Why Mark Wright feels he has “A duty to give back”

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In the world of business and community service, few names stand out as prominently as Mark Wright, President, and CEO of Diverse Facility Solutions (DFS). With a remarkable journey marked by excellence in facility management, janitorial services, project and construction management, and consulting, Wright’s impact extends far beyond the corporate realm. As the head of a minority-owned and MBE-certified corporation headquartered in Chicago, his influence is felt across multiple states.

Wright’s journey to leadership was shaped by pivotal experiences. Before DFS, he demonstrated his prowess as the Director of Operations at MATCO from 2001 to 2003. Under his guidance, the $793M Midway Airport Project became a testament to his facility management expertise, budgeting skills, and collaborative spirit with officials and stakeholders. This accomplishment not only elevated industry services but also solidified his reputation as a dynamic leader.

However, what truly sets Mark Wright apart is his commitment to community service. Beyond the boardroom, he invests his time and energy in various boards and commissions, showcasing his genuine desire to make a positive impact. Liz Spencer, host of Naperville Notables on 630 Naperville, recently engaged in a candid conversation with Wright, delving into his personal life and uncovering the values that drive him.

What three people would Mark Wright invite to dinner, dead or alive?

When Spencer asked about his hypothetical dinner guests, three figures emerged as Wright’s top choices. His first pick would be his late grandfather, who passed away when he was six months old. Even though he never met him, he recalls hearing the stories from his family that kept his legacy alive. “I just really would love to get to know the man,” said Wright.

His second guest would be Martin Luther King. “He’s just a pillar in the civil rights movement and I would love to understand what he went through, how he got so involved at such a young age. And what he was able to accomplish in his twenties is just absolutely fascinating to me,” said Wright.  His desire to understand King’s journey and accomplishments highlights his quest for social justice and equality, mirroring his commitment to uplift the underserved.

Barack Obama rounds out his dream dinner party. “That’s the man that I wanted to be. I always told my grandmother growing up I was going to be the first black president and I didn’t make it. But, you know, just watching him in his leadership ability and his commitment to his family, his wife, his children, to me, he is just the ultimate image of a leader and a man,” said Wright.

Embracing failure

Reflecting on advice for his younger self, Wright spoke of his regrets about hesitating to push his boundaries and emphasized the value of embracing failure. “I remember always being fearful that I wasn’t good enough at what I did. I was always good at certain things. I was good at sports, but I wasn’t great. I was good at singing, but I wasn’t great. I was good at math, but I wasn’t great and I doubted myself,” said Wright. He said that he would have tried to limit the negative self-talk and wishes he had known sooner that sometimes you have to go through good to be great.

A duty to give back

Wright’s dedication to volunteerism stems from a deep sense of gratitude. “You know I’ve been a very blessed man in my life. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot. And I think it’s important to give back to those that help you get to where you are, to help those less fortunate than you to to help people pull themselves up by the bootstraps.”

His connection to the Naperville area is particularly strong where he and his wife raised their sons. “The community was great to my children, helped me mold them into the men they are today. And so I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the community,” explained Wright.