Mark Voner blends his passion for business and his camaraderie for fellow Veterans by providing job opportunities directly as an employer and indirectly through his advocacy for Veterans’ programs and charities. At the federal level, Mark was at the point of the groundswell leading to the “Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999” that opened up new set-aside programs to include Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Veteran Owned small businesses. Veterans Development Corporation, Inc. is the seventh Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certified and verified in the country. Within Massachusetts, he played an influential role alongside Anne Lynch in establishing “The Valor Act”, the legislation providing a competitive playing field for Service Disabled Veteran Owned and Veteran Owned small businesses here in Massachusetts. In 2003 & again in 2006, Mark was recognized by the National Republican Congressional Committee Business Advisory Council as Businessman of the Year. Recently, the press coverage on Mark includes a Patriot Ledger story in its South Shore Insider section about him, his Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and his role in supporting Veterans through charitable gifts, hiring Veterans and partnering with other SDVOSBs and VOSBs on awarded projects. Mark’s philanthropy supporting Veterans is extensive at the local, national and international levels. We encourage you to read about the reach of Mark’s generosity and dedication to the Veteran community.
Locally Mark Voner rounds out his business activities with a commitment to numerous Veterans’ organizations including taking a leadership position in the establishment of a new American Legion Post in Norwell, MA. Bill Malloy, Principal of The Malloy Group and a retired U.S. Navy Captain had the idea of developing and delivering a vision for repurposing the former Norwell Police Department facility into a functional community gathering center for service personnel, their friends and family and the general public. We don’t know what came over Captain Malloy but he approached Mark Voner, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal to help him spear head the effort. Perhaps it was Mark’s presence in the community combined with Bill’s effective track record of championing causes or their long-standing camaraderie for fellow Veterans that galvanized their community outreach for the new post into a maximum effort but they’re on a mission to benefit both Veterans and community as a whole.
The opportunity arose to develop the Norwell American Legion Post when the decision to move the Norwell Police Department opened the site for new use. Bill and Mark’s initial concept emerged from their recognition that service personnel never quit serving their country and they need gathering centers to help them stay connected to those who have served, honor the sacrifices of the living and the deceased and introduce the general public to military camaraderie and hospitality.
Norwell is an ideal location not just because the site is opening up but the presence of military service men and women dates back to Cornet Robert Stetson, one of the first settlers of our country in the South Shore. Norwell citizens have continued to serve throughout the millennia. However, it was not until after the Civil War when the toll on soldiers was so great that a Grand Army of Republic Post was established. The Memorial Center was dedicated at the turn of the 20th Century recognizing D. Willard Robinson, a Union soldier who died in prison. Monuments and other ceremonial landmarks have been welcomed recognition over the years in Norwell but the town still does not have a modern facility specifically designed and built to appeal to current function and aesthetic expectations.
Modern service places tremendous pressure on our troops. Subsequently, returning service personnel need the support of community gathering centers that are open to long-term recognition of their sacrifice and provide sanctuaries. The Malloy-Voner team envisions a modern facility that integrates seamlessly into the landscape and the surrounding historic buildings…a unique place where service men and women can gather and enjoy camaraderie and the peace they won while mingling with friends, family and the general public.
In 2008, Mark donated in excess of $100,000 for the restoration of the C.S. Bird Fountain in Walpole as a tribute to U.S. Army First Lieutenant Andrew J. Bacevich who died in Iraq. The fountain joins other historic memorials dating back to the French and Indian War of 1754 found on Walpole’s common and evokes a spirit of contemplative respect that blends in with the historic presence. Mark’s gift was matched by individuals and local businesses honoring Bacevich’s sacrifice for his country. For more about this touching tribute, please visit http://www.wickedlocal.com/x1197777553/Dedication-Saturday-for-Bacevich-fountain
Mark is a contributing member to the Massachusetts Beirut Memorial Fund, Inc. that provides a memorial presence for nine brave Massachusetts Marines lost in the October 1983 U.S. Marine Corps Barracks terrorist attack in Beirut, Lebanon and a reminder that this was a beginning of militant, fundamentalist terror attacks against U.S. Forces. Mark served in Lebanon at the time of the bombing and made a charitable gift on behalf of his family for the renovation and revitalization of The Massachusetts Beirut Memorial located in Christopher Columbus Park, Boston so that it remains an important reminder of the threats we face. This memorial reminds us of this tragic event and those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Beirut. Please join Mark and his family in supporting this worthy charity by visiting http://massbeirutmemorial.com/wp/ or call (617) 657-9831.
