CHRIS BUDA - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Growing up as one of four sons of a New York City police officer, life for Chris Buda wasn't always easy. And after his mother's death from breast cancer at age 11, things seemed to become more complex. Chris spent his teenage years testing the lines of discipline that had been established by society and by his father.
But even during his early years of rebellion, Chris' innate leadership skills showed through. He was recruited to wrestle at Franklin and Marshall College and was elected captain of that team as a sophomore. Chris further developed the skills of leadership through the Platoon Leadership Class for the United Stated Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. The Marines and a new found faith helped Chris put his rebellion behind him.
When Chris graduated from college, he began to recognize in himself the desire to reach out to others in support and motivation. Chris chose law and the Dickinson Law School in Carlisle, PA as the way in which he would further develop his leadership abilities in order to help people. His successful completion of law school was awarded by a position at one of Pittsburgh's most prestigious law firms.
Chris spent the next few years honing his court room skills and exploring a new interest in being a volunteer with Young Life, a non-profit Christian organization that reaches out to high school students. Chris' passion for young people rapidly developed and within a few years he left the practice to go on staff with Young Life.
Chris quickly moved up the ranks in Young Life and for 20 years served as the Regional Director for Young Life in the River Region (eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia). He has also served as the interim director for Young Life Europe. Over the years, Young Life has given Chris the opportunity to speak to tens of thousands of kids all over the world. Perhaps even more importantly is the impact Chris has had on individual kids' lives.
Chris’ greatest joy though is being married to his beautiful wife Cyndi for over 31 years and his four wonderful sons: Andrew, JT, Mark and Trevor.
In 1999 Chris helped begin Grace Fellowship Church in Pittsburgh and was the pastor there for 18 years.