Mark S. Lewis
Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Mark received his BS degree in Finance from Boston College and an MBA in Marketing from Tulane. He joined IBM in 1981 and received many awards including Rookie of the Year in the Southern Region and a Golden Circle award in 1988. Mark voluntarily left IBM in February 1994 and helped form Communiqué, a New Orleans based Internet Service Provider (ISP).
As President of the company, Communiqué quickly became the Gulf South’s fastest-growing ISP, building a client base of over 10,000 users. After Communiqué was purchased in 1997, Mark left a year later and formed EyeOnet, an Internet sales, and marketing consulting firm, which then merged with two other businesses to form a full-service network and Internet services company called Orange Twine. In November of 2000, Orange Twine was chosen by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce as the Rising Tide Small Business of the Year in Technology.
In October of 2002, Mark assumed the role of President of the Louisiana Technology Council (LTC) to assist with the technology development of Louisiana. In November 2005, Mark was selected by the Governor’s office as Technology Leader of the Year for the State of Louisiana. Through his leadership, Louisiana became one of the top three states in the country in technology jobs and wage growth. In 2006, Louisiana was ranked 49th out of 50 states in technology employment. By the end of 2010, Louisiana had jumped to 32nd place.
As President of the LTC, Mark has been the commencement speaker for ITT Technical Institute and Remington College on the “Elements of Success after you Graduate.” He has spoken at the graduating class of Operation Hope on the “Trials and Tribulations of Being an Entrepreneur” and has also given annual presentations to the Louisiana Technology Council membership on the state of technology in Louisiana. He has also written several articles on Entrepreneurship for Silicon Bayou News.
For the past twelve years, Mark continues to appear live on WWLTV’s (Channel 4) monthly TV program called “Digital Gumbo,” demonstrating the latest developments in technology, and he helps promote local technology companies throughout the region. He has also participated in numerous panel discussions throughout his career on entrepreneurship and technology.
In November of 2012, Mark left the LTC to become a principal partner and then the Managing Director and then owner of the business management and executive coaching firm, Simmons & White (S&W). He quickly adopted his old company name, Communiqué, because of its tremendous success. Mark coaches entrepreneurs and small businesses on their drive towards success while also helping organizations develop business strategies for growth and prosperity. Each year he moderates three CEO Round tables consisting of 15 – 18 CEOs that meet 10 times a year to help with their growth and success across all business functions. For the past 8 years, Mark has also been the Project Coordinator for Louisiana’s largest Annual IT Symposium, developed specifically for CIOs, CTOs, VP’s of IT (etc.), and their direct reports.
In 2019, Mark self-published the book, “GIVE A DAMN! – The Ticket to Cultural Change” (www.giveadamnbook.com). A highly enjoyable, engaging, and quick read, GIVE A DAMN discusses the challenges facing society and business, how we got to where we are today, what needs to be done, and how a GIVE A DAMN attitude can culturally make a difference, both professionally and personally. Mark has identified nine areas that have contributed to our ego-driven society and why it’s causing much pain across business and the world. Mark’s goal is to create a “GIVE A DAMN!” movement, an initiative that will change business and the world and offers suggestions on what people can do to make a difference. Give a Damn has made a big difference in company cultures and has helped develop a new happier attitude in organizational success. He has appeared on several national radio shows promoting his movement, including the Frankie Boyer Show (Boston), the Ed Tyll Show (Starcom radio in New York City), and The Tom Barnard Show (92 KQRS in Minnesota).
Mark is a highly successful, energetic, thoughtful leader, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker. His presentations provide for engaging and interesting stories, while also providing the motivation and insight to help businesses and individuals succeed at all levels.
Mark is a member of the Entrepreneurial Organization (EO) of Louisiana and serves on the Board as Membership Chair. Through his leadership, Mark helped EO of Louisiana become the fastest-growing EO Chapter in the country. In addition, EO of Louisiana received the Global Award for Excellence in Membership practices, which was awarded in Macau, China on April 14th, 2019. Based on his leadership and success, in July of 2019, EO of Louisiana awarded Mark the “Marshall Klein Louisiana Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.
Other bullet points about Mark:
• Selected Newspaperboy of the Year in Rochester NY in 1971; Gannett Newspaper Scholarship Award – 1975
• Founded Student Energy Commission at Boston College; the $2500 invested in Mark’s program saved Boston College over $250,000 in energy savings in 1978
• Created registered slogan: “Louisiana – Tech Capital of the South” in 2002 that propelled Louisiana towards technology leadership in the USA.
You can connect with Mark here: