What do the US Marine Corp, the Institute for Defense & Business (IDB) The Marine Corp Association, the Defense Alliance of NC (DANC) and eastern North Carolina all have in common? They all have benefitted from the service and continued leadership of LtGen William “Mark” Faulkner, USMC(Ret) Mark retired from the Marine Corps with 33 years of distinguished service and achieved the rank of 3 Star General. He and his wife have come “full circle” and moved back home to North Carolina to continue serving.
“I am a proud product of Eastern North Carolina,” said Mark. “My father is a retired Marine aviator and much of my life growing up was spent at Cherry Point Marine Air Station, from high school and on to East Carolina for college.”
Because of all that the Marine Corps meant to him and his family, Mark weighed his options and decided to go into the Marine Corp out of college and continue to be a part of the organization that had served he and his family well. In his Marine Career, he started originally as an Infantry officer. Several successful years later, he went on to become a senior logistician and advanced in that area of expertise and concluded his successful career as the Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics.
His leadership style was ingrained in him early on by his father and family life in the Marine Corps. He reflected, “My father always told me that leadership is more than talking…it’s how you lead your life” Embracing that, “ I realized that you were not a leader eight or ten hours a day. “Leadership needed to be consistent in the way you led your life in all your aspects, because someone was always looking at you and how you interact with others and conduct yourself.” “It’s a lesson from my father that I will never forget and will carry with me always.”
After retirement from the Marine Corp, it was obvious that he was not through with his service or leadership. He continued to serve through his association with IDB, an experience that started while he was still on active duty. He was well aware of their services and took several courses himself. He also encouraged “his Marines” to participate in the training as well. When he retired, he was asked, and served as the Marine Corps Executive Fellow for IDB in 2015/2016. Fast forward, after his term as an IDB fellow, he ran the Marine Corps Association for four years. Then the opportunity presented itself to serve as President of IDB and come home to North Carolina. He willingly accepted and began the next chapter of his journey to serve others on October 1st, 2021. Mark added, “It was the perfect mix for me coming back home and leading an organization that I admire and continues to shape leaders from defense and industry.”
Institute for Defense & Business and its mission
The IDB is an organization with a long history of facilitating world class education and collaboration between the public sector, private sector and academia. In 1997, the Institute for Defense & Business was incorporated by the state of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research institute to develop and deliver custom-designed education programs and to conduct applied research across a range of subject matter areas.
Mark told the compelling story of how the IDB was the direct result of the collaborative efforts between Defense and the private industries in North Carolina while building the Global TransPark in eastern North Carolina. Project planning required close collaboration with both private industry and the U.S. military on logistics practices, development, and technologies. The IDB founder, Bill Powell, saw these close collaborations and developed a concept to formally bring together military and private sector leaders in an academic setting to share perspectives and best practices. “The IDB focused on the leaders in both Defense and Business and how they might collaborate and leverage the defense economy in North Carolina. ““That really resonates with me!” “What we are doing educating these leaders, advancing their professional development and helping them better understand how NC adds value in terms of the defense industry makes them so much better equipped not only to fight our future wars, but also more appreciation and knowledge specifically about the defense industry in NC and its importance to the future.”
In the years since, the IDB has evolved from a concept to help logistics professionals improve in their jobs to a respected leader in custom professional education, offering programs addressing logistics and technology, complex industrial leadership, strategic studies, stabilization and reconstruction, innovation, and more. Mark Faulkner serves proudly the President.
But Mark was not through serving with just the IDB. In September of 2022, he became the newest member of the Executive Board of DANC. His visionary take on why this IDB/DANC collaboration is important was interesting. He related that both organizations were important elements in focusing and leveraging business in NC. “Essentially both IDB and DANC are interested in growth. DANC wants to grow the defense sector for our state and country and IDB is interested in growing the leaders.” “Those efforts are mutually beneficial,” he explained. Mark further noted, “ It is essential that when we look at future national defense issues we understand that war is getting more complex.” “The more that our leaders, mostly in Defense, can learn about and understand innovation, AI, data, contested logistics, aerospace and just supply chain logistics, the better they can apply the expert business knowledge and expertise to solving their complex defense issues.” “We have to get closer in our perspectives and understand best practices in leadership and technology.“ He continued, “DANC and IDB are uniquely suited to help foster this collaboration and integration and get the word out to leaders of both defense and business.” “That sharing will only foster more growth of our leaders and the defense industry in North Carolina.” He concluded, “ Our DANC and IDB relationship will serve to close the collaboration gap between defense and private industry and learn so much more by doing so.
Mark has come back home to serve in North Carolina in his roles at IDB and DANC. He is optimistic and encouraged that both organizations, DANC and IDB, will help develop and promote:
- the clarity of defense & business leadership needed now and in the future,
- fostering of the needed collaboration, languages, and learning to build the defense economy, and,
- building united support and development of future technology and collaborative defense/industry solutions, especially in North Carolina.
He envisions that our joint organization’s goal is to help our country compete in the future global business economy and war-fighting environments and foster growth of the defense economy in North Carolina.
For More Information Contact:
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About the DANC Communications Committee Chair:
Van Carpenter (US Navy Retired) is a global business change agent, advisor and communicator. He regularly advises, coaches, speaks and trains on innovation, creative change, catalyst communications & marketing, and adaptive leadership. Van has over thirty plus years of entrepreneurial and executive experience in corporate, government, military, marketing, agency and entrepreneurial sectors. He brings his unique blend of diverse experience, business acumen, humor, and real-world perspective to both his advice and communication.
Van is a retired Commander in the Naval Reserve. He lives near Clayton NC with his wife Deborah and is currently hanging out in the “basement office” while managing his business consulting and innovation group – Van Carpenter Innovative Solutions. Contact him anytime at 919-539-3499 or email him your topic suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.