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Chris Schmid: A Champion for the Region

Friday, February 15, 2013
Posted by Ray Leach

SchmidThe entire JumpStart organization is deeply saddened to hear the news of Chris Schmid’s passing. Chris was a founding and eight-year member of our board of directors and made incredible contributions both to the organization’s efforts assisting Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs as well as to the business community of Wooster, Ohio, his adopted U.S. hometown.


Chris served as JumpStart’s board chairperson from 2006-2009 and championed the organization’s efforts to create the North Coast Angel Fund, now the fifth-largest angel fund in the country. Chris also helped to create the Wooster Opportunity Loan Fund via a partnership with the City of Wooster and JumpStart, in an effort to give entrepreneurs in Wayne County increased access to local early stage capital. He was also heavily involved in the creation of the JumpStart Mentoring Program, an initiative that leverages the expertise and experience of business leaders like Chris to guide more startup entrepreneurs in the region.


quoteChris was both a visionary and someone who could get things done. From JumpStart’s beginnings, he had a passion to see Northeast Ohio become nationally-recognized for supporting early stage entrepreneurs. He positively impacted so many people’s lives in meaningful ways over the years. It is an incredible understatement to say we are sad to have lost such a thoughtful and enthusiastic leader in our community.


“I’ve never met anyone who came from another country, was able to achieve a level of success and chose to adopt a community so completely the way Chris Schmid did,” JumpStart president John Dearborn says about the native of Germany. “His commitment to advancing entrepreneurship and the region was evidenced in everything he did. He gave more of himself to advancing Northeast Ohio than almost anyone I know.”


A principal at CSI Advisory Services, Chris was the past president of Wooster Hydrostatics Inc., Tekfor USA and the LuK, Inc. in Wooster Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Laurel, his two sons and his two stepdaughters, all of whom reside in Northeast Ohio.


Memorial donations can be made to Wayne County Community Foundation (517 N. Market Street Wooster, OH 44691) by listing “Chris Schmid Memorial” in the check memo line. Donations to the WCCF qualify for charitable tax deductions. Should you wish to donate online (VISA or Mastercard), please visit www.waynecountycommunityfoundation.org. There will be a prompt to list this gift as a memorial.


Ray LeachRay Leach is CEO of JumpStart and brings his energy and leadership experiences from founding five high growth entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial endeavors in the last 20 years. Ray is a Sloan Fellow and earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also earned a BA in Finance from the University of Akron.


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