It is that time again!! The Honorable Knights are convening this week for the biennial National Convention and this time we are headed to the Pacific Northwest. The 2019 National Convention will take place in Portland, Oregon and returns to the PNW for the first time since 2010 when National Convention was held in Seattle, Washington.

Emanuel Magaña has been an active brother since the Fall of 2005 by way of the Alpha Theta Chapter at Oregon State University. He is proud and humbled to serve as chairman of National Convention this year and we had a few minutes to catch up with him in anticipation of the HYPE takeover of PDX.

The National Convention will feature tracks based on seniority and experience within the brotherhood so as to not have more seasoned brothers sit through intro level presentations and workshops. Chapter presentations will also take place during the festive weekend and brothers from near and wide will be able to network and enjoy fellowship and brotherhood. The Omega Ceremony will pay tribute and remembrance to the brothers who have been inducted into our Memorial Chapter for our Departed Brothers and the weekend will culminate with an Awards Banquet.

Having attended many national conventions in his almost fifteen years as a brother, Magaña wanted to ensure that this convention would be one for the ages. As soon as the opportunity presented itself to become involved with the planning, he jumped on it.

“I have served on the National Board as both National Undergraduate Rep and as Regional Director and thus, I have been to multiple conferences and helped with planning some in the past. When I heard that the conference was coming to Portland, I knew I had to do whatever it took to be on the planning committee” he explained.

Magaña is a native of Oregon and currently resides in Portland; he knew that being local would be a tremendous benefit when planning and getting all conference logistics off the ground. Without batting an eye, Magaña took on the monumental challenge of serving as chair of National Convention. It is Magaña’s hope that hosting the conference here in Portland will allow the brotherhood to strengthen its national presence since most of the chapters are located in Texas. He hopes that hosting national convention in the Pacific Northwest will bring exposure to this area and will solidify ODPhi’s presence as a national fraternal organization, not just a Texas or Southwest one.

The convention will kickoff this evening with Opening Ceremonies and will end Saturday with the Awards Banquet. The conference committee also announced a fun photo contest that will challenge brothers to get to explore Portland and its numerous points of interest. 

********************* Below is our interview with the National Convention Chairman********************

What are you most excited about in regards to Nationals this year?
I’m excited that the conference is coming to Portland this year. It’s great to see how much our organization has grown and having a conference in the Northwest illustrates our growth as an organization. Ever since my first conference in Austin in 2006 I have always wondered what a National Conference would look like in my backyard and now I finally get to see that idea come true. Growing up in small town in Oregon, Portland was always the “Big City” and my family would only venture to the city for special occasions. Now, my ODPhi Family gets to visit and it brings me a tremendous amount joy!

What was the most challenging aspect of getting this conference off the ground?

Logistics, logistics, logistics! Our organization has grown so large that conference has so many moving parts. Working with the hotel and communicating the needs of our national team and vice versa can be challenging. I honestly could not have planned this without the help of local brothers Pablo Brito and Gabriel Hernandez.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with our brotherhood as they descend upon Portland, Oregon?

I’m hoping that brothers join our Portland specific activities such as the brotherhood hike, food cart tour, and bar crawl. Our hike has one of the best views in the entire Northwest and our food carts and breweries are world renown. Portland also specializes in many Knight Life activities that other cities can’t emulate.

What surprises or cool things can brothers expect while they are in Portland and National Convention 2019?
Portland is known for being “Weird” and the culture and customs of the city reflect that. The popular show “Portlandia” takes that idea and runs with it to an extreme, however, you will find small grains of truth when you visit. The laws in Portland are also very different compared to many other cities leading to various activities that are not as common in other areas of the country. Portland, with all its trees and greenery is also one of the most beautiful cities to visit. Our summer highs also hover around 80 degrees making the city comfortable to explore in the daytime. Our mass transit system is also easy to navigate and our light rail system known as the MAX can take you almost anywhere in the city. The state of Oregon also features tax free shopping as well.