation in 2019, I plan on moving back to New York to continue to run Tall Order.
What do you miss about living in Ann Arbor? Nothing will compare to my 4 years in Ann Arbor. I miss a lot from my time there: football Saturdays, basketball games at Crisler, hockey games at Yost, Wednesday night Trivia at Charley's, weekend late nights at Rick's, and great meals from Mr. Spot's, No Thai, Maize & Blue Deli, and Pizza House. But I miss my time with my brothers from Chi Phi most of all, be it around the house, at the library, or at bars.
Why is it important to you that Chi Phi remains at 1530 Washtenaw for years to come? Chi Phi, and especially our house at 1530 Washtenaw, will always be an integral reason as to why I remember my time at U-M so fondly. Every time I return to Ann Arbor, I think about how my time in the house impacted where I am today. Our house contributes to the traditions that we carry with us as brothers, and I wouldn't want to see Chi Phi at any other location.
Other musings? Any Chi Phi A-T alum who orders at tallorder.com with the code CHIPHIAT will receive 15% off their order!