Sponsorship continues longtime Sigma Chi-Hazelden Betty Ford alliance, promotes leadership skills and life-safety practices of Sigma Chi members


The Sigma Chi Foundation announced today that Significant Sig Rob Reifschneider, SAN DIEGO STATE 1957, has made a $1 million commitment to support the leadership skills and life-safety practices of Sigma Chi members, including sponsorship of the Values-Based Leadership Certificate program delivered by the Sigma Chi Leadership Institute (SCLI) as part of the Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s Transformational Leader program, which is the organization’s comprehensive member development and educational program.

The gift will also provide needs-based financial assistance to members of Sigma Chi who seek addiction and substance abuse treatment at Hazelden Betty Ford centers, thus continuing the alliance between Sigma Chi and Betty Ford founded and supported by Reifschneider, a longtime member of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Board of Directors.

“Brother Reifschneider has long been committed to leadership initiatives that promote the health and safety of our Sigma Chi brothers,” says Sigma Chi Foundation President and CEO Ashley Woods, EAST TENNESSEE 2000. “This gift not only supports the important values-based leadership curriculum that helps our young men navigate challenging situations and utilize best practices toward their wellness and life choices but will provide a helping hand to those who seek treatment for drug and alcohol issues impacting college campuses across North America. We are appreciative of Rob and his family for their support of these important efforts.”

Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s 72nd Grand Consul (international president) Tim Sanderson, WESTERN 1985, adds: “The International Fraternity is grateful to Brother Reifschneider and the Reifschneider family for their decades of supporting values-based leadership education in Sigma Chi and for improving our members’ awareness of and access to addiction treatment support. Their latest gift ensures that we are able to continue providing education and support to our brothers in these important areas.”

The retired senior vice president of Manchester Tank & Equipment Co., the largest North American manufacturer of propane tanks and cylinders, Reifschneider has been a community service leader for years, serving at various times as president of the California Jaycees; national vice president of the U.S. Jaycees; president of Western Liquid Gas Association; president of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation in Lynwood, California; and president of Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California.

Having celebrated nearly 35 years of sobriety, Reifschneider has long been an advocate for programs that engage Sigma Chi members with honest conversations to create awareness regarding drugs and alcohol, starting with the pioneering CHOICES program that later evolved into Sigma Chi Crossroads and the present-day Drinking Smart section of the Values-Based Decision Making (VBDM) curriculum.

“Sigma Chi’s concept of developing leadership training programs through SCLI got me excited,” says Reifschneider. “I want to do more than just give [Sigma Chi] my money. I have a strong passion for [helping others with] addiction problems, both drug and alcohol. I want to make sure our brothers have the resources needed to live a healthy lifestyle and make values-based choices.

“My goal is not just to help prevent abusive drinking or substance abuse. There are a large number of college students today, whether they know it or not, who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I want to help those students get well. I personally have been sober for almost 35 years, so I speak from great experience both on a negative side and a positive side.”

The newly named Reifschneider Values-Based Leadership Certificate program is one of three separate certificate elements within the new Bill George Authentic Leadership (or “Self”) track of the Transformational Leader platform.

Through the Values-Based Leadership certificate course, which debuted during the 2021 Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop and counts Reifschneider’s son Eric, SAN DIEGO STATE 1988, among its volunteer facilitators, students will examine their values and practice applying principled beliefs to the various decisions and obstacles they encounter. They will also learn the key models of values-based decision making, feedback and transformational leadership as they seek to live and lead authentically by aligning their values and actions.

“Transformational leaders rely on their values to influence their decisions and leadership abilities,” says Sigma Chi Leadership Institute Chairman and 68th Grand Consul Mike Greenberg, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1982. “We are thankful to Significant Sig Rob Reifschneider and the Reifschneider family for their commitment to values-based living. We are honored to have the Reifschneider family sponsor the Values-Based Leadership Certificate and increase financial assistance for members struggling with addiction through Hazelden Betty Ford. Rob has been committed to Sigma Chi leadership programming since the conception of the CHOICES program. Additionally, his son, Eric, continues to facilitate at the annual Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop.”

Eric Reifschneider, a 2022 Seven Lights Award recipient, noted that the sponsorship was several years in the making. This included outreach from Foundation Director of Development and Order of Constantine Sig Jim Lawson, SAN DIEGO STATE 1985, whose cultivation helped elevate further engagement with Foundation Senior Director of Principal Giving and Order of Constantine Sig Frank Raymond, PENN STATE 1971, to finalize the support.

Overall, Reifschneider’s backing is intended to make a direct impact on the leadership skills and life-safety practices of Sigma Chi students, reduce negative behavior within its chapters and improve awareness of and access to addiction treatment support, including the availability of need-based financial assistance for treatment.

Sigma Chi leaders and key staff members will also have an opportunity to attend a three-day Professionals in Training (PIT) session at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, to learn about the disease of addiction alongside clinical staff and patients and gain the tools, knowledge and insight to further promote healthy change.