Chris Omacht '98
After 17 years with Victory Capital, where he rose through the ranks from institutional sales to president of the firm, Chris Ohmacht ’98 is ready to tackle new challenges as a board member of the newly formed Metro New York chapter of Gift of Adoption. Over the past 20 years, Gift of Adoption has awarded $5.8 million in adoption assistance grants to unite 2,005 children with families across the United States, including awarding nearly $200,000 to fund the adoptions of 55 children adopted into New York families.
Ohmacht, who has two adopted daughters now ages 9 and 14, was introduced to the organization through a colleague who also had adopted children. He became involved with its national board in 2012.
“I didn’t have much time to donate, but was able to help financially,” he recalls. “Last year, the organization reached out to me about starting a New York-area chapter. This is a much more traditional board role focused on getting the message out about Gift of Adoption, raising funds, and recruiting more Board members.”
“Any board or volunteer role is time consuming and requires more focus and dedication than people think,” he continues. “It’s double or triple the work when you’re starting something new. You do it because you believe in the cause. Every time I look at my girls, it’s nice to know that maybe I had a hand in helping another family, keeping a child out of foster care, and giving them more opportunities. To be a part of that and feel like you made an impact is very rewarding.”
“Adoption was such a rewarding experience for my wife and me,” says Ohmacht. “But while it’s rewarding, it’s also very expensive. There are a lot of children out there waiting to be adopted, and there are a lot of families who want to adopt. Gift of Adoption steps in to fill the financial gaps for those who need it. Our goal is to help children find good, loving families who will provide them with a safe, loving environment.”
Ohmacht realized in the mid-90s that he had to bulk up his academic credentials if he wanted to advance his career. Drawn to the flexibility of Pace’s MBA program and the convenience of its location in downtown New York City, Ohmacht notes that his professors made the biggest impact on him.
“Beyond the practical aspects of the convenience and flexibility of the program, I liked that many of the professors were professionals themselves,” he continues. “Taking a class with adjunct professors who were also practitioners was a very positive experience. I acquired skills and information that I applied every day in my job. From that standpoint, Pace turbocharged my career.”
He continues to draw on his Pace education in his new role with Gift of Adoption.
“When you’re part of a charitable organization and on its board, it requires the same skillset that you gained in school and put into practice in your career,” he says. “It becomes ingrained in your thinking. The practical knowledge that I acquired at Pace – management, leadership and financial principles - I still use almost every day.”
To learn more about Gift of Adoption, click HERE.