Kanuga’s mission inspires accomplished nonprofit leader

10.15.2015 - Conference & Retreat

Kanuga’s new chief operating officer, Mark C. Upright brings over 30 years of experience in the field of children’s treatment and educational services. While he enjoys the broad array of challenges in his new role, Kanuga’s mission inspires and first attracted him.

StaffHeadshot_MarkUpright_2015_3283“I am drawn to the words ‘to provide a glimpse of the Kingdom’ to all who visit. That speaks to me because it is a lofty goal—I like a challenge—and a meaningful one,” Mark explains. “I am most interested in the faith-based aspects of Kanuga. Here, you have the opportunity to reach the whole person, whatever their age or situation.”

Mark fills an opening created when Kanuga’s chief financial officer left after seven years. “Kanuga’s financial management is now in excellent shape,” says Kanuga President Stan Hubbard. “Our managers are experienced in developing and using budgets. Our financial performance is strong, our budgets and reports are transparent, and we have a string of ‘clean’ reviews from our independent auditors.” With those goals met, the decision was made to seek someone with broad operating experience as well as solid financial skills.

For the past 13 years, Mark served as president of Eliada Homes and Foundation in Asheville. Under his leadership, Eliada grew into an $11 million dollar operation and was noted as one of the Southeast’s most innovative treatment programs for children and youth. Prior to Eliada, Mark served as an executive in similar organizations in the Northeast. A native of Pennsylvania, he holds both a law degree and an MBA.

“Mark has joined Kanuga at a very important point in our history,” says Jack McMillan, chair of the board of trustees. “Next year we will call Kanuga’s 10th president as Stan retires. Having someone with Mark’s skill, experience and knowledge in the COO role will support a smooth leadership transition. He is the right person in the right role at this time in Kanuga’s development.”

Mark and his wife, Donna Marie, are celebrating 25 years of marriage, and they have three sons, Justin, Holden and Jordan. In his free time, Mark enjoys lifting weights at the gym, hiking and spending time with his family.

Mark may be reached at mark.upright@kanuga.org or 828-233-2804.