Chris Meek

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Chris Meek
Chris Meek.jpg
Born (1970-09-30) September 30, 1970 (age 44)
Elmira, New York, U.S.
Residence Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma mater Syracuse University and Pace University
Political party
Republican
Religion Presbyterian
Spouse(s) Christine
Website
SoldierSocks.org

Christopher Douglas Meek (born September 30, 1970) is a philanthropist and American businessman. Meek is a Financial Services Executive and is a Co-Founder and the Chairman of START Now![1] and SoldierSocks. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Career Resources[2] (Bridgeport, Connecticut) and is a former board member of the World Affairs Forum.[3] Meek is the past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Yerwood Center (Stamford, Connecticut). He also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at St Luke's LifeWorks[4] and is the past Chairman of the Development Committee as well as the Life Long Learning Committee there. Meek is also currently serving as the Chairman of Stamford's Urban Redevelopment Commission.[5] Chris Meek lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife and their three children.

Early life[edit]

Meek was born in 1970 in Elmira, New York to Douglas and Camille Meek. After his parents divorced in 1972, Meek was raised largely by his mother, who was a deaf education teacher, and his maternal grandparents George and Marion Giroux.

Education[edit]

Meek attended and graduated from Elmira Free Academy.[citation needed] In 1992, Meek graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Syracuse University)[6] A member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Meek earned a degree in Financial Management at Pace University (New York, New York) and later graduated with a MBA in 1999.[citation needed] While attending Syracuse University, he interned for U.S. Senator Al D'Amato from 1990-1992 in his Syracuse Regional Office.[citation needed] This internship led to Senator D’Amato asking Meek to take a senior role in his Central New York Re-Election campaign committee during the 1992 Senatorial Race against New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

After graduating from Syracuse University in 1992,[7] Meek worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Syracuse, New York from 1992–93 and then for Dean Witter Reynolds from 1993-95. In October 1995, Meek moved from Syracuse to New York City and began working for Hull Trading Company, a Chicago-based options market-making firm.[citation needed] In July 1999, Hull was acquired by Goldman Sachs and Company. Meek ran the firms’ floor-based trading operations from 1999-2002.[citation needed] Since then, Meek has served as a Financial Services Executive in New York City.[where?]

Community activism[edit]

Chris Meek hosting a SoldierSocks fundraising charity event at Honeywell, Washington D.C.; May 20, 2014.

In April 2009, Meek held his first in a series of loan modification events at the Yerwood Center in Stamford.[8] The event consisted of five banks and several agencies offering assistance to avoid foreclosure. The program enabled 36 families to modify their mortgage, avoid going into foreclosure and losing their homes.[9] Meek created the not-for-profit START Now! in May 2009,[10] which extended similar assistance to 252 families over 11 events.

In July 2009, Meek received a request from a U.S. marine asking for help in obtaining hygienic items for our American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. This led him to create the not-for-profit SoldierSocks.[11][12] Since its founding, SoldierSocks has shipped more than 55,000 pounds of basic supplies to 53 units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In June 2012, SoldierSocks launched a scholarship initiative partnering with the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. That July, SoldierSocks expanded its efforts launching the new SoldierSocks Veterans Grant Foundation to help those returning from the frontlines.[13] A year later, in July 2013, SoldierSocks again set its focus on returning veterans and further expanded the scope of the not-for-profits’ efforts.[14] Partnering with Ekso Bionics,[15] SoldierSocks began working to give paralyzed veterans the ability to walk again.[16] In October 2013, SoldierSocks launched a fundraising campaign to raise funds to provide robotic exo-skeletal suits to veterans.[17]

Dan Rose became the first recipient of an Ekso suit from SoldierSocks in December 2013. Rose was paralyzed after the truck he was commanding struck an IED in Afghanistan on April 27, 2011.[18]

Since donating the first suit, SoldierSocks has partnered with VA facilities across the country to expand the reach of these transformational devices. Boston, Palo Alto, and Richmond are among the VA centers that have received a suit to date.

In October 2011, Chris was awarded the 2011 March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award.[19]

Connecticut Magazine's inaugural [20] "40 under 40" honoring the state's next generation of leaders named Meek as one of the forty new young leaders who are "full of energy, ideas and the determination to steer an unswerving course into the future".

On April 2, 2014, Chris Meek was presented with the Orange Circle Award for the groups' philanthropic work.[21] Presented by Syracuse University, the award recognizes members of the SU community who have done extraordinary things in the service of others.[22]

Politics[edit]

On August 24, 2010, Meek was sworn into a 3-year term by Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia as Commissioner on the City's Urban Redevelopment Committee (URC) and was elected Chairman of the Commission on December 13, 2012.[23]

On October 17, 2011 Meek announced his candidacy to represent Connecticut's 4th congressional district.[24] Meek had previously been mentioned[25] as a potential candidate for the United States Senate in 2012. Meek, who added a new child to his family in March 2012, withdrew from the race several months before Connecticut’s Primary election.

References[edit]