About the Author
Mark Bitz is a successful entrepreneur, author, and community leader. He is a graduate of Purdue, Cornell, and Harvard Universities, and a lifelong student of evolution, history, culture, government, economics, business, investing, and leadership. Mark is well-read, educated, and traveled, entrepreneurial, close to nature, thoughtful, and practical. He was named among the “CNY 40 Under 40” and is the recipient of the Purdue University Alumni of Distinction Award.
Working his way up from farmhand to president, Mark owned and operated Plainville Turkey Farm, Inc. between 1991 and 2007. Under his leadership, the company grew sevenfold and pioneered an All-Natural-Ingredient deli line, Animal-Friendly Practices, and Turkeys Grown on a Vegetarian Diet and without Antibiotics. The company was the first turkey company to receive the American Humane Association’s “Free Farmed” certification, and the company also won the Onondaga County Conservation Farm of the Year Award, the American Culinary Institute Best Taste Award, and the New York State Agricultural Society Business of the Year. Mark founded a feed company that he currently owns in 1990 and co-founded a crop company in 2005 that became the largest organic crop operation in the Northeast.
Mark has coached youth soccer and basketball, was instrumental in building the Northwest YMCA in Baldwinsville, New York, and has served on numerous boards. He chaired the Empire State Young President’s Organization, Northwest YMCA in Baldwinsville, and New York State 4-H Foundation. He was a director of the Greater Syracuse YMCA, Syracuse Metropolitan Development Association, New York State Business Council, National Turkey Federation, and International Chief Executives Organization. Mark served on the Cornell Agriculture and Life Science Dean’s Advisory Board and the Cornell University Council. He is currently a trustee of the Florida Nature Conservancy and oversees the education of the Chief Executives Organization. Mark and his wife of 38 years, Leokadia, have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grand-daughters.