When asked what advice he has for recent graduates today, Andy Oreffice ’85 had this to say, “You’ve got to work hard, of course. But it’s important to keep a balance in your life, and that can be a real challenge. You’ve got to be sure you make time for your family. And stay true to your own basic principles. People go looking for quick ways to make it, but the only way to really make it is to build a solid foundation and do things the right way.”
Oreffice learned what it means to build a solid foundation while at Purdue earning a degree in industrial management. His father had gone to Purdue before him. “A lot of the brothers in the house thought I was an easygoing guy, and I was, but I made sure that I spent most of every day on campus studying in order to have fun when I got back to the house. It’s a tough course of study at Purdue. I learned a lot about self-discipline. Getting my M.B.A. later seemed almost easy by comparison,” commented Oreffice. “One of the best times we ever had was the weekend Alpha Sigma Phi won the Grand Prix. We had come really close the years before. John Shumaker was our driver my senior year. When we won the race, it was the biggest party I had ever seen! I have a video tape of the race that I had not watched in years. I just played it the other day for my eight-year old son.”
When asked how he felt Alpha Sigma Phi had influenced his career, Oreffice observed, “I had always been a pretty shy kid until after I got to Purdue. Living in the fraternity, I learned a lot about myself. Our house was made up of guys from very diverse backgrounds. A true brotherhood was something I had never experienced before.”
Oreffice finished at Purdue and worked for a year before going to Arizona State for graduate school. After getting his M.B.A., he was with Nortel Networks for about eight years in Raleigh, North Carolina. He left that company to start a business called Rehab Concepts. The group of outpatient clinics was very successful. When they sold the company, he returned to Arizona to work for Fairfield Homes, establishing an active adult community. Another tour with Nortel brought him back to the east coast, where he feels more in sync with thinking and lifestyles. Most recently, Oreffice has been doing business management consulting.
Keeping up with their son and four year-old daughter and all their activities with school, church and coaching kids’ soccer and baseball means a full calendar for Andy and his wife, Jamie. They met in Raleigh and married nine years ago. “She is a Michigan grad, but even so, she is the best thing that ever happened to me!” Oreffice is quick to add. He recently took a break in between changing jobs to enjoy more time with family and friends. “I’m really fortunate to have my best friend since our days in the house living just three miles away. Jeff Frantz was the best man in our wedding, too. He helped get us settled when we moved to Alpharetta here in the Atlanta area,” said Oreffice. They find it easy to make friends where so many people have been transplanted from other areas. “We really enjoy our community, and folks are very friendly here.”
It has been harder to get back to Purdue since the move to Georgia. In years past, he served on the alumni board for the Krannert School of Management and was able to visit campus more often. He did get to see a football game, though, recently. “Our wives gave us (Andy and Frantz) a surprise trip to see the Purdue/Michigan game, plane tickets and everything. We won’t talk about the score, but it was still a great trip.”
Brothers can contact Andy Oreffice at firstname.lastname@example.org.