A headshot photo of Chris Castro MBA '17

MBA '17

Director of Innovations
DaVita Kidney Care

Continuing the Legacy of Diversity

“Chris, trust me, go check it out, you’re a Fuqua guy.” These words from a coach would ring true for Chris Castro MBA '17. From the moment he stepped on campus, Chris felt a sense of intention and support. Most notably, Chris recalls walking through Fuqua’s front doors as a prospective student to be greeted by nearly 100 underrepresented minority (URM) Fuqua alumni who had all traveled to Durham to greet his cohort at the Duke MBA Workshop. It later became clear that they took time out of their busy schedules, their jobs, their ongoing projects, and even paid for their own airplane tickets. They believed welcoming people to the community was of great significance. Chris’ coach was right; if this was the spirit of Team Fuqua, then he indeed was and is a Fuqua guy. It’s the essence of unity and collaboration that fueled Chris’ passions then as a student, and now as an alumnus, mentor, donor, DEI advocate, and an all-around quintessential Team Fuqua leader.

Chris has a drive for giving back to the community and values supporting diverse talent. Thus, it’s no surprise that Chris is now at the forefront of alumni leadership as the incoming Chair of Fuqua’s Minority Alumni Advisory Board (MAAB). Sharon Thompson, Assistant Dean of Admissions and longtime MAAB supporter, has had the pleasure of working with Chris for many years. “Chris has consistently demonstrated his passion for advancing diversity initiatives at Fuqua—both as an engaged student leader and as an alumni admissions volunteer. He is a great person who cares deeply for our community, and it seems natural for him to transition into this position.”

With this title, Chris will join a robust host of prior board leaders as the first Latino chair. Where diversity already thrives, Chris is taking it one step further. “It’s an honor,” Chris explains. “The Minority Alumni Advisory Board was founded years ago and has continued to be more and more expansive of the communities it is able to represent through both its membership and support.”

The board exists to provide lifelong support for URM students and alumni in both their personal and professional endeavors. Supporting student diversity clubs, advocating for philanthropic support of the school, and cultivating a thriving alumni community are all pillars of MAAB’s work. Under Chris’ leadership, he aims to meet alumni where they are. Not all community members engage with the board or utilize their resources in the same way or on the same level. “We plan to direct our time and programming on engaging specific underrepresented alumni groups that have been less engaged historically.”

Throughout various MAAB virtual meetings and events, Chris can often be seen doing household chores such as folding baby clothes and matching small socks. Chris will be the first to tell you that his greatest calling in life is being a good husband to his wife, Annie, and a good dad to his three young children. He admits that there's a natural messiness to a full household with two working parents. It seems that his saving grace is that he and Annie are always willing to make sacrifices for each other. Chris recounts a special, yet strenuous, time in their lives. He was overwhelmed with work and strongly considering postponing applications to business schools until the following year. Annie, knowing that obtaining his master's degree was his true desire, offered to sit down with Chris over the weekend to brainstorm drafts and proofread his responses. The applications were submitted just in time. Afterward, “Annie was able to get back to all her free time that third-year medical students famously have.” Care, unwavering support, and partnership, all part of the ethos of Team Fuqua, seem to permeate Chris' life in both personal and professional domains.

To Chris, Team Fuqua represents more than just a slogan; it embodies “supportive ambition for something greater than oneself.” It's in the folding of baby clothes—the selfless preparation for future generations both inside and outside of Fuqua’s walls—that signifies Chris’ commitment to being a leader of consequence.