Ashley Woods, East Tennessee State 2000

Sigma Chi Foundation President & CEO

I believe that Sigma Chi exists to build better men and that we will be measured by the successes and actions of the young men who join our Brotherhood. As you are likely aware, in close partnership with our General Fraternity, we have adopted a joint strategic plan that delivers a growing portfolio of values-based leadership programs, social issue training, and scholarship support to our young men. I commit to you, our stakeholders that your Foundation will be in aggressive pursuit of the resources needed to support this plan and that we will be zealous stewards of your future gifts.

On a personal note, I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and joined Sigma Chi at East Tennessee State University, where I was honored to serve as chapter Consul. My lovely wife Bethany and I have two young children, a future Brother and a future Sweetheart, and we currently live in the Chicagoland area.

I look forward to cruising with you on the Sigma Chi Alumni cruise in 2022.

Brandon Chaney, Indiana 1993

In Hoc Napa Valley Proprietor & CEO

It all began when Brandon Chaney INDIANA 1993 was pouring his Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from his Napa winery for pledge brother Jim Cunnane INDIANA 1992. It occurred to him in that moment that Sigma Chis all over the world did not have a wine specifically made for them to celebrate their brotherhood and the great history of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

He also reflected on the tremendous impact Sigma Chi has had on his life – the bond of his pledge class, the memories at the Lambda chapter house, his life’s journey based on the ideals of the White Cross and the sense of being part of something bigger than himself. He wanted to give back to Sigma Chi.

The 1855 Club was born after Brandon shared his idea with the leadership of the Sigma Chi Foundation and Sigma Chi Fraternity, they collectively decided to introduce In Hoc Napa Valley and the Sigma Chi 1855 Club to the brotherhood and produce wines that would stand on their own for quality and pleasure. In Hoc Napa Valley celebrates the history and core values of the Sigma Chi fraternity and funds scholarships for the International Balfour Award winner and finalists.

“Everything we do in life – we do it to share. Sharing things together is the foundation of our brotherhood. As Sigma Chis, we can create great things in life – but if we don’t share them, it is meaningless. Nothing brings people together better than wine – with a meal, or celebration, or just enjoying with family and friends.

I am not the first Sigma Chi to own a winery in Napa Valley, but I am first to realize how important it is to share my lifelong dream – to share these very special wines and celebrate our fraternity’s brotherhood and history – to give back to Sigma Chi.

I am proud of being a Sigma Chi and feel honored to make these wines for you. I hope you will enjoy them and share them generously in the years ahead.”

John Forst, George Washington 1984

Sigma Chi Foundation Chairman, Board of Governors

Significant Sig John Forst, GEORGE WASHINGTON 1984, is chairman of the Board of Governors for the Sigma Chi Foundation. Forst previously served the Foundation as vice chairman under outgoing Chairman and Significant Sig Joe Durzo, SYRACUSE 1967, and has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2013.

Forst is a retired partner and deputy general counsel at Lord Abbett. Previously, he served as managing director and chief counsel for a large international investment firm, practiced law in Washington, D.C., in private practice and worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jay Ford, Eastern Illinois 1985

Sigma Chi Fraternity Chief Marketing Officer

Jay provides the strategic direction and oversight in marketing, public relations, awareness and Sigma Chi’s organizational branding.

Ford is a highly accomplished strategic executive leader with 20+ years experience helping companies create and execute their customer and operational strategies. His specialties include establishing the proper sales models and processes, building and managing high performing teams, establishing inbound and outbound marketing support initiatives, multi-channel management, designing sales enablement and client success processes to support customer needs, international market entry, conducting due diligence on potential transactions, merger integration, and new venture initiatives for start-ups looking to scale, established companies in transition, Private Equity, and Venture Capital firms.

Jay stays actively involved in the start-up community by donating consulting time to local and international startups. He mentors undergraduates, grad students, and people in transition and aspires to become an executive mentor with one or more of Chicago’s incubators.