Meet Our Team

Chris Gates

Chris founded Mainsprings in 2006 after spending all his high school summers in Tanzania volunteering at a center for street boys. Chris has held many roles at Mainsprings during his time as CEO, and lived in Tanzania for 10 years overseeing the growth and development of the flagship campus. In 2016, Chris moved back to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma with his four boys as the Tanzanian team transitioned to be led by all East Africans. Today, Chris is passionate about everything he has learned in his 22+ years in Tanzania to help further Mainsprings. He is also on the boards of several organizations with similar missions to Mainsprings’ and is the Co-founder of the Earth Allies Restoration Network. In his free time, Chris enjoys gardening, entertaining, and working on his farm. (Read more about Chris’ Founding Story)