A lifelong interest in social justice and community engagement led Mark Skeie to the Minnesota-based Vital Aging Network (VAN) and eventually to the Age4Action Network.
After retiring from a long and successful career with the 3M Company, Mark was looking for what’s next. He had spent his career in numerous leadership positions and wasn’t ready to stand by and watch the world go by. After a comprehensive search for opportunities that would provide purpose in the next chapter of his life, Mark joined the Leadership Group of the Vital Aging Network, an organization that works to promote self-determination, civic engagement, and personal growth for people as they age. Two years later he became chair of the volunteer-led organization, serving in 2008 and 2009.
VAN’s hallmark program is ALVA Leadership Development, a program for people 50+ who are interested in applying their knowledge and skills towards leadership for the common good. Mark was a participant in the first ALVA class in 2003. Under his leadership as chair of VAN, the program was revamped and expanded in 2008. The program has trained 178 leaders and is being offered this year in six Minnesota locations in partnership with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. With funding from the New York Life Foundation, VAN plans to expand the program to Denver and Seattle with classes starting in October 2011.
Since its inception, Mark has represented the Vital Aging Network on the Age4Action Network Steering Committee. In February 2010, Mark was elected chair of the Steering Committee. “I believe the Age4Action Network adds tremendous value to the work we are doing in the field to engage people 50+ in helping to make our society work,” says Mark. “I am thrilled to be able to help lead this effort.”
Mark continues to be a member of the VAN Leadership Group and also serves on the boards of directors for the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, RSVP Minnesota, and Conservation Corp Minnesota. In 2005, he and his wife, Janet, created MYR Inc., a non-profit organization with the mission of helping individuals and organizations prepare for healthy, active, and productive retirement. Mapping Your Retirement is a publication of MYR Inc. and is available in bookstores.
In addition to all of this, Mark still finds time to do the traditional retirement things such as travel to Florida in the winter, trips to Europe, and golfing. His interests include hiking, fishing and travel. He also enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, especially at his lake cabin in northern Minnesota.