Christopher Smith was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Arthritis Foundation’s newly-formed Great Lakes Region in December, 2010. The Region - one of 10 in the country – is comprised of six former Chapters covering five states. They are: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky Pennsylvania & West Virginia. Today the Great Lakes Region carries out the mission of the Arthritis Foundation by advocating for people who have arthritis, offering programs and services that improve the lives of millions of people of all ages diagnosed with arthritis as well as investing in cutting-edge research. The Arthritis Foundation is the leading nationwide, non-profit health organization committed to helping people take greater control of arthritis. The Great Lakes Region is an $11 million organization with 59 employees.
This is the second time that Mr. Smith has been employed by the Arthritis Foundation having served as President (Executive Director) for the former Delaware Chapter from 1991-1994. Having built his career in non-profit management, Mr. Smith is in his 30th year working for volunteer health agencies. Beginning as a field representative for the American Cancer Society in Massachusetts, Mr. Smith quickly moved to senior positions for ACS in North Carolina; the Arthritis Foundation in Delaware; the American Diabetes Associations in New York and in the Northeast; and Special Olympics in New York before assuming the duties of Great Lakes Region CEO in 2010.
As CEO, Mr. Smith serves on the Executive Cabinet for the national Arthritis Foundation with shared responsibility for setting policy, creating strategies and making recommendations on how best to carry out the strategic plan for the Foundation. He is the cabinet representative on the national Research Advisory Committee and has served on the national Budget & Finance Committee as well as served on multiple task forces and committees related to fund development, operations and technology.
A 1982 graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Mr. Smith received his Master’s in Business Administration from Elon College, now Elon University in 1991. Married with three children and two grandchildren, Chris is married to Dale Scalise-Smith, PhD, Vice President for On-Line Learning & External Partners at Utica College in Upstate New York.