Joe Pinnix '93

Joe Pinnix Remembers the "great groups of guys"

A strong bond and great camaraderie – that's what set SigEp apart from all the others for Joseph Pinnix.

"It was not like every guy was from the same hometown and went to the same high school," he said. "Everyone had different backgrounds at SigEp, and that made for a great environment."

A great environment made it easy to make friends. Pinnix said some of his best friends today are those brothers that he pledged with back in 1989.

During his college years, Pinnix remembers the parties and mixers, but he said it was a lot more than that. Watching the Heels in the NCAA tournament in SigEp's Front Room and sitting enjoying the weather at Chapel Hill on the original bench he and his pledge class built are just a few of the meaningful memories he has.

"All those were great, but the common theme was being around a great group of guys," he said.

Pinnix said SigEp is encouraged by the re-dedication to academics and commitment to the community. The group of leaders there today is the reason why Pinnix recommends SigEp to those planning on joining a fraternity. They have showed the University what the values of the house are, he said.

"SigEp has given a lot to me and helped me grow through my college years," he said. "Many of the values I have today were developed during my years in SigEp."

Living in Raleigh gives Pinnix more chances to become involved with the chapter. He said the Sterling Campaign has provided him and his brothers with great opportunities to give back to the house, and recognize Dr. Hennis for all he has done for us and for the house.

Keeping in touch with other local alumni in the area is something Pinnix can take advantage of as well.

Pinnix pledged in Spring of 1989 and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Advertising. Today, he is a Regional Sales Director for Lenovo in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been married for 15 years and has two children ages 9 and 8.

He and his family are avid Carolina fans and can be found tailgating in the SigEp parking lot on most football Saturdays. Pinnix is able to keep in touch with many of the brothers he doesn't talk to on a regular basis.

He stays in contact with John Cross, Britt Canady, Otis Ku, Todd Rush, Gary Everhart and Chad Pearson.

"We still stay in regular communication throughout the year and try our best to get our families together," he said. "I have tried to keep a network together of not only the entire pledge class but also the other brothers I was with during my years at UNC."

Reconnect with Joe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

George McLamb ‘93

"Making a commitment to a group of people, collectively and individually, to trust, respect and be there to support them throughout life as needed and in return knowing with conviction they have done the same for me and the rest of the guys."

These are the words George McLamb '93 uses to define his personal meaning of brotherhood, the one attribute of the fraternity that caught his eye originally.

"The reason I joined Sigma Phi Epsilon was because of the obvious commitment by the members to brotherhood and fellowship," George said. "It was clear to me that SigEp at UNC was different than other fraternities on campus and offered me something I wanted to be a part of."

George can still remember back to initiation when all was said and done and he was received warmly as a new brother. He says his favorite part was "seeing the faces of each brother through the congratulations line with open arms welcoming me into their family."

Looking back on his time as an undergraduate, George said he had many amazing memories, recalling pledge trips and fun runs as ones that stuck out in his mind.

All of this fun combined with the sincerity of the brotherhood amounted into George taking away much more than memories. "Being a SigEp brother taught me about the virtues of character and integrity that have proven invaluable throughout my life and professional career," George said.

After graduating from UNC in December of 1993, George returned in the Fall of 1994 to pursue his masters in accounting. Graduating in May 2005 and having passed the CPA exam, George went to work in public accounting for Coopers and Lybrand where he helped in projects like launching the Entrepreneurial Advisor Services to mid-size manufacturing and high-tech corporations.

In 1997, George moved on to RTO, Inc., a rent-to-own company in Dallas, TX, as Assistant Controller. "I was instrumental in consolidating 13 inventory management systems and establishing operating policies and procedures for over 550,000 rent-to-own units," George said. "These changes resulted in over $1 million of annual cost savings and positioned the company for the public arena via a reverse acquisition."

George returned to North Carolina in 1998 to work for Productivity Point International, Inc. where he served as Corporate Controller and on the Executive Committee. After PPI, SigEp found its way back into George's life in 2002 when he teamed up with founder and fellow fraternity brother Jeff Grady '90 at Digital Lifestyle Outfitters. As Director of Finances and Operations, George's efforts resulted in growth sales to $100 million.

Later George held a position with Philips Electronics to assist them after a merger and eventually landed his current position at EA Consulting as CFO and COO.

He met his wife, Kendra, while working at Coopers and Lybrand right after college. They currently live in Raleigh, NC and enjoy golfing together and attending UNC football and basketball games.

Through all of the success that George has had since his undergrad days at SigEp, he still credits it with teaching him so much and in turn wants to give back to the fraternity. "I support NC Delta financially in an attempt to ensure that young men have the same opportunity I did to experience fraternity life and learn the values and principles that will make them successful in the long run," he said.

Serving on the Alumni Advisory Board, George is able to keep in touch with many of the brothers and reminisce often of what he took away from Sigma Phi Epsilon. "As an alumni volunteer at the chapter today, I am often reminded of the lessons I learned from Dr. Hennis ('he still has not aged a day') as an undergraduate myself," George said. "I hope to be able to influence another young man's life in a manner similar to his impact on mine. I am also reminded that our commitment to SigEp is a lifelong commitment and look forward to seeing more volunteers in the future getting involved with shaping the lives of the undergraduates."

