I’ve spent my life studying health. Or, more precisely, what being healthy feels like. Grounded by chronic illness as a teenager, I was forced to spend a lot of time with myself, within myself. The bulk of my travel involved stumbling through the territory of pain and resentment in order to find comfort and ease. It was there that I realized the link between thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and physical health. It was this curiosity and passion for understanding the ways we connect with ourselves and others that led me to a job in hospice care (where I learned far more about living than dying), a Masters Degree in Holistic Health Education, and advanced study in clinical Ayurveda.
Our mental, physical, emotional habits change our bodies. Gratitude alters our cells, as well as carrying the potential to alter the expression of DNA of future generations. This has been acknowledged in Ayurveda for thousands of years and is now a studied and accepted hypothesis in modern medicine. We live our lives as teachers to some, students to others; all the while shaping our character through what we learn and what we are able to express along the way.
Originally from Stamford, CT, I moved to San Francisco after graduating with B.Mus from Berklee College of Music in Boston, lured by a memory of the sun setting over the Golden Gate bridge during a family vacation at age seven. After a variety of jobs from recording studio manager to voice actor to web coder (old school) to copywriter, I finally landed and settled in at Zen Hospice Project where I led the volunteer program and supported the daily activities of a residential hospice. This eventually led to a return to graduate school, study in India, the creation of my own wellness business Bija Ayurveda, and a faculty position at a Vedika Global College of Ayurveda.
My interest in creating Meaningful Act is the development of tools to cultivate those qualities which support optimal health. That which lives on the tips of our tongues, the forefront of our minds and in the habits of our scrolling fingertips shapes our perception of the world. I want to encourage and support the human habits that form beliefs about this world as a place capable of enabling innate goodness and appreciation.
I made a decision early in my life to pursue only what inspired me. As a result, I never went after prizes, but rather after knowledge and experiences. This led me to entrepreneurship, where I surrounded myself with extremely capable people, from whom I could learn. Along this path, I learned to hone my ideas, help others think through theirs, and find common ground for co-operation. This path brought me to the online platform space, where my interest has become to disrupt traditional paradigms and foster new functionality that helps users build community and expand productivity.
I am the head of development and a founding partner of Meaningful Act, Wonder Transmedia, and AlloPort. All three platforms expand how we express gratitude, obtain/apply skills, and improve quality of life, respectively.
I received my MBA from New York Institute of Technology, and my BA from University of CA,
Berkeley. I spent the first third of my career producing music, where I launched SISTA SISTA for RCA/Iceberg, Germany. I spent the second third of my career developing businesses as the Sr. VP Development for TransGlobal Ventures, where I successfully proved/leveraged an IP piracy solution in China. And now, I'm spending the final third of my career launching and managing platform businesses, where I am co-operatively disrupting established social media, education, and healthcare models.
Mark has pioneered digital marketing strategies since 1994 as both a consultant and a check-writing client, and he combines that experience with over 10 years of traditional marketing experience for consumer packaged goods companies.
His career began in the mail room of a "traditional" ad agency on Madison Avenue. After spending over a decade in the business he quit to focus on digital media in 1994.
His initial foray into digital media was working with an MIT Media Lab spinoff company where he co-produced the first concert to be broadcast via the Internet, the Rolling Stones live from Dallas, TX. He then co-founded one of the first digital agencies in NY which he sold to his partner when he was recruited to move to Colorado and lead Janus Funds into the Internet Age – which he did as their first “webmaster.”
He left Janus in 2001 and founded what became the 7th largest digital agency in Denver – Foci, LLC - and directed many of his agency resources to the community via pro-bono digital services and volunteerism.
After a stint as VP Marketing at a B2B firm in Denver, he was recruited to Iowa to become VP Marketing for Human Factors International – where he became a victim of the economic downturn and his job was eliminated in 2009.
He immediately formed Colloquy Digital, LLC. and a year later joined Meers Advertising as Director of Digital Strategy in addition to servicing clients at Colloquy.
In 2011 his client, Cambridge Investment Research made him an offer he couldn’t refuse – to lead the company into the new age of social media for financial advisors which he did while continuing to work consult with other financial firms including John Hancock Mutual Funds, Northern Trust, and RS Investments.
In 2014 Mark went back to consulting full time as outsourced CMO, digital strategist, and marketing technologist for small to mid-sized companies across the US.
Hailing from N. Massapequa, NY, (where he spent too much time on the beach), Mark holds a BS degree in Marketing from the University of Buffalo, is a graduate of Leadership Denver, and Leadership Iowa. He also taught promotion marketing and interactive marketing classes at NYU for 6 years, was a founding member of the NY Chapter of the Promotion Marketing association, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of The Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, a mentor for the Iowa Startup Accelerator, and is involved in numerous other not for profit and volunteer activities.
Award-winning pioneer in digital media, published researcher in digital presence and Internet psychology, and lecturer on the psychological impact of the Internet at universities and think tanks such as Stanford University, National Science Foundation, and National Defense University, Celeste thinks deeply of the higher level impact that digital presence has on the individual and on society.
However, never one to stay firmly in the hypothetical or philosophical, Celeste uses her technical and systems expertise to help start-up organizations realize their dreams, by moving theses deeper concepts into real world technology solutions. She has been Instrumental in a number of start-ups focused on the use of digital technology, including stored value cards, digital banking transactions, virtual reality in health and wellness, as well as in business, and data management solutions
In her personal life, Celeste has studied and has been certified as a Hospice volunteer and worked for a while with the UC Davis Hospice Program. Given her life experiences in this area she also brings a depth of understanding about the importance and healing that comes from expressing our gratitude to those that have made a difference in our lives, as well as the pain of never having the chance to do so.
As a member of the leadership team, Celeste is a technical leader who understands and can help navigate the organization through the technicals aspects of a fledging organization as it grows, but she can also help design systems that allows Meaningful Act to reach our goals of bringing more opportunities to the world to express their gratitude.
A life-long artist, the only path I was willing to consider was one starting at art school. Although The School of the Art Institute of Chicago offered a mulit-disciplinary track, I was drawn towards communication design. In short, like the way my brain feels on design. I thrive on a career that allows my curiosity to be fed by a wide range of clients and projects.
My first love was a passion for all things print, although through my 17 years of experience I've developed a well-rounded approach and expansive skill-set that I bring to my client's table. Working now as a creative director in identity creation, brand consulting, environment and exhibit design, no project starts without pen and paper.
I'm thrilled to be a part of the Meaningful Act founders, a group of people who humble me, push me and are willing to have me bring all that I have to bear.