Tracy Maddux, Pi Kappa Phi National President

He holds a BA from the University of Texas and an MBA in Finance and Information Systems from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Prior to being the National President of Pi Kappa Phi, he held positions as a Leadership Consultant, Executive Vice President of Pi Kappa Phi Properties from January 1992 Ð 1996, Chapter Advisor at Indiana (Alpha Psi), Regional Governor and held various board roles on the National Council.

Currently Tracy is the CEO of CD Baby after joining the company back in 2010 as the Chief Operating Officer. As CEO, Maddux has led the company during a period of rapid growth, focusing on rolling out new products and services that enable artists to self-manage their music careers; make money from their music and communicate directly with fans.

Tracy lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Donna who is an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Alpha Xi Delta. They have two labradoodles, Bo and Porter.

Recently, the Star & Lamp was able to sit down with Tracy to ask him about his Pi Kappa Phi experience, leadership and more.

If you had the opportunity to start your collegiate career over again from scratch, is there anything you’d do differently?

I’d ride the Journey of Hope and participate in Build America. These are tremendous opportunities that are exclusive to being a Pi Kappa Phi.

As an alumnus, you’ve clearly been a leader for Pi Kappa Phi. How has the concept of leadership changed for you over the years?

I think you become a better leader by learning from your failures. And I’ve had a ton of failure. It’s about using your own experience and sharing that experience with other members, not so much about giving direction or even being a role model. I find many of my sentences now starting with ‘In my experience I…’ rather than ‘You should…’

What are some of the most important pieces of advice you’ve received in your life?

Live in the moment. Don’t be overanxious about the future or obsessed with the past. Continue learning. Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have.

What have been two or three of your most meaningful Pi Kappa Phi experiences?

First, I met my wife in the lobby of the Alpha Psi Chapter house (Indiana). We were introduced by Steve Whitby (a Pi Kapp). When we got married, a whole chapter of undergraduate Pi Kapps (from St. Joseph’s, where my wife was the Greek Advisor) showed up at our wedding and presented us with a papal blessing signed by Pope John Paul II. It still hangs on our wall.

Second, in 1989 while doing a big/little sub-ritual at Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, Texas, I fell about 20′ down the chimney of a cave. I broke a couple bones and fractured my skull. My brothers created a litter and bound my wounds using their t-shirts and carried me out. I quite literally owe my life to my brothers. Two weeks later I was initiated as a founding father at The University of Texas (Zeta Theta #30). I was carried through our ritual of initiation by brothers since I had a broken foot. I learned sometimes you have to rely on brothers for a little help…

Third, I participated in the Marine Corps Marathon in 2008 as part of The Ability Experience Challenge, benefitting The Wounded Warrior Project. There is nothing as inspiring or that will keep you going as much as brothers from a chapter of Pi Kappa Phi encouraging you and yelling your name at mile 22!

Finally, working for Durward Owen, and then working for Mark Timmes; I learned from two great men who are very different managers and leaders.

Between all of the undergraduate and alumni members of Pi Kappa Phi, there are brothers that span so many different “ages and stages” of life. What have you learned about brotherhood, and also leadership, that could apply to all of those men, no matter their stage of life?

In my experience, I have received so much more than I have given from volunteer and leadership roles. The network is valuable, but the friendships are priceless. The foundation of my business and social network is Pi Kappa Phi. I meet great Pi Kapps (and great people) all the time by remaining engaged for the whole of my life in this fraternity.