The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity is pleased to announce that longtime fraternity volunteer and communications professional Russ Keene (Texas, Beta Mu ’80) has been named to the new position of Chief Communications and Alumni Officer of the Fraternity.
Russ joins PIKE following a 30-plus-year career of advising some of the country’s biggest brands on public relations, marketing communication, and public affairs initiatives. For the past fifteen years, Russ has been a partner in the boutique Austin-based public relations firm Crossnore Group. He has previously been employed in a global PR firm, several national and state trade associations, and two fortune 500 companies in the energy and healthcare space. Russ has advised many clients over the years in PR, reputation management and crisis communication, including American Heart Association, Delta Airlines, General Motors, Southern Co., Uber and Walmart.
Russ’s new duties include leading both of our alumni relations and communication teams. Russ will work with the current communications team in expanding outreach to our membership as well as other external audiences to broaden communication content and burnish the Fraternity’s brand. In the alumni area, the department will expand its staffing to strengthen and engage fully with the Fraternity’s alumni base contributing to an enriched lifelong alumni experience. Moreover, the alumni program will liase closely with PIKE volunteers, Alumni Advisory Boards and Alumni Associations in providing resources and support intended to both deepen alumni participation and engagement, which also benefit chapter operations and the collegiate PIKE experience.
Russ’s duties will also include participating in the implementation of the Fraternity’s strategic plan, Reimagine Fraternity, and monitoring government relations impacts on the fraternal environment.
Russ brings more than a decade of intensive PIKE volunteer service with Beta Mu Chapter where he has served almost 15 years in various volunteer roles including ten years as founding chairman of its Alumni Advisory Board, a past member of the house corporation board and is presently secretary of a newly chartered Alumni Association. Beta Mu has received both the AAB of the Year Award and the Orians Chapter Excellence Award for eight successive years. Russ was a co-founder on Beta Mu’s behalf of the Fraternity Alumni Council of Texas, an innovative organization of UT Austin’s 21 IFC fraternity advisors working in concert with the with university administration and the collegiate IFC to steward the university’s 130-year-old Greek system. UT Austin’s Dean of Students’ Office of Sorority-Fraternity Life awarded Russ it’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2020. As an undergraduate chapter member, Russ served as pledge class president and for several years as the Chapter’s state rush chairman. He is presently a member of the PIKE Foundation’s Sabre and Key giving society.
Russ also volunteers at his alma mater where he today serves on the Executive Committee of the UT System Chancellor’s Council, is on the Advisory Board of intercollegiate athletics department’s Longhorn Foundation and a board within the Moody College of Communication. He is married and the father of a sophomore daughter attending the University of Alabama. Russ begins his new duties in Memphis June 1.