Director of Wellness and Employment, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services | Mark’s 30+ years’ professional experience began as a team leader in the United States Army. Upon leaving the Army, Mark worked for the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole as a parole officer, assisting people with reintegration into mainstream society. He was promoted to hearings officer and presided over cases offering recommendations to the Board of Parole regarding whether a person should remain incarcerated or be released from prison. This work involved assisting people of varying educational levels, many of who lived with behavioral health, co-occurring, and physical disabilities. During this time, he began his academic track where he would eventually obtain a B.S. degree in Sociology, an M.S. degree in Human Development and Leadership, and an Education Specialist post master’s degree in Education Leadership. Mark began teaching criminal justice and general education classes for a local college and was offered a full-time position as the department chair of a Criminal Justice program. He served in this role for three years before accepting a position as campus director at another college. Over the next five years, Mark was responsible for managing the daily academic, financial and administrative performance of the campus.
In Mark’s current role as the Director of Wellness and Employment, he works with community mental health providers across the state who use the My Health, My Choice, My Life peer-led health and wellness initiative and the Individual Placement and Support supported employment model to help individuals improve their health, wellness behaviors and find competitive integrated jobs.