Q&A with Chief Development Officer John Feudo

Last week, United Way welcomed new Chief Development Officer John Feudo to lead our development team. You may have heard that he joined us from Boston College and has published books on alumni relations and volunteerism, but we wanted to know more about the “new guy”.  From why he wanted to work at United Way, to his preferences in reading materials and reflections on his professional baseball career, get to know John Feudo.

Where do you live?
Littleton, Massachusetts

What is your favorite lunch spot?
BC Club, of course! Here in Fort Point so far I’ve enjoyed Papagayo and the soup at Bees Knees.

What are you currently reading?
I read a lot, and a wide range of things. Right now I’m reading Moonlight Murders. Before that I read Crash and Burn, the autobiography of Artie Lang, and before that Vatican Diaries.

What do you think will be your biggest challenge at United Way?
Developing culture of “relational giving”, which is building relationships to the point where donors don’t just write checks but understand impact their philanthropy is having every day.

What are you most looking forward to in this job?
Pursuing such a great mission and supporting local families. Understanding United Way’s work and the impact it has on a daily basis in our community was what really made me want this job. Donors in higher ed don’t see that impact everyday; here you can.

Did you have any career mentors?
I’ve been most influenced by colleagues rather than mentors in my career. The people I work with everyday inspire me, and none more so than the volunteers. I really value and am proud of the relationships I have built with donors and volunteers over the last 30 years. Their passion and commitment always inspires me.

Have you been to the NH Seacoast office and what is your favorite thing about the area?
I have and I’m really excited to continue getting to know the team up there. Portsmouth is actually one of my family’s favorite places. We often drive up to the Friendly Toast for breakfast – we like it better than the one in Cambridge!

What was your first volunteer experience?
As a kid, my parents took us to Italian Home for Children in Everett every Christmas to bring presents. It’s a tradition we’ve continued as a family. In fact, my youngest daughter for her birthday every year asks friends to bring books instead of gifts, which she donates to Children’s Hospital.

Where was your most recent vacation?
The family went to Cape Cod last summer. We’re going to Atlantis in the spring and looking forward to a trip to Europe this summer.

Any favorite candy or food that a staff person should bring if they want to get on your good side?
I am a softy for cookies.

What is something people may be surprised to know about you?
I played one season of professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, fulfilling a childhood dream of being a baseball player like my idol, Carl Yastrzemski. Unfortunately, Yaz is probably a better player now at age 75 than I was when I was playing. The good news is I did get a chance to meet him once, and told him he was my idol. For some reason, he didn’t reciprocate. That’s when I knew my career was over.

Are you on Twitter?
Yes – for more brilliant insight, follow me at @JohnFeudo

See the original announcement and more about John in the press release.