Take Five – Board Member: Chris Haines

This is the sixth in our new series of “Take 5″ interviews designed to introduce you to the members of the Board of Directors of the Albion HS Alumni Foundation. We will highlight one board member at a time until we have introduced you to all of our members. This post will highlight Chris Haines.


Today we “Take 5″ with Chris Haines

AHS Alumni Foundation Board Member


Chris Haines graduated from Albion HS with the class of 1977. He went on to attend the University of Michigan to study Economics. Chris returned to his home town to start a career in his family’s business. He has been an insurance agent for 35+ years at Albion Agencies in Albion – a traditional Main Street insurance agency offering auto, home, and small business insurance. Chris’ personal specialty is insuring local municipalities. He boasts that he has a great staff that makes his business life easy. Chris and his wife, Pat, live near Lake Ontario in Carlton with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jasmine. The couple has a daughter, Amanda, who is a history teacher in Charleston, SC.  In his spare time, Chris likes to travel, bike, hike, and kayak. He also does a little woodworking and enjoys watching sports.


And, now for our interview:

1.     When did you join the board of directors and what is your role?

1988 – right from the start. I’ve been President and Treasurer – I think one or the other every year. I am currently the President of the Foundation.

2.     What sparked your interest in being a part of this board and what do you like most about what the Foundation does and your involvement in it?

Charles Vick approached me in the late 1980s to tell me about the alumni organization that several community leaders were working to get off the ground. I was really interested in the scholarship ideas and the financial aspects of the organization. We started with some seed money from an old scholarship program in honor of alumni that served in the armed forces, but not much else – no class lists, no alumni names or addresses. Over the years, we’ve had a tremendous amount of help and support – from the school administrators, guidance department, and especially from our fellow alumni – to build the scholarship program and the network of financial supporters for the Foundation. What I like best is the opportunity to work with friends to maintain and grow our support for ACS and its graduates.

3.     Tell us about your experience at Albion HS and how your experiences influenced you either in school or in your life after school.

Well, I think most all of my teachers had a positive influence (though I probably didn’t think so at the time!). The science teachers – Mr. Salchak, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Bovenzi – stand out because they put an emphasis on not just answering questions correctly, but on understanding and exploring the material in depth. This was a big help to me in college, even though I didn’t take higher level sciences. Mr. Chamberlain, in particular, has been a role model for me and a good friend to this day.

4.     What motivated you to go into the career you chose and what led you to your higher education choices?

I studied economics at the University of Michigan. I made that choice because it kept my options open – I was thinking of a career in math, corporate finance, or law. I decided to come back to Albion to try out the family insurance agency……and I’m still here after 34 years!

5.     What advice / words of wisdom do you have for our current students and recent graduates?

Think beyond Albion – there are so many exciting opportunities to explore. I wish I had considered architecture or engineering, though I might very well have made the same choices, anyway. We now have a scholarship for Chemical Engineering majors and there are all kinds of great careers in the sciences and math.

But, then think back to Albion – there are opportunities right here to build your own business and career. And its certainly a low-stress life here compared to a city or corporate environment.


Watch in the coming weeks for more from our board members.

Posted by Kim Wright Pritt