Advice George has for the undergraduate chapter, and words of wisdom that everyone can live by, is to maintain a positive attitude. "Our attitude is the one thing we can control regardless of what is happening around us," he said. "I am hopeful they will always choose to view adversity and challenges as opportunities such that they can strive diligently to overcome those challenges and experience the joy of achievement."

Joseph M. Gordon ’79

Former Social Committee Chairman Recalls the "Shoebox"

Mention the "Shoebox" and the mind of Joseph M. Gordon '79 floods with fond memories. He shared some of those in this brief Q&A.

Why did you join Sig Ep?

To party with a select group of good guys and have a smaller niche of friends versus the larger population of UNC with over 20,000 students, and to get away from all the snoop dogs on the South Campus so I could hang out with higher caliber coeds that I met through our mixers.

Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity.

It has to be the wild sorority mixers in the "Shoebox" before our old house was demolished to make way for an expensive new one. I was social chairman so I always had to sell hard to convince the more snooty sororities that we had a great bunch of svelte young studs. My best story is the time I sponsored an all-campus party on the ECU football home opener weekend in 1978 with Archie Bell and The Drells ("AB & The D's") and got ECU's interfraternity council to chip in $500 for the 20-plus keg party on the afternoon before the big game. One small problem occurred when Mr. Ken, aka The Human Hammer, an ECU student at the time and old high school friend from Winston- Salem, called me on Thursday evening to let me know that ECU fans thought our party was Saturday afternoon before the game that night. Only problem was that Kenan did not have lights. So I went to NCNB at 9 a.m. Friday and got cash because, as they say in show business, the party must go on!

What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life?

Relationships are very important and I have enjoyed staying in touch with a bunch of the old guys, including Larry at Ken's Quickie Mart. University Square only hired Sig Eps so I was fortunate to get a job for three years that made me the one to know six nights a week as to who and where the best parties were. Being adjacent to Granville Towers, suffice it to say I became close friends with many coeds in Granville East.

With whom do you still stay in contact?

Pat Rearden and Dave Wilson to be sure; however, my best friend from those days is Gary Joyner, a true friend and colleague who helped me sell my company successfully and then exit under most advantageous terms. Gary is a very successful attorney in Raleigh with Kilpatrick Stockton, the largest law firm in the Southeast.

Who would you most like to find?

Sarge, our cook, and bookie, who still owes me on the Stanford/Cal miracle game of '76. And Kip Marshall, the guy who lusted for Marie Nance when she was studying football film with Bill Dooley.

Tell us about your family: Have you married? Do you have children?

I finally married for the first time to Kristina Owens in 2000 in Hawaii at the Princeville resort on Kauai and have a baby girl named Anna Grace born last September. Talk about timing! These are all firsts for me as I was married to my work for the first 20 years and then decided it was time to experience all the family things and would have the time to truly enjoy the experience.

What other activities or organizations were you involved with during your college days?

I played intramurals and was on the basketball team as a sophomore that played the graduate school legendary Dental Heelers for the championship. Although we lost, it was great fun. My other activities were being social chairman for two years with the legendary venture capitalist, Blount Swain, and begging the best looking sororities to give us a chance, lest we have to go Tri Sig or Phi Mu one more time. Egad! These were nice girls, but coyotes ruled.

What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?

Big Toe Joe and it was given me by a Phi Gam nut named Richard Battle. I was also known as the beer keg man of last resort since I was always at the last frat party of the night when the kegs went dry and Ken's was a stone's throw away.

Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates?

I lived in the "Shoebox" and it was not much of a house. I try not to remember my roommate because it was like living in a Chinese housing project in Hong Kong. I have a walk-in closet in my home now bigger than my frat room. Bunk beds are interesting, especially when your roommate brings home a date.

What do you do for a living?

I own a new company named GAM, LLC, a wealth management firm focused on serving the CEOs and other key management of private companies as they transition into retirement and create a liquid income stream for their illiquid private company stock. I built and sold a company in 2000 to a venture-backed startup named Invesmart. This company focuses on servicing retirement plans. I personally have had a hand in designing and installing over 300 corporate retirement plans over the last 20 years.

What affiliations do you currently have or public service do you participate in?

I am a member of numerous industry trade associations in the financial services industry. I have an active CFP license. I am involved in the American Society of Pension Actuaries and Consultants. I am Series 7 and 24 licensed in the securities business and run a branch office for an independent broker-dealer named Capital Investment Group, Inc, in Raleigh, NC.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I like golf, wine and women, although the women part is restricted to windowshopping now that I am married.

What are your goals for the next few years?

I am 45 and plan to go reasonably hard to 55, but only for 4 days a week. I want to help as many baby boomers take maximum advantage of the Bush tax act over the next 10 years. I want to enjoy my wife and daughter.