Toledo Pike – PIKE U Fan – Past International Fraternity Staff Member as well as Former Chapter Advisor and Volunteer – Health Care Technology Executive – Husband and Father with Dual US/Australian Citizenship – Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Guardians Follower

Eric Hren will tell you the bonds of Pi Kappa Alpha have been an integral part of his life.  His undergraduate years, professional life, and even meeting his wife, all have connections to his PIKE membership.

Hren’s story begins in northeast Ohio, where he grew up and attended Mentor’s Lake Catholic High School. Entering his first year at the University of Toledo, Hren had minimal knowledge about Greek life. His parents had not been Greek (although he did see his father Clem special initiated into Epsilon Epsilon in 2009). His older brother went to Cleveland State University, which has no Greek system, and his youngest sister was a Pi Beta Phi at the University of Toledo a few years behind him in school. Hren’s cousin Pat Srsen ’09 was initiated at Delta Gamma Chapter, Miami University (Ohio).

Hren’s PIKE journey started because of Adam Meyer ‘03, who sat next to him in his freshmen year during Spanish class. When Meyer invited Hren to Epsilon Epsilon for food during recruitment week, Eric went with few expectations. “Leaving the first recruitment event, I was thinking, these are very like-minded men…they have similar ambitions and a drive to be the best. I wanted to be a part of that. I remember how present they were, taking the time to look me in the eye and get to know me. This sounds so simple, yet the skill of being present in a conversation and actively listening is a skill sorely missed in today’s society and in the professional world.”

Hren quickly became a leader within the chapter taking on several leadership roles including internal VP and then president his junior year. Outside of the Fraternity on campus he spent his time involved in student government, the board of elections, executive member of the University’s largest philanthropy event, and kept a part time job working the front desk at an on-campus housing dorm.

Hren credits much of his leadership growth not to just his chapter experience, but his involvement with the Fraternity’s PIKE University program. His recalls his first PIKE U event — attended as a freshman — was the Chicago’s 2003 Leadership Summit. “I learned quickly there was so much I didn’t know about the Fraternity, leadership, and what was possible with being a PiKA. I never would have dreamed PIKE U would put me on the path it did with the Fraternity and provide a skillset I still use in my professional career today.”

Upon graduating in 2007, Hren joined the Fraternity’s professional staff as a chapter consultant and later as director of services. Following those years, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri to join a growing health tech company, then known as Cerner. Hren spent almost seven years in Cerner’s US office focused on business development and complex sales to large health systems in the southern region of America.

The Fraternity continued to be an important part of Hren’s life in Kansas City as he was fortunate to learn, shadow, and be mentored by Pikes like James Kanary (Michigan, Beta Tau ‘95), Emil Peters (SMU, Beta Zeta ‘92), and Cerner’s founder the late Neal Patterson (Oklahoma State, Gamma Chi ‘68). Hren says “I was in my mid 20’s trying to find my way, professionally and personally, and these men were everything we want in a PiKA. They were living their values and giving back to the Fraternity by providing me mentorship which I can only hope I pay back to the men I speak with and interact within the Fraternity.”

Living in Kansas City provided an opportunity for Hren to become involved with his community and Fraternity. As president of the Kansas City Area Alumni Association, he formed bonds with brothers of over a dozen different chapters who lived in the greater metro area. He was also president of the Kansas City Young Republicans and a member of the church council at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where he served with a fellow Pike Andrew Baumgartner (Creighton, Theta Lambda ‘07).

Hren’s six years as chapter advisor to Rockhurst University’s Kappa Epsilon Chapter offered him the opportunity to give back in ways his mentors and advisors did for him throughout his collegiate career. “I remain close friends with a number of Kappa Epsilon members from my advising days including Nick Helfrich ’09, Ben Sheard ‘09, Charlie Tocco ‘09, and Fred Grossman ’09.”

Life’s greatest PIKE connection came about when Hren’s close friend and chapter brother, Ryan Bradshaw (EE ’03), moved to Kansas City in 2013.  Bradshaw became engaged to a member of Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Missouri and asked Hren to be Best Man in his wedding. Little did he know, her sorority sister and maid of honor Angie Meredith would become Hren’s future wife.

In 2016 the then-global president of Cerner Emil Peters called Hren about an opportunity to move to Australia. While having never visited Australia, after a discussion over dinner Valentines Day weekend, Angie and Hren made the decision to make the move “down under.” They have lived in Sydney, Australia since September 2016 and have a 2.5-year-old son, Luca. They enjoy spending time on Australia’s beaches and being able to travel the Asia Pacific region of the world. In 2023, the couple became dual citizens when they received their Australia citizenship.

After over seven years with Cerner in Australia, Hren became and is currently the chief growth officer for Innowell, a digital mental health company providing clinical decision support for triaging and assessments for health services globally. He continues to stay active in CrossFit (first introduced to him by Nick Helfrich in 2013) is an active runner (his first marathon was in Chicago with the now PIKE Foundation’s Ryan Collett, Kansas State, Alpha Omega ’03), and, despite living in Australia is a passionate fan of his hometown teams in Cleveland.

Some advice Hren has for undergraduates, “Especially when deciding on what you want to do in life or deciding on a career/job?  If you can’t answer yes, unequivocally, to these three questions, that job or that career isn’t for you:

  1. Am I passionate about it?
  2. Is there vertical growth in the role/job?
  3. Am I willing to move / relocate for it if required?

Eric Hren is a passionate PiKA brother, growth-oriented business leader and family man whom we are proud to call a Pike. G’ Day Eric!