Melodic voices of the acapella ensemble Caritas float in the air. The group performs to help human service organizations raise money. They are “love in action.” In the center of the group is Mark Hiemenz living his purpose to help others. He is a baritone, “governance geek,” human rights advocate, husband and owner of Wiser Paths Consulting. A man who uses his gifts, experiences and passion to guide organizations to reach beyond the potential they see in themselves.
If you had asked Mark in his youth if he thought he would be a consultant later in life, he would have said no. However, now looking back at his repertoire of life experiences, it seems like that is where he was headed all along. As a former executive director of two different organizations, and having worked in corporate philanthropy for over 25 years, Mark came to the conclusion that his knowledge of how to combine business practices and people’s passion could generate positive growth for organizations.
Mark works mostly, but not exclusively, with non-profit organizations. He consults in two areas: how an organization runs and the personal development of the team behind the mission. His first step is always to create a space where his clients are comfortable and can be vulnerable. He cultivates a level of trust so that his clients can be open about their experiences with the organization and so they know that his role is to guide not judge.
Mark gathers his information through one-on-one interviews. He asks the same questions to get an understanding of the different perspectives of where the organization is at, where there may be struggles and the hope that those involved have for the future. From the large picture the interviews give him, Mark creates a concrete plan for the organization. He works with them to choose which of the paths provided they want to take and then to prioritize the different pieces. Approaching it this way, Mark seeks to understand his client and to personalize the outcomes for what they actually need.
Mark’s favorite moments in his work are when the “light bulbs go off.” Whether it is in an interview with an employee or while they are working through the steps of their new plan, he loves aiding in the realization that people can grow their passion’s potential. He finds purpose in bringing joy back to people’s work and reshaping work environments to be happier and more equitable.
It’s one reason why Mark enjoys being a member at Impact Hub. It surrounds him with a community of individuals who are also working to reshape their communities. It is “networking not for sales, but to be the person I want to be.”
With his values of integrity, justice and transparency, Mark has committed his life to learning, teaching, and pushing others to see outside of the realm of their own perceived possibilities.