RIT engineering graduate becomes youngest Red Cross chapter chairperson
24-year-old leads one of the oldest Red Cross chapters in New York state
Aug. 5, 2009
by Michelle Cometa
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The Red Cross chapter in Northern Livingston County has served central New York residents for more than 90 years. This year, Chris Feuerstein, a 2008 graduate of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, leads that agency, one of the oldest Red Cross chapters, as one of its youngest board chairmen.
“Working with the chapter has been a great experience. This is also a way to keep in touch with my roots,” says Feuerstein, a Rochester resident originally from Geneseo, N. Y., one of the towns served by the Northern Livingston County Red Cross. “Our chapter gets a framework of goals from national and we develop programs from there. My role is guidance, to keep a vision, not to do it myself, but help move the chapter along.”
Feuerstein has been involved with the Northern Livingston County chapter first as a youth taking swim lessons then in high school training to be a lifeguard and water safety instructor. He formally joined the chapter leadership while still in high school serving on different committees within the organization, most recently the audit committee.
“I’m one of the senior members on the board in length of board membership but not in age,” says Feuerstein, who turned 24 in April. “My largest personal challenge is that I am much younger than most of the other board members. Yet, I’ve been treated as if there is no age gap.”
While at RIT, Feuerstein was active in Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, as well as other campus organizations. As an undergraduate, he served a co-op at Harris Corp. in Rochester. After graduation, he was hired by the company and has since completed his first year in its international products group as a developer in Digital Signal Processing.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Chris. He’s a good man,” says David Parish, chapter executive director. “This is his eighth year on the board. He’s participated since he was 16 years old. He can handle himself in meetings and will be more visible in the community as ‘lead volunteer’ for an agency that serves a community of more than 53,000 people.”