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Serial entrepreneur. Venture capitalist. Venture philanthropist. Family foundation president. Sought-after board member. Software genius. Craig Young is all of these and much more. Yet, the title that he values most is father and husband. The arc of Young’s life has surpassed his wildest dreams.
Born in a poor area of Los Angeles, Young grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1976 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. By the mid-1990s he achieved tremendous success in the software industry as the leading outside software supplier to SDRC and Apple’s software subsidiary, Claris.
With this success came financial security for Young, his wife, Mary Beth, and their three children. They formed The Craig S. Young Family Foundation in 1995 to begin giving back and to hold funds until they had the time to responsibly distribute them.
Then, in 1998, Young and his brother, Jim, sold their most lucrative business to SDRC. “It was after 1998 that I began to have the time to take an active interest in philanthropy,” Young states. Young now sits on the boards of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Red Cross, the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cincinnati Zoo, among others.
His wife, Mary Beth, is an active participant in Impact 100, a local women’s giving circle, as well as being a board member of Kindervelt. Both he and Mary Beth have been active in Social Venture Partners Cincinnati since its founding in 2007.
With his systems background, Young became concerned about the systems nationally and regionally supporting volunteers, leading to the creation of the Cincinnati-based nonprofit, Inspiring Service, whose mission is to inspire and empower people and organizations to engage in volunteering that improves and strengthens their community and themselves.