Mark has 17 years of experience in strategic planning and group facilitation, economic analysis, business planning, demographic research, marketing strategy and public messaging, and event planning. For six years he was co-author and primary spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Enterprising States project, a national effort to share best practices in state economic development. Mark is managing editor and co-founder of the population and economic analysis site NewGeography.com. Mark’s economic and population analysis work has recently appeared in Politico, Forbes, Money Magazine, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
He has worked on economic development strategies and policy reports for cities in 13 states. He recently completed work leading multi-stakeholder committees to create vision and plans for its downtown and its arts community. Other recent projects include an effort to coordinate workforce and economic development cooperation in a 14-county region in North Dakota and Minnesota, and a task force developing talent strategy of a multi-county region on the Great Plains. He led a 20-member task force to address housing shortages in a small metropolitan area, and public task forces on the future of a public library, a project to address a community’s “social infrastructure,” and another to address homelessness using the “housing first” approach.
Mark has facilitated strategic and visioning meetings for organizations in the non-profit, energy, health care, insurance, and financial sectors. Mark has worked extensively on the Red River Valley Research Corridor initiative, an effort to improve the research capacity and create more high-tech jobs in the region. He was recently part of a team leading the North Dakota STEM Network. He has planned and implemented more than two dozen economic development action summit events.
Mark was the lead researcher for a report identifying new areas of growth: America's Growth Corridors: The Key to National Revival. Mark was a major contributor to The Rise of the Great Plains: Regional Opportunity in the 21st Century, a report laying out the case for future prosperity in America's flyover country produced for Texas Tech University in 2012. In 2014 Mark co-authored a report profiling the growth of female entrepreneurs across the nation for the Center for Women in Business and presented findings at their national summit. Enterprising Cities, released in late 2013 for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, profiled seven innovative regions and made the case for increased involvement by business leaders in their communities.
He recently co-authored or contributed to policy reports on the Wisconsin manufacturing economy, opportunity urbanism in Houston, the future of New Orleans, the economic trajectory of the rust belt, the future of San Bernardino County, and Cities for People. His latest policy work includes a study on small business regulation and a major report on the economic prospects for the heartland, both slated to be released in 2017.
In 2008, Mark was named one of the inaugural top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders on the Northern Plains by Prairie Business Magazine. Mark has founded networking organizations, served on numerous state and local economic development task forces, and has served as board member or president of non-profits serving the arts, youth sports, and entrepreneurship communities. He holds a business degree from the University of North Dakota.View entire team