Inside the Boardroom: Alan Elia (’89, P ’19)

12/09/16

Over the course of the next several months, members of the Board of Directors’ Communications Committee will be contributing original columns, where they share updates on various Board of Directors and Deacon Club happenings. Be sure to read this special section each month to stay in the know with all of the latest news.


Considering this is the first article or “report” that I have written since I graduated from Wake Forest, I figured that I better lay out my credentials. I grew up in Western New York and, coincidentally, went to high school with Dave Clawson. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake in 1989, where I was an average, at best, Physics major. I have four children, one of whom currently attends Wake, making her my favorite child.

This is my second year serving on the Deacon Club Board of Directors and I have been a member of the Communications subcommittee both of those years. With that said, the Communications Committee will be taking a new approach this year, and I’d like to share that with you.

The fictional sports agent Jerry Maguire once proclaimed to his football player
client; “Help me … helphelpmehelpyoumeme you.” This is the new tact that the Deacon Club Communications Committee will be taking in the coming year as we work with the other subcommittees of the Deacon Club Board of Directors. Each member of the Communications Committee has been assigned to work with and help communicate the ideas of the Analytics, Benefits and the Endowed and Planned Giving Committees. Since our goal is to “create communications that will inspire giving,” we thought it would be best to embed our committee members within the others so that we have a consistent message that goes out to the Wake Forest faithful. In doing so, we hope that we will be able to accurately tell the story of each committee.

So what is the charge of each of these other committees?

  • Benefits Committee – Optimize the effectiveness of giving systems.
  • Analytics Committee – Measure performance and maximize our resources.
  • Endowment Committee – Fully endow the Athletic Department by 2040.

As I am writing this, the football team is headed to the Military Bowl, the basketball team is 7-2 and the men’s soccer team, who captured the 2016 ACC Championship, is headed to the NCAA College Cup. With this success, it should be easy for the faithful to support our student-athletes and, hopefully, it will help lead to sold out events at many of our future sporting events.

I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the Deacon Club Board of Directors and its commitment to the Athletic Department and the pursuit of excellence. The results are tangible, both on and off the field.  I cannot wait for the Sutton Sports Performance Center and the Basketball Player Development Center to be completed, and donors such as Ben Sutton and Bob McCreary truly do inspire me. I look forward to each time I visit campus so I can see the progress of these buildings and all of the other infrastructure that is being constructed on and around campus. This is definitely a great time to be a Deac, and there are many exciting things on the horizon.

As previously mentioned, in future email newsletters and articles, my esteemed colleagues will dazzle you with information as to how the process is going and what the future will bring. They are certainly much smarter than me and will possess better credentials; I mean one of them is a former NFL player, so expect big things to come.

Until next time…Go Deacs!

Alan