Chris Fortney

Business Development Strategist

AKA “Funny Fortney

An integral member of the Spark451 team since 2014, Chris Fortney brings creative expertise to his latest role: Business Development Strategist. He builds strong relationships with our partners and helps them achieve their enrollment goals through unique and exciting marketing strategies. Chris previously served as an art director on Spark451’s design team, and led the creation of award-winning pieces for a number of institutions.

A graduate of Marist College, Chris has a background in advertising and music. Prior to joining Spark451, he was the Marketing Director at a boutique creative agency, where he worked with executive-level clients to build their brands through meaningful creative. In his (limited) free time, he enjoys playing guitar and writing songs, hacking his way out of sand traps at the golf course, and chasing after his daughters.

What higher-education/industry event do you enjoy most and why?

The regional and national conferences. They give me the opportunity to meet new people and introduce them to Spark451, to travel to campuses and cities I've never been to before, and to further develop relationships with clients in a casual setting.

How has your own college education directly translated to success at Spark451 and why?

One of my advertising courses in college was setup, so that not only would students have to conceptualize and design campaign creative, but we'd then also have to pitch it to the professor in front of the whole class. It was a sort of microcosm for my experience at Spark451, having been an Art Director on the creative team and now working in Business Development.

What is your life theme song and why?

I was told once by a former co-worker that when I walked around the office, it looked as if I was singing "Walking on Sunshine" in my head, so I've decided to own that. How can you not be in a good mood with that song playing?

Beach vacation or city vacation and why?

Both have their merits, and I think it boils down to what your motivation for that particular vacation is. I've loved lounging on the beach in Aruba as much as I've loved exploring side streets in Paris. But if I had to choose, I think the lazy beach bum in me wins. Bring on the relaxation!