Member Spotlight

Meet NACRO Member: Chad BrownChad Brown

January 10, 2023

1. How long have you been in corporate relations? Can you tell us a little more about your career?

I have worked in corporate relations for a number of years, but not all in a higher educational setting. I started early in my corporate relations career when I worked in community affairs for a major market media company. After almost five years in that role, I moved into major gift fundraising roles and worked at the Greater Twin Cities United Way for almost a decade. A key strategy for United Way is building multi-faceted partnerships with its corporate partners to make impact in the community. Now, in my role at Montclair State University, I am applying those learnings in higher education and learning more about university corporate relations from my interactions with NACRO.

At the end of the day, I have learned that strong corporate relations involve collaboration, communication and creativity applied toward mutually beneficial goals and impact. It’s a rewarding area of my career.

2. What do you enjoy most about your NACRO membership? What gives you the most value?

I have been a member of NACRO for a little over a year, having participated in the Boot Camp and also summer conference. I also serve on the Marketing and Communication Committee. The most enjoyment is meeting the variety of dedicated members across various disciplines at various institutions. Each of us comes to this work differently. I derive the most value learning from other members who are generous in sharing their knowledge, experience, and expertise.

3. Looking forward to 2023, can you share your goals for the next year?

We are breaking new ground at the Feliciano School of Business in our corporate partnerships program. One top goal is to build a best practice model for our top partners. We are making good progress and will be building through 2023. A second goal is to tell the story to ourselves and external constituencies.  There is great work happening amongst our faculty, staff and student community. Our challenge is to harness the great work and amplify it through storytelling so that others know what’s possible when partnering with us.

4. In 2023, what things would you like to stop doing? What things would you like to do more of this year? 

I think part of the challenge in building a new program is to say “not right now.” There is much energy and excitement when embarking upon a new adventure. Many people have ideas and want to be involved which is a good thing! Knowing how to say “not right now” is important so as to pace the work and build sustainable practices. 

5. If you could go to any country (that you haven’t been to) where would you go and why?

My top pick is Ireland. I come from Irish ancestry on my mom’s side of the family and have always wanted to visit that country and explore my family’s roots. 

A second pick would be Northern Spain, specifically Pamplona and along the French border. My family on my dad’s side originated from that area in the 17th and early 18th centuries. 

Like many of us, my story and that of my ancestors is one of migration and immigration motivated by economic necessity and political persecution. Having a deeper experience with that story helps me to better understand myself which I hope lends to greater empathy and understanding of others.