On December 1st, Christian Theological Seminary named Charlie DeMaio its new Director of Development. Charlie will work with the Advancement team to grow the donor base and build relationships that connect the passion of our community to the CTS mission. His personal and professional experience is a fantastic addition to the CTS staff and a great fit for the CTS community.
A native of Long Island, New York, Charlie became a Sycamore upon his transfer to Indiana State University in 1970 and has identified as a Hoosier ever since. He met his beloved spouse Carol in college, and the two have been sharing adventures as a married couple for over 47 years. Charlie and Carol have a four-legged family member in their toy poodle Juliette. The two are avid international travelers who love to explore new cities and find hidden joys off the well-worn tourist path.
Charlie lights up when asked about Indiana basketball legend and fellow Indiana State alumnus Larry Bird. “We lived in Terre Haute after we got married, and we saw every single one of Larry Bird’s home games. When I was President of the Alumni Association at ISU, the athletic director asked me to get Larry to sign 10 basketballs for an auction. I was successful in that effort,” he says. Charlie did more than tracking down basketballs in that role; he served on three successful search committees for a new President, Vice President, and Dean for the School of Business. Lifetime membership in the ISU Alumni Association was founded during his tenure as president.
Ask Charlie about his personal interests and you are likely to hear a story about one of his many guitars, but only after humble protests that his musical background is just a hobby. Press a bit further, and you may be lucky enough to hear a story about Charlie’s teenage days playing bass in a band that won battles of the bands and toured with Dick Clark’s traveling show as an opener for the likes of Bread and the Supremes. You will almost certainly hear about his dear friend Curt (lead guitarist of the band) whom he has known since they were 11 years old and still talks to daily.
Charlie’s talent for connecting support to visions he believes in runs in the family. His father Paul was the oldest of 10 immigrant children whose parents came to the United States from Italy through Ellis Island. Paul quit school at 13, but never let it keep him from progressing in his life and career. He continued his education by frequenting the local library branch, reading and writing his way to his high school equivalency. Paul DeMaio retired to a small community in Florida. Upon realizing the town did not have a standalone public library, he campaigned and advocated until a dedicated public library was built – a place he believed was critically important to lower and middle class youth, a place where people could follow his example to access education (and now vital computers) in their own quests for success and a meaningful life.
This story is merely one of many that embody Charlie’s passion for education, connecting people and institutions who share a common mission, and growing support for causes he believes in. When you boil down all the amazing stories, you find this is the central tenet of Charlie’s work: relationships. From his relationship with his wife to his ability to connect with locals in his travels to his relationship with childhood friend Curt, every story he tells is marked with names and personal details of the people he’s met along the way. When asked what most excites Charlie about joining the CTS team, he shares, “I like the idea that my efforts will make a difference. We have an opportunity to build a strong base of support, and I really believe passionately in the mission of the institution and the base of donors that believe in achieving that mission. I have to believe in that shared mission – otherwise I can’t do the work.”
Professionally, Charlie worked for Marcraft Corp for 26 years, twenty as VP of Sales and Marketing. He worked as the Executive Director of Alumni Affairs for Indiana State University and Vice President of Development for the Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation. For the past 7 years, Charlie has been a consultant working with faith-based institutions on capital campaigns. In his role, he spent significant time getting to know congregations, not only raising campaign support but also building genuine relationships.
Charlie offers us this sentiment as he begins his journey with CTS: “Many people think development is about big events – it’s not. What it really comes down to is getting to know donors and building meaningful, long-term relationships.” Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Charlie DeMaio.