Chris Brand has a lifetime of experience in disability issues. While growing up in Atlanta, GA, he bonded with a close friend of the family who had Muscular Dystrophy (MD). For 19 years, he watched the effects that the disease had on the human body of his best friend, as well as the family structure. After losing his friend, Chris knew that his vocation would always be tied to this community whose challenges he knew so well. This experience prompted him to work the MD telethons and summer camps for many years. He worked at three different companies doing accessibility modifications to vans and automobiles, then became a rehabilitation specialist at the Gwinnett Medical Health System working in-patient, out-patient, sports medicine and acute rehab.
Chris joined FODAC in1993 as the donations manager. Because of his work to develop new resources for donations as well as expand existing ones, Chris was promoted to executive director of FODAC in 2001 and voted president in 2003. During this period, he guided FODAC through a difficult growing period to become what is now a national best practice program and the largest domestic distribution program of used Home Medical Equipment (HME). This program promotes increased independence and more participation in education, the workplace, and the community in underserved regions of Georgia and the Southeast.
Under Chris’ guidance, FODAC has launched two of its largest capital campaigns. The first campaign included major building renovations, such as energy efficient updates, lobby expansion, more interactive equipment for client usage and thrift store improvements. The second has focused on improving warehouse and production flow of HME throughout the facility, adding solar and LED retrofits and retiring the debt on the facility. These changes have increased efficiencies in service and capacity for delivery to clients and other regional partners. He created volunteer drop-off sites that have now expanded to over 30 locations around the state and South Carolina.
Chris secured a Federal Demonstration Grant from 2006-2010 to help create a network of access points for medical equipment across Georgia and the Southeast and the U.S. He is a member of Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and has established a relationship with Red Cross and GEMA to house and distribute disability shelter kits for general population shelters in Georgia. He also leverages new HME donations to assist regions affected by disasters around the country in collaboration with FEMA.
Chris currently serves on the National Task Force for Disaster Preparedness and the National Task Force for ReUse of Assistive Technology. He also serves on the Board of the Georgia Tools for Life Advisory Board at GA Tech. He has made presentations on the ReUse of assistive technology in S. Carolina, Denver, Orlando, California, Washington D.C. and Atlanta. Chris is an active Stone Mountain Rotarian, serving as President in 2014-15, and is proud to have been the District 6900 Rotarian of the Year (2017) after assisting with several local, national and international service projects.
Chris, his wife Laura and their three children are members of Briarlake Baptist in Decatur. He has also enjoyed serving in various ministries including the Atlanta Passion Play for 12 years.