Chris Mello joined Alta as an Associate in July 2000 and was only 25 years old when he tragically lost his life on September 11, 2001. While everyone at Alta regrets that we only had 15 months of time with Chris, we are nonetheless entirely grateful for having the chance, no matter how brief, to befriend him and witness his enthusiasm for life.
Remembered by almost everyone as a talented, kind, humorous, modest and passionate young man with a resume full of accomplishments, we at Alta will most remember Chris for being a truly wonderful friend. The single word that best summarizes Chris’ life is “dedicated” dedicated to his family, dedicated to his girlfriend, dedicated to his friends, and even dedicated to his job. Chris would do anything to help a friend, no matter how trivial or time consuming. Always giving of himself, Chris was invariably the quickest to lend a hand and volunteer for the hardest jobs that no one wanted. He was a true competitor who balanced these competitive instincts with kindness and humor. As a member of Alta’s basketball team, Chris used to joke that his game didn’t get to full speed until he had shot his first “air ball.”
A native of Rye, NY, Chris demonstrated outstanding abilities as both a student and athlete. A 1994 graduate of Rye High School, Chris served as Vice President of his senior class, was a member of the National Honor Society and received the University of Michigan Book Award for Academic Excellence. In addition, he was a three-sport varsity letterman in football, basketball and baseball. His accomplishments in football were particularly noteworthy. During his senior year, Chris co-captained the Rye High School football team that went to the New York State finals and Chris was voted the most valuable defensive player of the tournament.
After high school, Chris attended Princeton University where he majored in Psychology. He was a member of the Cottage Club where he served as Vice President, Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, the 21 Club, and he was also a skilled member of the Rugby Club. After Princeton, Chris joined BT Alex Brown in Baltimore, Maryland as a financial analyst in its media investment banking group. After hearing that Chris was Alex Brown’s best media analyst, Alta persuaded Chris to move to Boston and join its media team as an Associate where he worked with numerous traditional radio and TV companies.
Chris’ loss is truly tragic and we cannot help wondering how much Chris might ultimately have contributed to the world. While we at Alta thought we knew of all of his unique abilities, only after his death did we discover that he was also secretly a gifted poet.
The passage of time has not lessened our pain at the loss of Chris but the Foundation has made such a difference in dealing with that loss. It has done so much good and helped so many. We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this living memorial for Chris and Dave possible. We are especially grateful as the10th anniversary of September 11th approaches that we can look at the Foundation as such a positive thing coming out of that terrible day.
— Doug and Ellen Mello
My brother Chris was a remarkable person who made a profound impact on everyone who came to know him. I think the Foundation continues to be a fitting and lasting tribute to Chris and David, and the manner in which they lived their lives. While Chris’ death remains as much a source of sadness today as it was nearly ten years ago, I take great comfort in knowing that the Foundation’s efforts are making a huge difference in the lives of many wonderful people. As always, I am so grateful for those who have sustained the Foundation since its inception, as their generosity with both their time and financial support inspires me to look for new ways in which to honor Chris’ memory.
— JD Mello