You What?

Chris Todia, CEO, Youth for Christ of Northern Indiana
Apr 5, 2021
Jeffrey Crane
You What?

Describe yourself in three words. Growing. Passionate. Loving. 

In what city did you grow up? Fort Wayne

What book has had the greatest impact on you? Love Does by Bob Goff. This book uses stories and simple truths to call us to tangibly love the people around us in the way of Jesus.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? My mom would call me Chris “Passionate” Todia. I was an odd kid who truly believed from a young age that I would change the world.

What famous person would you most like to meet? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I share a birthday with Dr. King, so from a young age I started learning of his boldness and commitment to doing what was right even in the face of great opposition. He stepped into a leadership role at a young age, and with his boldness, humility, and service to others, he was able change history. 

What is your favorite part of your job? I absolutely love building a great team and creating alongside people I love.

What do you actually do at your job? I work with our team to figure out how to get young people across northern Indiana into healthy transformational relationships with adults and peers. This looks like team building, hiring, problem solving, strategy, raising funds to accomplish the mission, meetings, building relationships and collaborating.

What do you love most about Fort Wayne? There is an optimism, unified vision and collaborative spirit welling up to grow and serve this community.

What was your first job? Sales associate at Plato’s Closet (yes, I was the only guy who worked there) 

What is your greatest accomplishment? Being a loving, loyal husband and father.

Who is your hero? My mom — she is an unsung hero who has impacted so many across this community in a deep way. Through her service to the homeless, the hurting, the orphans and the marginalized, she has modeled for me what true love looks like. 

What is your dream job? I’ve always thought it would be fun to own a sports team.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Not using a turn signal - I mean, come on :) 

Do you have a motto you live by? If so, what is it? Love extravagantly

What would you choose as your last meal? Buffalo chicken dip and lime tortilla chips while watching a football game.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party (living, dead, famous, real or fictional)? MLK, Joseph (Old Testament) and Mary (mother of Jesus).

What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island (other than food and water)? My Bible, fishing gear and a tarp - I think I’ve been watching too much Survivor

If you had a time machine, where and to what time period would you travel? I think it would be fascinating to go back to 1st century A.D. to be a part of the Church. growing and thriving after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Living with, caring for and serving one another. People taking risks for their faith, demonstrating the love of Jesus, and spreading the Good News.

Who would you like to see perform in concert? Stevie Wonder 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Here’s my short list - Israel, Switzerland, Fiji 

If you could solve one major problem, what would it be? I would work to address world poverty which is paralyzing for families and communities.

Where will you go on your next vacation? Family road trip through the Smoky Mountains

What’s one thing you can’t live without? Good friendships

If you could give your 15 year-old self advice, what would it be? Have some fun. You don’t need to get everything right. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Slow down

What is one important skill you think everyone should have? Empathic listening 

What skill would you like to master? Communication

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? I ate abalone and goat testicle during the same meal on a work trip to Shanghai. 

What is the most productive time of day for you? 10 a.m.

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing? Active philanthropy, helping entrepreneurs, real estate development. 

What gets you excited and driven to achieve? Getting to help people and getting to create alongside people I care about.

What moment in your life would you most like to go back and relive? It would be so fun to relive our wedding day.

When was the last time you cried and why? I cry moderately often out of empathy or while listening to music.

What is your earliest memory? Walking into the old YWCA on Wells Street with my mom.

When were you happiest? I am really happy when I have carefree times with friends - playing a competitive game and having good conversations.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? What are they? I get hooked on TV shows - New Amsterdam, This Is Us, The Good Doctor, and Survivor are some of the more recent ones I’ve been into.

What is your favorite…

Vacation spot? Visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Hawaii

Holiday? Why? Christmas because of the wonder of the season and the memories with family

Sports team? Colts

Song? I’ve been into anything from Maverick City Music recently

Drink? A good cup of Utopian Coffee of course

Candy? Reese’s

Pizza? Acme pepperoni

Season? Summer

Fort Wayne feature? Opportunity 

Fast food restaurant? Chipotle (not sure this counts)

TV show? Survivor

Hobby? Singing and learning piano

Flavor of ice cream? Salted caramel 

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