Mark T. Burke, Lead Doer, Thinker, Builder
A passionate systems builder, organizational developer and entrepreneur.
I love to “see” minds change and ideas blossom. That’s why I do what I do. Ideas bounce around in our heads all the time. Whether we’re entrepreneurs, CEOs, secretaries, parents, non-profit board members, coaches, cyclists (I know my cycling friends share a TON of ideas while we’re riding) or nurses, ideas get stuck in our heads or worse, lost. Do you know that most ideas never come to reality simply because we don’t know what to do first? Imagine if we did the first thing and moved on to the second. What could we accomplish?
For nine years, I’ve spent my days at THINK’ID8 helping others “see” their ideas and “map” plans to make them real. I’ve focused on what’s in my heart, K-12 education, organizational development and leadership (teams and people), and entrepreneurism (kids and adults). What else is there? Kids, teams of people doing what they need to do and doing it EXTREMELY well and the spirit to bring life-changing products and services to market are the cornerstones to amazing communities.
If you have ideas and are stuck on what to do first, let’s talk. Want to know more about my work and life? Read on.
Thanks for visiting.
THINK’ID8, a division of viaEdTechnologies, LLC, was founded in 2008 by Mark Burke. Mark’s life before THINK’ID8 includes seven years as a public school music educator in Central PA and ten years in the private education sector at Keystone National High School, an international distance education private school. His career at Keystone included three years as Director of Education under their parent company, Kindercare Distance Learning.
Mark’s most recent work is with West Branch School, Williamsport PA. Serving as an Organizational Developer, Mark works directly with the parents and staff of this unique, community-lead private school. With a 45-year history serving families throughout the Susquehanna Valley and Northern Tier, West Branch School was seeking to update their Vision and Mission and create a roadmap forward. Their new vision, “Boundless Learning” and their mission to Encourage.Engage.Inspire.Empower, was approved by their Governance Committee in October of 2018.
“Vision-Mission work is so incredibly personal for everyone in an organization. Or, at least it SHOULD be. What West Branch School has learned is how these simple statements root them around a united mental model of the work they do every day. We’re now doing the systems work to build their capacities to deliver against their Vision-Mission. With much to do, I look forward to helping them continue their journey toward another 45 years of educational service.”
Mark’s work at viaEdTechnologies started with the launch of Music Within Me, one of the nations first fully online instrumental music academies for K-12 students. Mark brought together music education leaders across our region and partnered with national organizations to build this innovative program.
“I’m sure I’m no different than many entrepreneurs who look at their first venture with admiration even after the doors have closed. Music Within Me started its life on a napkin at a buffet restaurant. My business partner and I took a path less traveled in the world of music education by looking at how technology could enable quality instruction. We forged new pathways that today are becoming more and more common. We incorporated webinar lessons, music software that listened to students practice and perform and offered guidance and connected real teachers from across the nation to students with limited access to expertise in their hometowns. The years working on this project were incredibly special to me.” Mark
Mark has also worked with clients, including BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, Williamsport, PA. Projects include writing and developing the EYE course, a full-year online course on entrepreneurial spirit for middle and high school age students. Mark also served as the Project Director for the development and management of a middle school after-school STEM program called THINKSTEM. Recently, Mark oversaw the restructuring and rebranding of BLaST’s leading, regional K-12 online learning support program, eQUIP.
Mark is the Lead Coordinator for 1 Million Cups Susquehanna Valley. 1MC is a community event for the area’s entrepreneurs funded by the Kauffman Foundation. While most 1MC communities are located in urban areas, Mark shared the story of the Susquehanna Valley, convincing Kauffman that our region should be home to a 1MC community.
“We were the first community in PA and the first rural community. I think this showcases the real value of our region. Totaling our local economic stability, the natural beauty of our region, the innovation within our higher education institutions and our small town, big ideas culture equals much more than the sum. Being ABLE to bring a 1MC to our region is significant. Kauffman works with the best for the best. I’m honored to play a lead role in growing our Susquehanna Valley 1MC community.” Mark
Mark recently began a new role with the Kauffman Foundation as the 1 Million Cups Regional Representative for the Northeast United States. Mark works with a small team to support the operations, growth and impact of over 200 1MC Communities.
Mark is the creator of the Entrepreneurial Workshop for Instructional Designers (EW4IDers), a two-summer program developed with Bloomsburg University. The EW4IDers exposed learning specialists to the realities that their work impacts organizations at the vision, mission and cultural levels. The EW4IDers provided three days of hands-on work covering vision, mission, culture, innovation and thinking for instructional designers and developers.
Mark assisted the Central PA Chamber of Commerce on the development of the Business and Education Association’s new Vision and Mission statements and served as a volunteer presenter for the Building Leaders for the Susquehanna Valley (BLSV). BLSV is a program designed for youth who are beginning to show leadership potential and an interest in their community. In the fall of 2017, Mark served as the Project Manager and Model Designer for the Chamber’s upcoming educational program “Raising the Board.” Raising the Board will help community members prepare for their roles as non-profit board members and guide existing members on important ethical and operational aspects of their critical roles.
This July (2018), Mark will complete his third year as a company advisor for the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) during the summer of 2018.
Mark continues to use his musical performance skills as a saxophonist throughout the Susquehanna Valley. Mark performed as the solo Alto Saxophonist with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra for the 2017-18 season. Mark has also performed with the Community Theater League as well as in several pit orchestras for Act Up! and public school musicals. Mark is the founder and Soprano Saxophonist for the Keystone Saxophone Quartet. This year, celebrating their 25th year in concert, Mark continues his long-standing membership with the Penn Central Wind Band as the Bari Saxophonist. To commemorate the band’s 25th season, Mark leads the production of a mini-documentary entitled WHYBAND? through THINK’ID8‘s sister company Second Story Stories. The documentary highlights the members of the band and their perspectives on the importance of music in our lives.
When not working or performing, Mark is an avid cyclist and member of the Williamsport Bicycle Club.