For 16 years — 10 of which as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer — Chris led Tollgrade Communications Inc. from technology startup to public company to being recognized as one of the Best Small Companies In America by Forbes, Fortune, Business 2.0, Bloomberg Personal Finance and Industry Week. In the year 2000, sales of Tollgrade’s centralized telephone test systems reached $114 million. That year, its value on the NASDAQ exchange also reached $2 billion. For his efforts, Chris was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, as well as by the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. Chris was also named CEO Communicator of The Year by the Public Relations Society of America.
Now, Chris devotes much of his time to Allegheny College. He teaches entrepreneurship and managerial economics as the college’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence. He is also a member of Allegheny’s Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Timesys Corporation.
Chris has also been a columnist for Pittsburgh Quarterly since the magazine’s inception in 2005. His column, “To Boldly Go” deals with the subject of innovation. For his writing, he is a two-time nominee and one time winner of the Golden Quill Award by the Pittsburgh Press Club.
Chris received an honorary doctorate from Clarion University in 2012 when he delivered the Commencement Address. He and his wife, Jane, a Clarion graduate and Clarion University Foundation Board member, were the first ever “husband-and-wife” dual recipients of Clarion doctorates.