Keith Krass – CEO/Founder
CEO/Founder Keith Krass grew up in Beach Park, Illinois. The son of a Baptist preacher and a high school art teacher, Keith learned the importance of caring for those in need at a young age. “I vividly remember the time when I was six or seven years-old and my dad told me that we were going to give some of our toys to a family that had just moved to the U. S. from Kenya and had started attending our church”, Keith explains. “As a six year-old I wasn’t real jazzed about the idea of giving away some of my toys, but eventually I began to understand the importance of loving others well, and this is a lesson I am still learning today.” After graduating from Gordon College in 2008, Keith met with Ryan Smith (CFO of SWR) about starting a non-profit to help those in need. As a result of these meetings, So We Run was formed. In addition to his work with So We Run, Keith works at Gordon College as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Office of the Academic Dean and also as an assistant coach with the men’s varsity basketball team.
Ryan Smith – CFO
Ryan learned about generosity at a young age: “When I was about 8 or 9 years old I remember taking a car ride late one night with my parents. We pulled up to a house and my parents told me to run as fast as I could to the mailbox and put an envelope full of money inside, then sprint back to the car. The house was rented by a member of our church and they were going through some tough financial times. My parents wanted to help.” That is a lesson that has stayed with him throughout his life.
Ryan took his first overseas mission trip as a sophomore in high school. Spending two weeks in the Dominican Republic, he was shocked at the way many people lived and the lack of things he took for granted like clean water, clean clothes, and a roof over his head. “What amazed me, though, was that in spite of a lack of ‘stuff,’ the Dominican people had a truer sense of relationships than I had ever seen before.”
That first trip ignited a passion for overseas mission that continues to this day. Looking for a more direct and consistent way to help, Ryan latched onto Keith’s idea of a non-profit that would provide people in need with such a basic, vital good: shoes.
Ryan is a Certified Financial Planner™ and lives in Raleigh, NC. When not working to educate people financially, another of his passions, he enjoys being at the gym, playing basketball, reading, traveling, and pursuing his wife, Emily.
Matt Schwabauer -Content Editor and Logistics Coordinator
Matt Schwabauer was practically born into ministry, being whisked away from his “hometown” just nine months after being born when his dad accepted a call to pastor a church in Florida. It wasn’t long after that, when his dad joined the U. S. Navy as a chaplain, that Matt’s family’s world travels began in earnest. Having lived in many states including New Jersey, Viriginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts and California and countries such as Italy and England, Matt encountered many different people from all walks of life. It was through these various experiences throughout the years that have shaped Matt and have helped him to be able to connect with many different people groups. His wide range of experiences have given him a great compassion and brokenness for the lost. When not doing work for So We Run, Matt is the Traffic Manager in the Gordon College Design Center. He is also an actor, a writer and does some singing from time to time.
Drew Straton – Creative Director
As a graphic designer for a Boston ad agency, Drew was looking for a way to use his skills to benefit someone other than insurance agencies and coffee franchises. As a fan of shoes, traveling and Keith Krass, he found a perfect fit in So We Run. Outside of his work as Creative Director, Drew divides his time between watching football, eating burritos and biking around the streets of Southie with his wife.