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Updated: August 7, 2020 / 2020 40 Under Forty Honorees

Christopher Cusano


Christopher Cusano

Age: 36

Company: Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance Inc.

Title: Executive Director

No. of years with current company: 6

Town where I live: West Hartford

Town where I work: Avon

College: UConn; Roger Williams University School of Law

Highest degree: Law degree

Chris Cusano is the executive director of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance Inc. (CTBTA). After spending many years working in the legal sector, Cusano’s desire to effect change steered him to the United Way.

Ultimately, his passion as a brain tumor survivor and advocate led him to the CTBTA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing hope and support to brain tumor patients and caregivers, while advancing brain tumor awareness, quality of care and brain tumor research.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

My biggest accomplishment has been my transition to the nonprofit sector, specifically for the cause that impacted my life. I came out of law school with grand ideas about how to change the world, but I didn’t know how until I began volunteering for the CTBTA in 2014.

How are you involved in the community?

As a past board member and current staffer of the CTBTA, I provide hope and support for brain tumor patients and their families through our Gray Ribbon Club and Good Grief Group. I also collaborate with some of the most brilliant minds at our partner hospitals to advance awareness and treatment.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my wife Ashley, our trusty companion Coddington and our families. I also enjoy writing entries on my blog, playing the piano, golfing (the few times a year I get out there) and rooting for the Yankees, Giants and UConn athletics.

How did dealing with the coronavirus pandemic help you grow as a leader?

Navigating the organization through these uncertain times has presented new obstacles for patients, families, medical providers and our organization. However, brain tumor diagnoses and patient needs have not disappeared, so I was required to re-examine our programs and the means by which we deliver them, which perhaps is a blessing in disguise.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

In 2020, the CTBTA increased its total grant funding to partner hospitals by roughly 18% compared to 2019.

Tirelessly advocates for each patient and caregiver who contacts the CTBTA for support.

Recently nominated to serve on the external advisory board for the Yale SPORE in Brain Tumors at the Yale School of Medicine.

Maintain volunteer connections in the community and value the importance of giving back philanthropically to organizations in need.

Fun Fact 

My first job was working as a MLB GameCast operator for ESPN.

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