FEATURED VISTAGE SPEAKER: Mark Jackson
Happy new year to all! Today and tomorrow, the Key 9159 and CEO 411 groups will hear from Mark Jackson for our first speaker meeting of the year. Mark will offer his unique perspective as a business owner whose path led him from success to prison, and now to the speaking circuit.
Mark was a highly successful stock market trader, making millions of dollars during his 30-year career. But it wasn't enough. Unmitigated greed derailed his career and sent his life into a downward spiral. In early 2010, he pled guilty to one count of racketeering under The Colorado Organized Crime Act, a Class Two Felony. Second degree murder is also a Class Two Felony in Colorado, underscoring the severity of his crime. On May 25, 2010 he was sentenced to a 15-year prison term in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
A mere six weeks into his prison sentence, Mark became afflicted with necrotizing fasciitis on his leg, a deadly flesh eating disease that kills or maims many of its victims. During his lengthy recovery, Mark made the best and most important decision of his life. Rather than wallow in anger and self-pity, he chose to embrace his sentence. He vowed to use his prison time not only to rehabilitate himself, but to improve the lives of his fellow inmates.
Mark became a prison tutor, helping over 100 inmates obtain their GED. He helped countless other inmates effectively deal with personal, legal, business and family issues.
While incarcerated, Mark memorialized his prison experiences by keeping and writing a journal. His 650 page work documents prison life in raw, uncensored terms. Interspersed throughout his journal are several chilling short stories that capture the tenuous relationships formed in prison. Most importantly, Mark's work reveals how he rose above the turmoil of prison society to reform and rehabilitate himself and simultaneously improve the lives of his fellow inmates. The edited version of his journal and short stories will be published in the near future.
Mark is now on parole after serving nearly five years in prison with some of Colorado's toughest and most notorious criminals. He is dedicating the rest of his life to inspiring people to believe with hard work and determination, anyone can rise above seemingly insurmountable odds and not only survive, but thrive.
Mark is happily married and the proud father of two sons and an even prouder grandfather of two grandchildren.