WORK HARDER THAN HARD. TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DO. THE TEAM COMES FIRST. THE MOTTO CHRIS FREY LIVED BY DURING HIS TIME AS A COMPETITIVE ROWER TRANSLATES DIRECTLY INTO HIS WORK AT INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS.
Being able to inspire his team to produce great work — and take pride in the way it transforms the way businesses operate — is part of what Chris loves most about being a Software Architect and Interim Vice President of Application Services Operations.
Under his leadership, his team of software developers builds projects that range from small brochure websites to global business applications, digging deep into the customer’s process to learn where the problems lie and how the customer experience can be bettered.
The variety in project type and scope he encounters keeps Chris’ interest, as does the instant gratification he enjoys from seeing problems solved with strategic coding.
Chris graduated from RIT in 2007 with a bachelor’s in IT, carrying his all-night coding sessions and love of problem solving into his first full-time job as a web developer for a local startup. As its 10th employee, Chris was attuned to all the inner workings of a startup, watching the company grow to 35+ people as he worked on projects for businesses across the globe.
The small team and open startup atmosphere — one where working close and collaborating with those around you is the norm — is something Chris realized early on that he loved, and something he appreciates most about leading his team at Innovative.
Joining Innovative in 2012 as a developer before transitioning into Account Management, and finally into his current role as Interim Vice President of Application Services Operations, what Chris enjoys most now is the people he’s surrounded by, whether it’s the personality-based hires on his team, the leadership team he interfaces with daily, or the clients looking to better their customer experiences. Chris acknowledges that IT is more than a set of requirements, and oftentimes requires the hard work of asking more questions before they can be answered.
Chris is no stranger to hard work. He credits both his family as well as his coaches for the work ethic he developed early on. A lifelong soccer player, he discovered crew as a freshman at RIT, and quickly fell in love with its level of athleticism and competition. It was at RIT that he met his wife Fredyne, where they both now serve as the men’s and women’s novice crew coaches.
A native of Baltimore, Chris has a natural affinity for the outdoors. While he misses the seafood (he spent his teen summers sweating over steamers at a crab shack), the harbor, and his friends, he’s become a lover of Rochester — not in spite of, but largely because of its weather.
Come spring, summer, and fall, you’ll find Chris, his wife, and his dog, Henley, by the water — whether that’s at their cottage in Canandaigua or on the shores of the Genesee with the rowing teams. During the winter, you’ll find him hitting the slopes. In between? He’s likely working on projects around his and his friends’ houses.
Chris brings his high level of work ethic into everything he does, looking for every opportunity to challenge himself. It’s his way of consistently taking pride in what he does, day in and day out.