A profile of 1985 Huntington University graduate, Mark Wickersham, and his partnership with Clear Elevation.
Mark Wickersham’s love for Huntington University began when he visited his big brother on campus. Both he and his brother were first-generation college students, so the process of campus visits and college selection was new to the Wickersham family. Mark’s brother, Mike, had been recruited to play baseball at Huntington University, and the entire family fell in love with the small campus community.
“My parents were reluctant to send us to a big university,” Mark said. “I came to visit Mike on campus. I was able to spend time in the residence hall and hang out with his friends. I loved that this campus was Christ-centered. And, then, I met my faculty.”
Mark was a History major at Huntington University. He said when he met Professor Jack Barlow and Dr. Paul Michelson, he immediately felt at home.
“This was going to be a ball,” Mark said. “The faculty’s sense of humor and encouragement made me feel welcome from the beginning.”
Mark joined student senate at HU, he played saxophone for the wind ensemble, and he also played baseball his freshman year of college. After that, he served as the manager for the baseball team his senior year. In addition to his studies and his extra-curricular activities, Mark was the first Huntington University student to participate in the American Studies Program in Washington, D.C. in 1984.
“I had an internship on Capitol Hill with Dan Coats when Dan was our Congressman,” said Mark. “He ended up being my first employer. And, so began a long journey through my professional career.”
After working for Coats, Mark worked for the Huntington University Advancement Office. He then became Vice Chairman of the Huntington County Republican Party, working closely with Vice President Quayle’s organization. Mark served as campaign manager for Mark Souder during his first run for office in 1994 and worked with the Souder team for more than 10 years. His abilities, experiences and relationships then opened the door into the banking industry.
“I learned how business financials worked and how to do a business plan from the bank’s perspective. I also learned a lot about business development.”
After just two years in the banking industry, Mark transitioned into the role as the state of Indiana’s Regional Director for Economic Development, covering 13 counties in Northeast Indiana. After serving at the state level, Mark was offered the position as the local director of economic development in Huntington County in 2008.
“Huntington County Economic Development looks entirely different than it did when I began in 2008,” said Mark. “We began by focusing on an industrial development strategy. We were so far behind, we couldn’t even see the pack. We were in an all-out sprint until 2012. Now we can be more systematic as we do economic development.”
One of the ways Huntington County Economic Development is changing its focus is to concentrate more on marketing strategy. Mark said this new focus is making a positive impact. He chose Clear Elevation, an HU Venture business, to be his go-to marketing agency.
“Clear Elevation has helped move our agency into the 21st Century,” Mark said. “I love the talent, the creativity, the eye toward design, and the understanding of the process. Clear Elevation’s commitment to this county has been fantastic and is unmatched.”
Clear Elevation is a full-service digital creative agency located in Roanoke, IN. It is a partnership company between Huntington University and Reusser Design and is the first Huntington University Venture business.
Mark said he recommends Clear Elevation every chance he gets.
“You’ll get a world-class vendor relationship with the talent and skills you’ll need to get results as a business. They understand the nuts and bolts of my business. Our county is blessed to have this resource.”
To see some of the work Clear Elevation has done for Mark and the Huntington County Economic Development team, visit www.clearelevation.com/portfolio.