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From baseball to business: Chris McCuiston’s latest star turn is on Crain’s “40 Under 40” list

By Omar Sofradzija, communications manager

During his college days in East Lansing, it was the baseball diamond that made Chris McCuiston famous. But in his professional business career in metro Detroit, what drives his notoriety is the kiddie pool.

McCuiston (BA Finance ’02), who with his wife Jenny founded Goldfish Swim School in suburban Birmingham, was recently named to Crain’s “40 Under 40” list for 2018. It is in recognition of the example the former MSU baseball star is setting in using business to better the Motor City.

Chris McCuiston
Chris McCuiston

The roster, selected by Crain’s Detroit Business, honors young metro Detroiters who are “building durable, supportive communities. And as they put people back to work, get them into homes, and help the next generation grow and thrive, they’re building metro Detroit’s future,” Crain’s wrote. “We think you should know who they are.”

The swim school has more than 80 franchises and roughly 1,800 staff members, and teaches more than 90,000 students each week.

“We are dealing with humans – of different ages, genders, and experiences – but consistency in our service is key,” McCuiston told Crain’s. “Learning to swim is a serious business … we are saving lives.”

Chris McCuiston in his Spartan baseball days. Photo courtesy MSU Athletic Communications.
Chris McCuiston in his Spartan baseball days. Photo courtesy MSU Athletic Communications.

At MSU, McCuiston was doing his part to keep the Spartans afloat on the base paths. The centerfielder shared team MVP honors in 2002, when he was team captain and led the Big Ten in batting average (.404), base hits (93), runs batted in (71), and doubles (22).

He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 31st round of the 2002 Major League Baseball player draft.

Whether in baseball or business, honors have followed the Eli Broad College of Business alum. Ernst & Young named McCuiston as one of its 2017 EY Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Michigan–Northwest Ohio region.

“We are building a legacy we can be proud of. We create jobs and careers from something people love, change lifestyles, and save lives,” McCuiston said, according to Crain’s. “I wake up feeling good knowing I’m adding value to my community.”

The inclusion of Broad Spartans on the “40 Under 40” list is no surprise to Sanjay Gupta, dean of the Broad College.

“To have Broad Spartans mentioned in Crain’s ‘40 Under 40’ is a reflection of how quickly and how well our young Broad Spartans are being successful and making a contribution in the workplace,” said Gupta. “Detroit is the direct beneficiary of a lot of this talent and effort and successes.”

You can see the full list at Crain’s Web site.


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