2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Outstanding Young Alumni
Chad Michael Nash (13C)
As a student at Berry, Chad Michael Nash was deeply affected by his work on the student philanthropy team, developing a drive to work to uplift others and leave the world a better place.
"My Berry mentors gave me the courage and confidence to pursue work in philanthropy, which was outside of my field of study," Nash said. "This was the foundation upon which I've built my career, working to ensure that nonprofits have the funding and resources necessary to fulfill their missions."
As a staff member at for the annual fund and alumni relations offices at Berry shortly after graduating, Nash discovered that many classes had raised significant funds for their senior class gifts. By reaching out to the class presidents, he worked to combine those class gifts into one new scholarship, the Save a Student Scholarship fund, which provides emergency funding for those experiencing unexpected financial burdens that would otherwise force them to withdraw. He worked with the student body to ensure that new class gifts would replenish this fund, making it available for students each year.
"To date, this scholarship fund has rescued 89 Berry students and is the proudest accomplishment of my career," he said.
During this time, he also founded the Young Alumni Partnership Program (YAPP), a mentoring effort that pairs graduating seniors with young alumni living their "next step" in life. The program garnered the attention of other colleges, and he was asked to present on the program at the Georgia Educational Advancement Conference in 2015.
In 2016, Nash began work for EARTH University, a nonprofit university based in Costa Rica working to educate young leaders in developing regions of Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean in sustainable agricultural practices and entrepreneurship, with the ultimate goal of having these students return to their communities to start environmentally sustainable agricultural businesses that are able to employ others in their communities. At EARTH, Nash managed the annual fund, and during his time there he increased direct mail revenues by more than 200%.
Nash now works for Park Pride, a nonprofit working alongside community members in Atlanta to activate the power of neighborhood parks. Currently, he serves Park Pride as Manager of Corporate Relations and Individual Giving, securing grants, sponsorships and general funding from Atlanta's business community.
He has led many instructional seminars in diverse communities throughout Atlanta, teaching community advocates techniques to maximize their fundraising efforts for their local parks and helping individuals to be agents of change in their communities. He has also served on the planning committee for the Atlanta March for Science, a national advocacy effort working to advance the influence of science-based rationale in public policymaking.
He volunteers with Trees Atlanta, a group working to protect and enrich Atlanta's signature tree canopy. He also volunteered throughout Georgia to increase awareness and support for the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment, a bill that set a small portion of the tax revenue generated from the sale of outdoor sporting equipment aside to bolster funding for public land acquisition and maintenance. The amendment was ratified in 2018.
Nash has served the Berry Alumni Council in both appointed and elected roles, including that of council secretary as well as being a member of the Nominating and Engagement committees.
Additionally, Nash served as a YAPP mentor from 2016-2018, chair of the Class of 2013 reunion committee and campaign owner for the 2019 Save a Student Scholarship crowdfunding project.