Mark is a proud life member of the William R. Caddy Detachment #124 of The Department of Massachusetts Marine Corps League, a nonprofit incorporated by an act of Congress in 1937. This organization hosts numerous charitable events, programs and foundations that provide help, relief and hope to veterans and their families. Mark has regularly made charitable donations to the very popular golf classic that raises funds to provide support to Veterans and their loved ones, awareness about issues that Veterans face and good morale for those on the links. For more information on how you can get involved and make a difference, please visit The Department of Massachusetts Marine Corps League’s website http://www.deptofmassmcleague.org/
The newly formed Veterans Business Council led by Anne Lynch, Principal of Lynch Associates and respected lobbyist now includes Mark Voner as a board member. Mark joins a host of local influencers within corporate circles that support Veterans and their families. Please visit http://lynchassociates.com/clients/veterans-business-council/ to learn more and lend your support.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Department of Massachusetts services were instrumental in supporting Mark’s efforts to repurpose his family’s construction company with an increased Veteran presence. Mark’s years of service instilled in him a devotion to those who had made the commitment to defend our country and he wanted to rebuild the family business with this recognition at the core. Filing with the Veterans Affairs for a disability with the help DAV turned out to be a life changing event. As the owner of a small business with a verified disability associated with his service in the military, Mark’s company was eligible to take advantage of the emerging set aside programs for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. Mark has never forgotten the support that he has received and continues to support the DAV with charitable gifts for their annual golf tournaments, special programs and sponsoring events like the “Heroes Among Us Gala” held on May 19, 2013 at Granite Links Golf Course that benefit Veterans. Mark’s gift to the Gala Event exceeded $100,000 and the DAV used his charitable funds and matching gifts to purchase transportation vans that help shuttle Veterans from their homes to care centers like the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Mark’s commitment to the DAV over the years was recognized at the 92nd Annual DAV Convention in 2013 when he received the distinguished Disabled Veteran of the Year Award (2012-13). Characteristically, Mark thought that the award should go to somebody else but the DAV knew he deserved it. Congratulations Mark! For more information about the DAV, please visit http://www.davma.org/
Moore’s MaraudersInternationally, Mark has answered the call by joining with Moore’s Marauders exploration efforts to discover the remains of Ssgt. William Lynch, a Marine from Dorchester, MA lost during World War II in China. Ssgt. Lynch is one of 92,000 missing in action service personnel who died in overseas battlegrounds. His story of service in the Pacific Theatre defending the Phillipines in the early days of World War II and resistance to Imperial Japanese captors within occupied-China is an inspiration. In 2009, Mark traveled to China as part of a diplomatic mission with Marauder Team Leader, Ryan Bach bringing their military camaraderie for this distinguished Massachusetts soldier to the table and support for future working relations with Chinese counterparts to recover his remains. Mark and Ryan were duly impressed with the cooperation and support offered by the Chinese authorities and remain hopeful that with improved international relations approval for a return mission to China will be granted. Their hope is to fulfill the original objective to identify, confirm and reclaim the remains of Ssgt. Lynch, bring closure to his family and fittingly honor the sacrifice made by this brave soldier so far from home.
Mark Voner is a retired Veteran not only decorated by the U.S. Marine Corps but also recognized by the communities that he supports. He was one of the first retired military servicemen to recognize the need for veteran-owned set asides programs that ensured Veterans had a more competitive opportunity in the theatre of government contracting when they rotated back into civilian workforce. Through a flurry of business activity, he continues to remember and support his fellow service men and women through his community outreach efforts with a local, national and international presence. Read on to find out how Mark is giving back to his fellow Veterans.