UNITE is a consulting, training and technology company developed to help “unite” universities and industry partners. It was built by two higher education professionals to solve the fundamental and systemic problems they experienced and overcame as practitioners. UNITE has a three-ring offering and when implemented it accelerates the university/industry partnerships.
Christy and Chris were hired by Ohio State in January, 2017 to launch the university’s first central, holistic corporate engagement office. They both came from industry. Chris, most recently at Nationwide (Fortune 80) where he managed top tier, high value partnerships that touched many areas of the enterprise. Christy worked for the regional chamber of commerce where she saw firsthand how difficult it was for companies to engage with academia. When they arrived at Ohio State, they collaborated to build a process to overcome the systemic challenges universities face when working with the business community. The proprietary five phase process (UNITE 5) and technology (UNITE Valuation Tool) they developed is now the foundation of the company’s service offerings and being activated by partner universities across the US.
Christy and Chris invented the UNITE suite of tools for their role at Ohio State. While officing in the Ohio State Technology Commercialization Office their work got the attention of Licensing Managers and they filed an invention disclosure. Soon after (and countless meetings with compliance), they began marketing to other universities to prove utility outside of Ohio State. UNITE is a licensed technology and a portfolio company of The Ohio State University.
With an entrepreneurial spirit, Chris and Christy left their roles at Ohio State to go “all-in” with UNITE in September 2021.
Prior to starting UNITE and BridgED, Christy led the first ever holistic corporate engagement effort for The Ohio State University. In this role she served as the single point of coordination and liaison between business partners and the university. She managed a portfolio of companies who partner with Ohio State and drove corporate engagement in the areas of philanthropy, research, student hiring and more. In the fall of 2020 Christy lead the campus re-open team and rolled out the operations of the single surveillance COVID-19 testing site that tests nearly 45,000 faculty, staff, and students weekly.
Prior to Ohio State, Christy worked as Vice President of Business Services at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. In her role, Christy worked directly with over 600 companies and organizations throughout the Columbus Region in various industries. During her tenure, Christy helped members add $10m+ in new revenue, 300+ jobs and 200k sq ft in expansions.
Prior to joining the Chamber in 2011 she was the Director of Operations for 1400 Aveda Salon and Spa's located in Grandview, Downtown and New Albany. Christy was responsible for all company operations, new salon growth, the opening and build out of two new salon and spa locations as well as talent retention and acquisition.
Christy received her Bachelor of Science Degrees in Marketing and Business Administration at Franklin University. Christy lives in Upper Arlington and serves on the board for The Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corporation, Columbus Startup Week and is active with various organizations and her children’s school. She also served on the Board of Directors for Relā.
Prior to starting UNITE and BridgED, Chris led the first ever holistic corporate engagement effort for The Ohio State University. In this role he served as the single point of coordination and liaison between business partners and the university. He managed a portfolio of companies who partner with Ohio State and drove corporate engagement in the areas of philanthropy, research, student hiring and more.
From 2010-2017 Chris worked for Nationwide where he held the title of Director, Sports Marketing. He led a team who managed a portfolio of high-profile sponsorships which included NFL teams, the PGA TOUR, Diversity and Inclusion, Columbus Marathon, and Columbus Zoo properties. Chris also managed athlete endorsement relationships including Earvin Magic Johnson, Tavis Smiley, Hines Ward, Bill Haas, Jack Nicklaus, and USA soccer star Alex Morgan. During his tenure at Nationwide, Chris served as President of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, a Korn Ferry Finals tournament played at Ohio State’s Scarlet golf course. In this role he led a board of prominent central Ohio business leaders and the tournament which generated over $1.7M in donations to Nationwide Children’s annually.
From 1996-2010 Chris was employed with Real Living, Inc., one of the top five real estate brokerages in the US. During this tenure he held various sales and marketing related roles and was instrumental in the firm’s explosive national growth. He was accountable and responsible for sales, merger/acquisition activity, marketing, and overall growth of the brand. Due in large part to this effort, Real Living experienced significant growth and penetration into new markets which ultimately led to Real Living being purchased by Berkshire Hathaway. The brand was named “Fastest Growing Real Estate Company in the US” by the Swanepoel Report for three consecutive years under Chris’ leadership.
Chris Svec is a graduate of Ohio University and resides in Powell, Ohio. He is an avid pickleball player and sports fan.