Mark J. Wilhelm was born on June 6, 1962, the third child of the four children of Karl and Rosalie Wilhelm in Bay Village, Ohio. Mark was raised in a strong faith-filled Catholic family. His father, Karl, was the youngest of 12 siblings,and the Wilhelm side of Mark’s family produced three nuns and three priests, giving Mark a strong Catholic value system from a very young age. Mark has three children, Nick, Katy, and Michael, and he has two granddaughters, Grace and Charlotte. Mark splits his time between Vail, Colorado, and Boca Raton, Florida. When neither working on a business venture or a philanthropic project, you may find Mark riding his road bike along the beach on A1A in Florida or tackling a difficult mountain pass in Colorado. He has been with his wife, Amy, for over 20 years, and they both love to spend timetogether traveling, exercising, and, most of all, helping others.
Since he was a young boy, Mark knew he wanted to own his own business and so hestarted a paper route at age 13. Mark followed that start with different businesses, including lawn mowing, house painting, winter snow shoveling, and really any other way to make a dollar. In his early 20’s, Mark went on to own a shoe repair and alterations shop, while managing his uncle’s warehouse business. Mark started his first trucking business at age 24 which eventually grew into Amware Logistics Services. When Mark sold Amware in 2014, the company had grown to 23 cities in 11 states employing over 1,000 people. That once-little trucking company grew to provide full-service distribution for many Fortune 100 clients, servicing their transportation and fulfillment needs along with e-commerce logistics when Internet retail sales took shape.
Mark’s lifetime goal was to be able to help others and give back to his community that gave him so much. After selling Amware, Mark wanted to make a difference and has helped start, or has worked with, four new non-profit organizations that have touched many individuals.
“Students Shoulder to Shoulder” was launched with what started with only a few teachers taking 27 students to do service work in three settings, and has evolved into a comprehensive education-based approach to inspire and support generations of global citizens and ethical leaders. Each year the organization sends over 100 high school students and course instructors from across the nation to trusted NGO partners working on four continents. This good fortune is generated from inspiring relationships with our Global Schools Coalition, NGO leaders, business partners, philanthropists, and alumni – all working as an organization of partners, creating shared value in service of the global good.
Mark and Amy have been donating their Colorado ranch since the early 2000’s to cancer camps, the first one being First Descents which outgrew their ranch and has had to move on to many other cities.In 2014, Mark and Amy helped create Epic Experience which is a weeklong camp for cancer thrivers. Throughout the week, as participants challenge themselves physically, find community with other survivors, and talk through fears and worries, they gain hope and return home with insights to help them live and thrive beyond cancer.