Hart Finds His Place at D’Youville
When reflecting on the best advice he’s ever been given, Wade Hart could take you to the exact spot he was standing when it was told to him. “It was like he branded it on my forehead,” said Hart.
“He just told me to just take a chance and don’t be afraid to go out on a limb a bit. That was huge for me because I wanted to know the answer before I did anything.” With a background as extensive as his, Hart has been given lot of sage advice. But that guidance from a previous boss — to take chances in life — sticks with him today.
As D’Youville’s new Chief Development Officer, Hart’s first few months on the job are exactly what he was hoping for. After working for similar smaller, private institutions, Hart was looking for the family atmosphere D’Youville provides. “You’re able to get to know people and interact with others, which I really enjoy — it’s a better fit for me,” said Hart.
On the outside, the world of development can look pretty boring, but Hart says that’s just the external perception because the process takes time. Hart says that the relationships you build over time are what make the job worth it. “You get to meet some really amazing people and hear some amazing stories. Everyone treats you very well with respect and it’s just very cool,” he added.
Hart also has his own competitiveness that drives him to succeed. His success, after all means success for D’Youville. “This business is similar to an individual team sport like wrestling or golf,” says Hart. “You go out there to win for yourself but also to benefit the team. I have the freedom to be creative, and that’s what keeps me going.”
Hart grew up just a few hours away in Ithaca, NY and the opportunity to be closer to his family is what drove him to come to Buffalo after receiving his bachelor’s in management and public affairs from Indiana University. “I played a lot of hockey here when I was younger so I knew the area a little bit. I’m still just three hours from home so I can get there when I want. It was just a very easy transition. Summers are beautiful and you’re on the water, these lakes are just a little bigger than the Finger Lakes though,” he joked.
Hart comes to D’Youville from Buffalo State College where he held the role of Major Gifts Officer and managed all aspects of development for the School of the Professions.
In his role as Chief Development Officer here at D’Youville, Hart is responsible for engaging alumni and friends of the College and serves as a member of the Advancement, Alumni Engagement, and Annual Giving departments.
When he’s not working, Hart is usually at home with his wife, Christine. The couple will celebrate 15 years together this Thanksgiving. “We we like to get outside, we could be doing anything. We spend time with her family who are also here in the area. I’m pretty lowkey.”
Just don’t ask him what his favorite movie is. “I couldn’t even tell you the last time I saw a movie! I get busted on all the time for not knowing who some people are.”
Now that he has his feet under him he’s excited to get more involved. “One of the exciting things about D’Youville is the curriculum that’s offered. That makes it easier for me to talk to people knowing we’re not swirling the drain – we’re on rock-solid footing here. That’s something I share with others – no one wants to invest in a loser, whether it’s a football game or the game of life,” said Hart.
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