Professional Position: Retired Vice President, Environmental
Company: Archer Daniels Midland
Location: Ellisville, MO
A native of the state of Wisconsin, Mark was Vice President, Environmental for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). In that role, Mark had global responsibility for evaluating environmental issues and formulating effective strategies that helped shape company policies, standards and practices to achieve company goals. He and his team also provided services to help ensure the company’s compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Mark joined ADM in 1974 as a production engineer and held several other positions with the company in the U.S. and Europe, including plant manager; Director, Corporate Loss Prevention; and Vice President, Environmental Engineering Services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and had been a practicing environmental engineer for over 37 years. Mark was a member of and served in leadership positions with several industry trade and professional associations and organizations. He also served on several state and federal environmental advisory groups and committees representing his company, industry and the State of Illinois regarding environmental regulations and climate change. He retired in June of 2019 after a long and successful 45 year career with ADM.
Mark’s journey with the ALS Association began in June 2009, when his wife, Jane, was diagnosed with ALS at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During the wrap-up meeting with Mayo care services staff, Mark and Jane were given information about the St. Louis Regional Chapter and the St. Louis University ALS Clinic. Shortly thereafter, they were attending the clinic and Mark was learning what he could about The Association and the services it provides. In the following months, Mark formed a family Walk to Defeat ALS team, Jane’s Angels, and the family has been prolific in raising funds ever since. In the 10 years since the team was formed, Team Jane’s Angels raised more than $729,000 for the Association. After a heroic eight-year battle with the disease, Jane passed away on August 16, 2017. The legacy of Jane’s Angels continues with Mark, his children and grandchildren.
In 2014, Mark was referred by the St. Louis Regional Chapter and nominated by the Governance Committee to become a Trustee on the National Board of Trustees of the ALS Association. He was elected to the Board in February of 2015 and currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chair. Moreover, he is Chair of the Board’s Care Services Committee and serves on its Strategic Planning Committee. Additionally, Mark was elected to the St. Louis Regional Chapter’s Board of Trustees in March 2019.
Mark has become a passionate patient advocate. In addition to working directly with pALS and their advocacy needs, he has advocated on behalf of the ALS community with state legislatures and actively participates in the Association’s Congressional Fly-ins, National ALS Advocacy Conferences and Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill, and ongoing letter writing campaigns with the U.S. Congress.
Prior to Jane’s passing, Mark and Jane created a foundation that provided support and resources to needy families dealing with ALS in the Central and Southern Illinois region. Since then Mark, in cooperation with the ALS Association, created the first national ALS scholarship program. Called the Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, in honor of Jane’s courageous fight with disease and her love of education, this fund provides financial assistance to students pursuing an accredited college degree or vocational certificate, and whose ability to cover the costs is severely compromised as result of their family’s financial burden of ALS. 45 scholarships were awarded to the inaugural class of 2019-2020. At the same time, Mark also created, in cooperation with the St. Louis Regional Chapter, another fund to honor Jane and replace the foundation they had started years earlier. This fund is called Jane’s Angel Fund and it provides financial assistance to pALS and their families in the St. Louis Regional Chapter’s service area for everyday needs not covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.