Coaching Advising
Experience, ability to listen and talent for getting to the heart of things.
Peter Toepfer, Executive Director, Chicago's Center for Housing and Health (testimonial)

Leading agencies is hard work. A CompassPoint study found this in a median executive-director tenure is only four years or fewer and that 65 percent of agency leaders are “once-is-enough” first-timers in the job. According to the study, executive directors “enjoy their jobs as a means of addressing important community needs (mission) but don’t want to do it again because of the high stress involved (burnout).”

Though many experts bemoan the state of the field, there is much to celebrate when it comes to leading nonprofits. The CompassPoint study found that most executives take the job because of the “mission of their agencies as well as their own desire to help others and to give back to their communities.” Furthermore, almost all experience a high level of enjoyment in their work. Executive directors are not alone. In his study of 1,140 nonprofit employees, Paul Light found that nonprofit employees are “highly motivated, hard working, and deeply committed [and are] motivated primarily by the chance to accomplish something worthwhile.”

You have become, hands down, one of my most valuable resources.
William Hardy
, Chief Executive Officer, Equitas Health

Mark provides highly personalized coaching advising services to help leaders navigate the complexities of their work. Rather than a consultant who tells people what to do and how to do it, Mark partners with his clients to find the answers themselves, provides the accountability to stay on track, and "inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential" (International Coach Federation). Mark is the kind of trusted Coach Advisor that Bill Gates describes this way:

"It’s important to have someone who you totally trust, who is totally committed, who shares your vision, and yet who has a little bit different set of skills and who also acts as something of a check on you. Some of the ideas you run by him, you know he’s going to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, have you thought about this and that?’ The benefit of sparking off somebody who’s got that kind of brilliance is that it not only makes business more fun, but it really leads to a lot of success” (The Trusted Advisor).

Adding to Mark's substantial experience as a seasoned and successful chief executive, he is an International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach and an iPEC Certified Professional Coach. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership programs in Coaching for Greater Effectiveness and Leadership for Development, and he is certified to use all of the Center's assessments. He is also an experienced DiSC® facilitator.

Charles Handy writes, “In our hearts, we would all like to find a purpose bigger than ourselves because that will raise us to heights that we had not dreamed of.” Where better to find it than the nonprofit sector? And where better than First Light Group to find the Leadership Coaching and Advising to bring your future within reach?


Great results, personable, expert.
Nora Vondrell, Executive Director, SICSA Dayton

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