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Christopher Carr Jr. ’99: A Lifelong Learner

Oct 01, 2017

11/6/17

Rachel, Chris, and Evie CarrChristopher Carr's Randolph-Macon College education helped shape him into a traveler, discoverer, and lifelong learner. Carr, who graduated in 1999, majored in religious studies and minored in studio arts—disciplines that meshed well with his interests. But other classes he took, and experiences he had, opened new pathways of discovery for Carr.

Transformations
"I thought the campus was beautiful, and I was looking for a college that had small class sizes," says Carr, remembering his first impression of the campus.

Artistic Problems, a course taught by Studio Arts Professor Raymond Berry, was "the best class I ever took," says Carr, who was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. Courses outside of his disciplines—including Western Civilization and Art History— exposed him to subjects that he thought he had little interest in. "Today, those subjects are hobbies of mine," he says. "I read books and love to watch movies and documentaries on that stuff."

A study-abroad course in Guatemala, taught by former R-MC Chaplain and Religious Studies instructor Darryl Headrick, was a life-changing experience for Carr.

"I traveled to Guatemala my junior year," he says. "It was transformational for me. On the last day of our trip we took our host family out to a restaurant (the only one in the city). I asked them if they ate at this restaurant often. And they said they had never been out to eat before—in their lives. This example is just one of many of the experiences that blew me away as I realized how richly blessed I am. It was at that point that I knew that I wanted to devote my life to this mission's work and especially with working with the poorest of the poor."

Challenges, Rewards
After college, Carr moved to the Honduras for seven months to build houses and work with a local church.

"It was a difficult but rewarding chapter of my life," says Carr. "It was right after Hurricane Mitch. I helped build houses, working alongside other volunteers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras." 
Since that time, Carr has volunteered with missions and compassion-based work in 14 countries throughout Latin America, South America and Africa. In 2013, he headed a fundraiser—Wheels for Wells—in conjunction with Compassion Corps, a coalition that works toward alleviating suffering and advancing development in northern Africa through strategic partnerships.

"That summer, I arranged for a 10-person cycling team to ride 392 miles up the east coast from Nags Head, North Carolina to Ocean City, New Jersey with all of the proceeds going to going to clean-water projects in Mali and Liberia," he explains.  "We raised more than $40,000 for projects that create fresh drinking water for thousands of people. It was life-changing work in more ways than one. It was through the planning of the trip I met my wife, Rachel, and it is where I met Mark Oestreicher, who has been my business partner for nearly four years."

Career Trajectory
After returning to the States, Carr worked for GlaxoSmithKline (formerly SmithKlineBeecham), selling vaccines. After several years, he earned his financial and retirement-planning licenses and began working for the Vanguard Group, an investment management company.

"In 2001, while I was still working for the Vanguard Group, I started a side business called CCMA, later named Farotech," explains Carr, who designed websites for small businesses.
"That was 16 years ago," says Carr, who is now CEO of Farotech, which has grown into a growth-driven digital marketing agency and is based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
"Today, we employ 52 people in nine states and four countries. We specialize in inbound marketing—a comprehensive approach that helps innovate the lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion process," he explains. "We specialize in helping companies outperform their competitors on Google, Yahoo, Bing and social media. We service a lot of really large brands through the country, but our focus is working with companies in the Philadelphia area."

Learning How to Learn
"My R-MC education taught me how to read well and write well," says Carr, who lives in North Philadelphia with his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Evie. "Most importantly, I learned how to learn. Because of small class sizes, our professors really pushed us to go beyond the material on the written page. They pushed us to really think."

Carr's advice to new Yellow Jackets reflects his passion for discovery.

"Don’t view learning as a chore," he says. "Eventually you get to my age and the things you were 'forced to learn' are actually things that you will want to learn and know about just for fun. My biggest life lesson that I would say to anyone is this: If you live in America, and you are going to a school like R-MC, you are more blessed and have more opportunity than nearly everyone in the world. Embrace how fortunate you are and make the most of your life.”"