Managing Director Legacy Venture
As a venture capital pioneer in Silicon Valley more than 30 years ago, Chris Eyre learned early on that venture capital can be a powerful engine of innovation and prosperity. First at Bank of America and then as a founding partner of Merrill Pickard Anderson & Eyre, Chris helped build the modern tech industry, company by company.
But as fast as his success came, so did another critical insight: that there’s more to life than money. “My children were growing up too quickly, often without me, during their formative years,” he said. So Chris passed the torch to his partners to allow him to be a better dad, serve in his church, and handle his investments and board seats with greater balance. Instead of missing his son’s basketball games, he started coaching them.
Later, as his children went off to college, Chris yearned to leverage his professional experience in a more meaningful way. He soon reconnected with his colleagues Jim Anderson and Russ Hall, who described how they were tapping the power of venture capital to make a real difference in the world. Chris knew he had found his next home, and he joined the team at Legacy Venture in 2001.
One of Chris’ inspirations was the humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, who said: “I do not know what your destiny will be, but the one thing I know: The only ones among you who will really be happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
In 2008, after helping guide Legacy through its next three funds, Chris was approached by his church to accept a three-year assignment leading its Toronto mission. After launching Legacy’s fifth fund and adding a strong third partner in Alan Marty, Chris began his service in Canada — continuing to actively participate in Legacy’s weekly partners meetings. In July 2011, he returned as a full-time managing director of Legacy.
Chris was a pioneer in the inaugural class of The Philanthropic Workshop West and is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF). He has served on the boards and advised several non-profit organizations including ALF, Benetech and the Global Philanthropy Forum. Chris earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Utah State University.
“We have great access to the best funds, and we’re catalysts for change,” Chris said. “For me, it’s the best of all worlds.” He and his wife, Hedy, continue to find their greatest joy in family with five children and 15 grandchildren.