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April Member Spotlight: Mark Hehl

Current Position/Field of Work:
Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker and Author of the book Amusing Confessions of an International Consultant. Yes, I do all four!
Consulting and engineering encompasses operational excellence projects for clients employing six sigma and lean techniques. The other area is technology transfer, where I plan and direct the movement of technology to various world regions. I also give back by presenting and training at professional society conferences on subjects such as operational excellence, international business culture and supplier improvement. These programs have been conducted in Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Africa,
The Philippines, Ecuador, Panama, Trinidad, Mexico, China, the Dominican Republic and the USA.


Mark hehl ionia
Mark Hehl in Taormina, Sicily – Ionian Sea is in the background.


What is the most interesting part of your job?
The opportunity to travel the world, experience different cultures and
meet new people. I have worked in over 40 countries.


Mark Hehl dominican.jpg
Mark Hehl presenting at a conference in The Dominican Republic.


Can you describe your most recent travel experience?
I recently traveled to my ancestral village, Santa Margherita di Belice, in Sicily, to complete research for my second book. My cousin there organized a family gathering, which allowed me the opportunity to meet my great-aunt and gather information about my family’s history. The book is about my maternal great-grandfather’s journey to
America and his eventual return to Sicily. After his first wife died in America, Giuseppe Tardi left most of his children behind (including my grandmother whom he left in an orphanage). He returned to Sicily, married two more times and started another family with his third wife, when he was in his sixties. The book attempts to answer the question “Was Giuseppe a hero or a villain for leaving his children behind?”


mark hehl sicily sea
Mark Hehl looking out over the Ionian Sea from Taormina, Sicily.

Where would you like to travel next?
Istanbul – It fascinates me because it is the crossroads of multiple civilizations.

Global issue you find fascinating right now:
The way that the balance of power (both political and economic) is slowly shifting, from Europe and North America, to Asia. Having spent much time on the ground in the Far East, over the past 24 years, I have been able to witness this slow transition.


Mark Hehl ruins
Mark Hehl standing among the ruins of his ancestral village – Santa Margherita di Belice, Sicily
This village was destroyed by an earthquake in 1967.


Proudest accomplishment?
My three children. They are all accomplished professionals and have given me five grandchildren.
Why you support the Council?
My extensive travels have demonstrated that Americans are more insular than individuals from other regions. The council promotes a greater understanding of the world and helps to reverse this situation.
“One way to maintain an open mind is to open oneself to the world, its varied cultures and vast wonders.” – Mark Hehl

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