Christopher Wagner

Christopher Wagner

Christopher Wagner, SVP ’86, ’94 of Bradenton, Fla., is vice president of Marketing for CSDVRS, LLC. He previously was a consultant and executive director of Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Manatee and Sarasota Counties, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Pasco and Hernando Counties.

With a degree in social work from RIT’s College of Liberal Arts and a background in healthcare administration, Wagner has used his considerable skills to improve life for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.  He was responsible for the implementation of the first deaf assisted-living facility and nursing facility in Florida.  Largely responsible for the creation of the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Wagner was appointed by governor Jeb Bush as the council’s first member and chairperson.  He also has served on numerous boards, including Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc., serving as president for four years, and as vice chair of the Governor's American with Disabilities Act Working Group. He was the first president of the Florida Coalition for Disability Rights.

Currently, he is on the board of directors of the National Association of the Deaf as vice president and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Wagner has received many awards for his leadership and advocacy on both state and national levels, including the first Claude Seale Advocate Award from the Florida Independent Living Council, the Robert Greenmun Award for State Leadership Excellence, and the Knights of the Flying Fingers Award from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

He enjoys spending time with his wife, Staci ’92, and their two children, Justin and Lauren.

How RIT/NTID has contributed to your success?

My years at RIT were key aspect to becoming the person I am today. Growing up without support available to deaf and hard-of-hearing people, I faced challenges and uncertainty of what my life would be, until I stepped on the RIT campus during my junior year in high school. From that moment, I saw the doors of opportunity open for myself and many others.

I gained not only academic knowledge at RIT, but leadership and communication skills which lead me to my current career. RIT impacted my life in so many ways and I am so fortunate that I immersed myself in all of the activities RIT had to offer. There were a few people, specifically Vernon Davis, who became part of my life, providing guidance throughout my college years.

Today, I can say with pride that RIT is truly a place of opportunity not only career-wise, but personally. I met my lovely wife, Staci Blumenfeld here 20 years ago.