By Jeffrey T. Smith, 29th Eighth District Representative
Brother Eric Duane Dennis aka ED is Chi Phi Chapter Basileus-Elect for the next
fiscal year, November 1, 2019 through October 31, 2020. This article will
Illuminate, in small part, Brother Dennis’ experiences, enthusiasm, entrepreneurship,
exhortation, and example. By way of introduction, ED is a husband, father, son,
brother, friend, fraternity member, and faith leader and servant, balancing each role
to support positively his large sphere of influence. His magnetic and magnanimous
personality exudes fun, empathy, principles, purpose and a steadfast determination
to serve and lead others spiritually, personally, professionally, and fraternally.
ED displays integrity by aligning his thoughts, words, and actions and he exhibits a
true passion for service to all mankind.
I met Brother Dennis in the late ‘90s on a basketball court, throwing bows and
collecting fouls. I tried to move him off of his position on the court only to learn
that he was serious about ‘balling.’ ED was nominated and elected to serve as my
vice Basileus during my second term in 2000. We connected immediately on all
things fraternal and later included Eric Allen (EA) as part of our small Que team.
Our brotherhood was solidified when ED’s wife, Jackie, started calling us Omega,
Psi, and Phi whenever we were together. Another such opportunity to strengthen
our bond occurred on a road trip to St. Louis for training on the new Membership
Selection Program in 2001; we shared life stories while listening to a total of ten 90
minute cassette tapes during our drive to ‘The Lou.’ My Bible Scripture for my
prayer partner is Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born
for a time of adversity.” I have outlined his journey using the four cardinal principles.
Manhood. Brother Dennis was born August 20, 1962 in Mount Holly, NJ, the second
of three sons to Mr. and Mrs. Ethelbert and Alavan Dennis. On August 26, 1989,
he married Jackie Barker and their union three children were born (two daughters
and one son). ED and Jackie parental support and commitment to their children’s
development and education produced three college graduates from three respected
institutions, Sierra (Howard University in DC), Khary (Williams College in MA),
and Janee (Cornell University in NY). Recently, the couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a trip overseas to Paris, France and London, England financed by their offspring.
Brother Dennis was initiated into Eta Omega Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on April 23, 1988 at 5:37 PM ET as Lamp 20 on the line “23 EnQuesiastic Knights of Omega.” ED’s introduction to Omega was through the example of his uncle, Dr. Frederick Douglas Burroughs, MD as well as the men of Psi Chapter, Morehouse College.
Scholarship. Brother Dennis matriculated at Morehouse College, graduating in the Class of 1985 with BA degree in Computer Science. In December 2000, he attained his Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Telecommunications from the University of Colorado (Boulder).
Perseverance. Professionally, Brother Dennis has held a plethora of positions within and outside his chosen field. His resume includes the following career opportunities: Programmer/Sr. Technical Manager, AT&T/AT&T Bell LABS, 1985–1998; Sr. Project Manager/Sr. Program Manager/Sr. Consultant, Rocky Mountain Consulting Group, 1998–Present. ED’s consultant work comprised clients such as: Level 3, Quest, Time Warner Cable, StorageTek, AT&T Bell Labs, Charter Communications and Chemicals Unlimited. He worked as the ADA City Inspector (2nd in charge of all ADA for the City and County of Denver, Denver Mayor’s Office), 2002–2006. ED was the Sr. Program Manager/Sr. Service Delivery Manager (SDM) for IBM, 2006–2015.
Fraternally, ED’s record of service is extensive and encompasses experiences across the three districts, five chapters and a host of committees therein:
Eta Omega Graduate Chapter, Atlanta, GA, 1988–1991: Initiated and tutored by the late 33rd Grand Basileus, Brother Moses C. Norman, Sr.
Omicron Chi Graduate Chapter, Plainfield, NJ, 1991–1996: Tutored by the late 28th Grand Basileus, Brother James S. Avery, Sr.; co-chair Achievement Week Committee; and member, Chapter March/Hop Team.
Tau Intermediate Chapter, Clark/Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, 1996–1998: Active member; committee member for annual City-wide Men’s Prayer Breakfast.
Chi Phi Graduate Chapter, Denver, CO, 1999–2006 and 2018–Present: Basileus-Elect (2019); Vice-Basileus (2000–2001); KRS (2001–2003); Colorado Membership Selection Program (MSP) Committee (2002–2003); chairman, Colorado MSP (2003–2006); Colorado State Representative (2003–2006); appointed by 28th 8th District Rep. Brother Larry Burks as the Eighth District MSP Chairman (2005–2006); acting 8th District KRS (leading up to and including the 56th Annual 8th District Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO (April 2005); member, International OPPFI Reclamation and Retention Committee (2003–2006); chairman, Chi Phi ‘Cold Climax’ themed parties in conjunction with the NBS Ski Summit (ushered patrons to parties via chartered buses) which were major fundraisers for the chapter and Holmes-Omega Scholarship Foundation (2000, 2001, 2004, & 2005).
ED served as chapter delegate for the following fraternity meetings: 52nd Annual 8th District Meeting, New Mexico, 2000; Omega Leadership Conference, Richmond, VA, 2001; St. Louis Omega International Membership Selection Program (MSP) Train the Trainer, St. Louis, 2001; Omega Undergraduate Summit, Atlanta, GA, 2003; Omega Leadership Conference, Mobile, AL, 2003.
Nu Nu Graduate Chapter, Willingboro, NJ, 2006–2018: Basileus (2014–2016); Immediate Past Basileus (2016–2018); chairman, Omega Community Development Incorporated (OCDI) 501c3 (2008–2012); chairman, Nu Nu University Education Committee (2012–2015); member, International OPPFI Conclave Vendor/Security Committee, Las Vegas, NV, 2016 and New Orleans, LA, 2018; member, NJ Corridor 4 Omega State License Plate Committee (2013–2016); member, 2nd District Honor Guard (2012–Present); member, 2nd District Violence Prevention Committee (2012–Present); member, 2nd District Fundraising Committee (2013–2016); co-creator of the “Jersey Bruhz” District T-shirt Fundraiser for NJ State License plate initiative; member, 2nd District License Plate Raffle Team. ED served as chapter delegate for the following Omega meetings: Omega Leadership Conference, Kansas City, MO, 2013; 67th Annual 2nd District Meeting, 2015; 68th Annual 2nd District Meeting, 2016, 80th Grand Conclave, Las Vegas, NV, 2016 (Alternate Delegate).
Brother Dennis is the recipient of multiple Basileus and Superior Service fraternity awards over his 31 years in the Fold. In 2003, he was recognized as the Omega Man of the Year, Chi Phi Chapter, at the 75th Anniversary Gala. His other accolades include Outstanding Young Man of America for community service in Atlanta, GA.
Uplift. Personally, Brother Dennis is an ordained Deacon, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Burlington, NJ. He is a strong advocate for both the American with Disabilities and Senior Care. ED has worked on every Atlanta mayoral campaign from 1980–1990, the National MLK, Jr. Parade committee (1986), a summer youth camp counselor and a youth baseball coach.
In closing, Brother Dennis’ aspirations and hopes for Chi Phi Chapter are the following: To embody Christian manhood in our daily walk; to live out our creed of consecrated service; to continue to imbue Friendship and Brotherhood; and, to continue lifting as we climb. ED aka ‘D’ or ‘Dawk’ is fond of dancing, rolling skating, traveling, and music (a former DJ and mixed cassette tape extraordinaire). Brother Dennis embodies Proverb 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” and he entertains strangers with hospitality and brotherly love benevolently. May God continue to bless him, his family, and the several endeavors in his life.