Unfinished Business


The Connector-In-Chief

Mark Richardson

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.

The Instigator

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.