What is the Student Management Corporation?
SMC was founded by Gary Hedge, a brother from Lambda Chi Alpha. In 1971, several chapters were in financial trouble, Gary's house was one of those in trouble, he was the treasurer of the chapter and the house was almost a year behind in bill paying. Vendors were not willing to do business with the houses or if they did, they charged outrageous prices, so most of the chapters had to purchase from the most expensive vendors as well as have terms of COD. Credit was something vendors did not wish to extend to the chapters at Cornell.
Ron Rhoads from Chi Psi first came up with the concept of forming a purchasing group and presented the idea to the IFC. With the help of the Dean of Students, Ron incorporated the buying group under the name Fraternity Managers Association in the Spring of 1971. It was this early organization which finally evolved into SMC.
Together with Ron Rhoads from Chi Psi, Gary organized a purchasing
group and made deals with vendors who would give him discounts. He had each
member chapter deposit funds into separate savings accounts and would show vendors
these "passbooks" in order to instill confidence that the funds were
there to pay invoices. This is how the SMC deposit was created. Many vendors
still did not trust the chapters so Gary would get a phone call from the vendors
on the same day as deliveries and would have to run a check over to a vendor
(on his motorcycle).Gary became the first executive director of SMC with a membership
of 20 chapters while he was still a student. After graduating, he served in
the position for two years. Particularly noteworthy were some of the exceptional
contributions, support and dedication of the founding Board of Directors chaired
by John Zaruka (ATO). Wise counsel was provided for many years by John (Jack)
Tewey, Professor, (retired) of the Hotel School.
During Mr. Slegr's tenure, a number of dedicated SMC Board Members should be noted including: John Burlingame and Joseph E. Lavin, both Chairmen of the Board. Early SMC team members Laura Chacona and Julie Copenhagen contributed valuable support, as did Terry Slegr, Assistant Executive Director, whose dedication and tireless efforts were instrumental in SMC's development. When Mr. Slegr resigned to take a position in California, Terry was appointed interim Executive Director and remained in that position for several months.
Eden Slegr lives in California, where he owns and directs an executive search firm for the hospitality industry: Global Hospitality, Inc. In 1998, he co-founded Hospitality Careers Online, Inc. (www.hcareers.com), served on the Hcareers' Board of Directors, and consulted extensively on operational and Internet marketing initiatives.
Terry Sleger is an Executive Recruiter with Global Hospitality, and both Eden and Terry enjoy visiting SMC whenever they are in Ithaca.
Gary Hedge is a business consultant and also lives in California: he often comes to visit the staff at SMC and created a DVD explaining how SMC began.
Today, SMC enjoys purchases in excess of $3,000,000.00 and is the second largest
college cooperative in the U.S.