Chris Bence ’10: Working Hard, Playing Harder & Giving His Best
During the time that Chris was an active Brother of Delta Chi, the fraternity transformed and grew. “The fraternity changed from a small, niche fraternity to a strong, mid-sized fraternity by the time I graduated. With the growth in number of members, the mentality did not change – we strived to be a close group of gentlemen who sometimes put school first,” he said.
Brotherhood was and always will be one of the main focuses of the fraternity. While they had their share of mixers with sororities, the men of DX were much more known for nights with the brotherhood and a few lady friends enjoying some “special sodas.”
The brothers were able to develop a solid friend base that is still going strong, even five years after college. That is the aspect of being a member of Delta Chi that makes Chris the most proud. They truly embody what brotherhood means and it doesn’t end after the college years.
In fact, he can’t really even name all of the brothers he has kept in touch with. “I think this list would be shorter if I listed the ones I did not stay in touch with,” Chris admitted.
He only spent a total of 16 months living in the house, from summer ‘08 through summer ’09, but his time was well-spent and greatly enjoyed.
Some of his fondest memories include living in “Middle Earth” with his cousin William Chichester ’11, hosting after-parties that lasted well into the night and occasionally included singing karaoke using a fish pillow as the microphone, pre-game social events at State Street for U of M home football games that were also full of dancing and singing, playing basketball for hours on the court in the backyard, playing hotly contested games of Halo 2 in both Delta Chi and the Cambridge satellite house, being a mentor to many of the younger members, especially as they went through the associate member program, and, last but not least, the bittersweet weeks of fall rush — hectic and stressful, though highly rewarding as a new class of Delta Chi brothers joined the ranks.
Chris’s parents, Bob and Shari Bence, reside in Farmington Hills, where Chris spent most of his childhood, including high school. Chris’ younger sister attended Michigan State University and his younger brother followed in his footsteps and attended the University of Michigan. Chris’s younger sister is a nurse at Allegiance in Jackson. She graduated from Michigan State in 2011 and is studying to become a nurse practitioner. She married Alex Rojas in 2014. Tom, his brother, is currently an engineer at Ford and also graduated from The University of Michigan in 2013 as a brother in the Delta Chi Chapter.
Post-graduation, Chris accepted a position as an associate engineer with DTE Energy in Ann Arbor. He has lived in various locations throughout the Ann Arbor area since then. He worked for George Mundorf, Angela Wojtowicz, and Konstantin Korolyov over a five-year span while they were supervisors/managers in generation optimization at DTE Energy. He received multiple promotions in engineering before becoming a supervisor in September 2013. Now he works as a supervisor for Karthik Krishnamurthy in Corporate Fuel Supply, also with DTE Energy, but located in Detroit.
Additionally, he is currently two-thirds of the way through the part-time MBA program at Ross-University of Michigan, but he still makes time for some fun in life.
In his free time, you can find him playing his guitar, getting involved with beer league hockey, golfing, enjoying live music, or reading. His topics of interests in both his personal and career lives are energy and sustainability. One of his dreams is to be a professor related to energy post-retirement and he would also like to own his own bar someday.
He also enjoys spending time with his fiancée (as of this month!), Chrissy Fleck, who also graduated from the University of Michigan. She is currently a nurse at Providence in Novi, MI.
Chris firmly believes that life is about balance and offers the advice to “work hard, play harder and always give your best” to the current active members.
His hard work and dedication has paid off through his continuing success, which includes his relationship with Chrissy, maintaining a strong bond with so many family members and friends, being elected Vice President of the fraternity, graduating from UM Engineering with honors, an acceptance to Ross, and becoming a Supervisor at DTE Energy, which he collectively considers his most successful moments thus far in life.
It is evident through his words and experiences that he values balance in both the social and business aspects of life and believes that happiness comes above all else, which is something he wants to be remembered for. In 50 years, “I want people to remember a few things about me: I always put my best effort towards everything I’m engaged in, I enjoy bringing my family and friends together and I want to everyone to be happy,” he said.