Kelly Rucker Bingel is an initiate of the Phi Gamma Chapterat Louisiana State University. She shares how Chi Omega continues to play an integral role in connecting her to her community.
I first got Potomac Fever when I moved to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1992 to work in the Washington bureau of The Tulsa Tribune. After covering the Oklahoma delegation’s activities in Congress for a couple of months, I was hooked!
I began my professional career as a National Consultant for Chi Omega after graduating from LSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. At LSU, I served my chapter as Pledge Class Chaplain and Model Initiate, Panhellenic delegate and G.H. Working for Chi Omega as a National Consultant and later volunteering with the National Recruitment Team gave me the opportunity to travel to more than 20 states giving inspirational speeches and working with America’s young leaders. It taught me to walk off an airplane in a new city and make friends instantly. It taught me that it is, indeed, a small world.
That experience shaped me for my next professional challenges, first as a newspaper reporter and later as a Hill staffer and lobbyist. Covering politics as a reporter peaked my interest in working in government but Chi Omega has taught me what was most important, to surround myself with positive role models. I was able to do that during the early part of my career by working with smart, influential women on Capitol Hill. While working on the Hill, I received my Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, where I enjoyed competing on the Moot Court Team and was selected by my peers to be the class commencement speaker – more public speaking opportunities first incubated with Chi Omega!
After leaving Capitol Hill, I became a Principal at the bipartisan lobbying firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti. In this role, I advise clients like EBay, Yahoo, Sprint and HP in their legislative strategies. More importantly, I enjoy being a wife to Thad Bingel, Assistant Commissioner for Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security, and an involved mother to my son John and daughter Elizabeth.
I’ve also been pleased to serve on Chi Omega’s Congressional Awareness Committee. The purpose of the committee is to create awareness among Chi Omega's membership about congressional affairs that impact Greek life and encourage civic engagement. The Congressional Affairs Committee will work in concert with other Greek groups to create awareness of legislation affecting Greek life; monitor legislation that impacts Greek life; educate Chi Omega leadership on the importance of their role in national, state, and community affairs; and encourage civic engagement as linked to democratic principles found in the Chi Omega Ritual.
I look forward to talking with collegians and alumnae about how you can become more involved in government. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 202-585-0231 if I can ever be of assistance.
Kelly Rucker Bingel
Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc.
1341 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
cell (202) 787-0263
fax (202) 393-0712