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Achieving in the New Normal

Kappa Alpha Psi honors Miller, Berry and Sloan during Founders’ Day virtual celebration.

TAMPA – Former county commissioner Les Miller was recently the guest speaker for the Tampa Alumni Chapter’s annual Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Founders’ Day celebration. This was the first time in the history of the local organization, which is entering its 93rd year, the Founders’ Day ceremony was held virtually.

For Miller’s lifelong service to the community as well as to Kappa Alpha Psi, Tampa Alumni adopted a resolution honoring Miller.

“Whereas, he has been recognized locally and nationally for his service receiving the University of South Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award; the University of South Florida President’s Distinguished Citizens Award; the Florida A&M University President’s Award; American Cancer Society’s Legislative Award and the Tampa Alumni Chapter’s Man of the Year, Polemarch’s Award and Harry Morris Lifetime Achievement Award,” read part of the resolution.

“Miller embodies the essence of a true “servant leader” said Tampa Alumni Polemarch (President) Roland C. Daniels, “in that he strives to make better for all.”

Kappa Alpha Psi was founded by 10 men on Jan. 5, 1911 on the campus of Indiana University. It was founded on the principal of Achievement in every form of human endeavor, while also serving initially as an outlet and support for like-minded black college men trying to navigate through the times of open racism and social injustice. The organization later opened its doors to college graduates and men of all races, with the mission of serving the community.

Miller, a 1975 initiate of the University of South Florida’s Zeta Chi Chapter, has embodied the mission of the founders, serving in the government on a state, county and city levels. A former member of the state of Florida House of Representatives and the state of Florida Senate, Miller was the first person to serve as Democratic Leader in the Florida Legislature. He retired in November as Chairman of the Board of Commissions of Hillsborough County (Fla.) and still serves on various boards in the community.

A life member of the fraternity, Miller has served on the provincial (regional) level and remains active with the local chapter of Tampa Alumni. A former polemarch on three different occasions, Miller was instrumental in the chapter getting to host the fraternity’s National Founders’ Day celebration in 2019 and was named Tampa Alumni Kappa of the Year in 2019.

Two of the chapter’s major awards were given during the local chapter’s festivities. Bianco Berry was named the chapter’s Kappa Man of the Year, while Marcus Sloan was given the Polemarch’s Award.

Berry, a 2016 initiate of Tampa Alumni, is a current board member and is the chapter’s community outreach chairman. He was instrumental in setting up community-based programs such as What to do in a Natural Disaster, led the chapter teaming with the Children’s Board in giving away more than 200 pack-n-play crib sets for needy families as well as setting up the chapter’s involvement with Metropolitan Ministries. He now has the chapter embarking on a new community venture. The ‘Now you Know’ series are virtual help workshops intended for the Tampa Bay community. The first workshop was held Jan. 14 on Asset Protection: Protecting What’s Yours. Other upcoming workshops will include Prostrate Cancer and Mental Health Awareness.

“Berry brings energy and excellence to every project he is involved in,” the Polemarch said. “When you need to make something happen, you can always count on Bianco.”

Sloan is a 1979 initiate of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Southern University. He is the current Keeper of Exchequer (treasurer) with Tampa Alumni and has been at the front lines of numerous chapter activities.

“Sloan utilizes his financial and auditing background to bring accountability to the fraternity,” Daniels said. “He has an outstanding attitude and is always a joy to be around.”

Overall, despite the obstacles the year has brought, the night was a huge success for Tampa Alumni.

“Through the use of technology, brothers were not only able to reconnect with each other but also with the bond of the fraternity,” Daniels said. “Founders’ Day 2021 was a great success.”

By: Rick Brown, Tampa Alumni, Kappa Alpha Psi

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