- The connector-in-chief
The Art and Science of Connecting the Dots.
If the business community could use one word to describe Madison’s Mark Richardson, it would probably be “Connected.” Ask almost anyone who knows Mark to describe him and the word “Energy!” is probably going to come up (read more about Mark’s take on that, here)
Rw.E. (Real world Experience).
Mark has spent the better part of 25 years building authentic relationships that last. His professional network is considerable and stretches across the private, public and non-profit sectors. He understands the value of the word “Human” in the term Human Resources. And he knows the difference between “being a connection” and “having a connection.”
In Richardson’s words, “My career has centered on connecting the right people at the right time to change how we attack business challenges.”
From his early days as a young professional working in the worlds of agriculture and newspaper sales to an almost decade-long career in the telecommunications industry, Mark was considered a bit of a pioneer. Soon it wasn’t uncommon for him to be driving change. Soon change became the very thing he was hired to make happen.
After years as a thought leader and change agent at the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Mark caught the eye of the administration of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. He left the GMCC to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, a cabinet-level state agency charged with supporting Wisconsin’s (then) $13 billion hospitality industry. He finished his public service as Division Administrator with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce where he helped lead the agency’s Minority Business Development and Entrepreneurship Bureaus.
Returning to the non-profit arena, he joined the leadership team of the Urban League of Greater Madison as their V.P. of Workforce Development where he was responsible for the management, growth and evolution of that organization’s work readiness training programs and partnerships. Helping area employers identify and hire talented people became his passion. Mark was one of the chief architects in the design and creation of the region’s leading Workplace Diversity & Leadership Summit.
In addition to consulting with individuals and organizations Richardson also invests in the Madison region by lending his time and talents to several area boards, committees and commissions.
Current Board, Committee and Commission Affiliations: Monona Terrace Convention & Community Center, Downtown Madison Inc., the Mann Scholars Education Fund, Dane County Economic Development Commission and the Madison Region Economic Partnership Leadership & Diversity Committee.
Past Board, Committee and Commission Affiliations: City of Madison Redistricting Committee, United Way Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee, In Business Editorial Advisory Board, Madison College Community Council of Color.
Here’s Mark from a more personal perspective, in his own words:
I try to give off positive energy every day – not just for myself, but for others, and I tend to surround myself with people who are positive – regardless of circumstance.
The energy that used to get me into trouble at school (names of the teachers and grade levels have been omitted to protect the innocent ;-)) is the thing that fuels for my everyday life, both at work and at home.
The energy that used to drive my wife (who was NOT a morning person) a little crazy, is the thing that enables me to keep pace with her now as she’s become something of a fitness buff.
The energy that helps me step into new situations is the thing that helps me deal with “old thinking” and the status quo.
I’m a Midwesterner at heart, from the Chicagoland area. My wife is from Minnesota. We have lived in the Madison region for almost 15 years, really enjoy the city and are here for the long haul.
Madison is a great city … not perfect, but what city is? It’s got its challenges and in some ways feels like it’s just starting to grow up. If it were a person, I’d probably describe it as a teenager, complete with identity struggles and the occasional know-it-all attitude. But Madison also promises to grow into a really cool young adult and we love being part of its evolution.
A funny thing happens when you really love what you do for a living. You’re happier because you’re getting what you need out of your work. The people who matter to you are happier because … well, because you are. Your employer is confident and pleased with your impact because they see you investing in their mission
It is the rarest of birds … the win-win-win scenario!
So, why is this scenario so rare?
Maybe it’s because a lot of people have Unfinished Business. Contact us today and we will help you get started on yours.
I recently started a great new job with Mark’s assistance. From the initial screening through the final daylong interview, Mark had helped me focus on my strengths and how to best position myself with each interviewee, which boosted my confidence and really made a difference.
Mark values time and does not waste it and his purpose is to ensure that goals are accomplished and results delivered!
I had heard that Mark had a special way of strategically thinking about the issues related to career moves. This was absolutely what I experienced working with him.
“Rest assured that where Richardson goes you’ll see smart business decisions made in a fun, supportive environment.”
You reinforced some of what I’ve learned or suspected and gave me insights into new aspects of what makes me tick. Most importantly, you helped me to feel inspired about what’s next!
Mark helped me see my skills and strengths outside the context of the specific jobs I’ve had, and painted a picture of how I could apply that expertise and passion in fields and areas I hadn’t thought I was qualified for.
Mark’s process allowed me to get to know myself again (professionally) and created a safe space for me to be me.
Mark has strong relationships with many Dane County decision-makers in a wide variety of sectors and industries, making him well poised to help newcomers get their feet on the ground.
Mark Richardson is an engaging, upbeat, hard working bundle of positive energy. He is a trustworthy man who seeks to understand before taking action. I highly recommend working with him.
Mark really helped me to filter my search so that the only positions I would even consider were a true potential match to my professional goals. Today I am in a very challenging and rewarding position that is not only going to meet my needs today but also in the future.
- What Does Diversity Mean for Meetings? | DIVERSITY | 2015 1st Quarter
- Taking Care of Unfinished Business | THE MADISON TIMES | February 12-18, 2014
- Madison on the Move: Talent Magnet | MADISON MAGAZINE/Spectrum | January 2014
- Q&A: Mark Richardson leaves the Urban League to start his own business | THE CAP TIMES | September 22, 2013
- 40 Under 40 | InBusiness MAGAZINE | August 2008