Chris is a lifelong native of East Tennessee. He was born in Chattanooga and considers Kingsport to be his home. He graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1990, and from East Tennessee State University where he earned three degrees: a B.A. in Sociology in 1994, a M.A. in Counseling in 2000, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2013.
Chris came to Gillespie, Inc. Crane & Millwright in 2014, after working at East Tennessee State University for over 14 years. He is married to Stephanie Gillespie Strode and lives in Johnson City, where together they raise three children, Carter, Riley, and Emily Strode. In his free time Chris enjoys fishing, hiking, canoeing, playing/listening to music, reading, and traveling with his family.