Mr. Donohue is a serial entrepreneur. Since the late 1980’s, he has been a pioneer in “triple-bottom-line” business, Cleantech and “impact” investing, within both the venture capital and PE worlds. He has held CEO roles in numerous enterprises endeavoring to “Do Well, while Doing Good.”
For over 20 years, Mr. Donohue has been a leader at Babson College, in furthering social innovation, in areas including: Cleantech and sustainability education, expanding Babson’s community service initiatives, and advancing the college’s work in “triple-bottom-line” entrepreneurship.
In June 2008, he was appointed the first-ever “Cleantech Entrepreneur-in-Residence” at Babson College. After reaching his EIR term limit, he was appointed a Senior Fellow in Social Innovation in the Lewis Institute.
In January of 2011, Mr. Donohue was honored as one of the "Top 100 American Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior," by the organization Trust Across America.
Mark’s Social Innovation initiatives at Babson College include:
In October of 1993, Mark created and funded the Cruickshank Volunteer Fund, which he named to honor his mentors: Bill and Doe Cruickshank. The fund was used to pay cash expenses for student volunteer action. The Fund supported GIVE (“Get Into the Volunteer Experience”), which was the predecessor to the Bernon Center. In 1995, he received an award of recognition from the students of GIVE for “his leadership in catalyzing community service.”
In September of 1994, Mark founded, Chaired and funded the first “Babson Forum on Socially Responsible Business – The True ‘Profit’ of Business.” This event brought together 35 progressive CEO’s and foundation heads, as it attracted 450 students to discuss the triple-bottom-line: People, Profit and Planet.
Collaborating with Professor Natalie Taylor, for 15 years. Dr. Taylor was the leading voice for social entrepreneurship and social innovation at Babson, until her retirement in 2007.
Introducing Net Impact, the MBA group focused on social and environmental impact, to Babson. Of note, Mark was a founding funder in establishing Net Impact in 1994.
In 2006, Mark founded and MC’d the Social Entrepreneurship Speakers Series at Babson. Guests like Wayne Silby, CEO of Calvert Investments (the world’s largest SRI money manager), were welcomed in a “Fireside Chat” format.
In 2006, Mark established the “Mark Donohue Clean Technology Education Fund,” These funds have been used to attract leading sustainability speakers, plus pay for cash expenses to advance learning in Cleantech entrepreneurship. The Fund has also been the anchor sponsor for the “Energy & Environment Conference,” which Mark founded with MBA John Chaimanis in April, 2007. Mark has Chaired this conference annually for eight successful years.
Mark co-authored a case study, on multi-party sales in the energy industry, with Dr. Mark Rice, past Dean of the Olin MBA School. The case was on EnerNoc (NASDAQ: ENOC).
In March, 2010, he was honored by the Babson Energy & Environment Club, with an award for his twenty-years of "Exemplary Effort in Promoting, Supporting and Advancing Sustainability."
In September, 2010, he was honored by Babson College, and its alumni association, with an annual "Distinguished Service to the College award."
Mark has served on the college’s Sustainability Steering Committee and its Executive Committee for the Green and Cleantech Career Affinity Group.
Mark was a leading early benefactor of Food Sol, which is a high-impact initiative on sustainable food, managed at the Lewis Institute at Babson College.
He served on the Babson College Board of Overseers from 2002-2011.
In the realm of Mark’s activities outside of Babson College, in 2001, he was the sole founder of Expansion Capital Partners, a leading pioneer in Cleantech investing, which manages over $100,000,000. He has been Chairman Emeritus since April of 2008. He was also a Founding Investor in 2001, and eight-year leader on the Advisory Board, for the Cleantech Group, which invented the term “Cleantech.”
Mark has also been CEO of several venture capital backed enterprises, such as HotelReservations.com. Today, he serves as Managing Partner of Catalyst Insight Partners, which advises a range of companies in “Accelerating Growth & Enterprise Value. In this role, he Chairs companies such as Dr. Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, FW Telematics and Faria Instruments.
Earlier in Mark’s career, he was CEO of the investment bank and consultancy, Social Capital Partners, LLC, which solely advised “socially responsible” enterprises in the LOHAS sector (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability). Clients included the Utne Reader, SafeScience, Glycogenesis, the Human Development Channel and Rapunzel Pure Organics.
In the realm of other non-profit and social innovation initiatives, in 1999, he was appointed Chairman of the Membership Committee for the Social Venture Network, (the leading organization of socially progressive CEO's). He also founded the group’s Endowment Fund and was very active on numerous committees for 15+ years.
Since 1995, he has served on committees of the Threshold Foundation (venture philanthropy in areas like micro-credit & GBLT), and has also been active in interfaith work, given his past role as a Trustee for the Temple of Understanding, which was co-founded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Juliet Hollister.
In 1995, he co-edited a book on the evolution of human consciousness with Barbara Marx Hubbard, titled “Conscious Evolution – Awakening the Power of our Social Potential”.
In 2004, he was a Founding Advisory Board member of “Ethical Markets,” which was positioned as an alternative “Wall Street Week” on PBS, with a focus on improving ethical and social leadership in business. This initiative was led by his long-time mentor, the noted economist Dr. Hazel Henderson.
Mr. Donohue earned his BS, with honors, from Babson College in 1988. Since graduation, he has mentored over three hundred students and alumni.
On a personal note, Mark resides in Chestnut Hill, MA. He is engaged to attorney Pam Olsen, who is also licensed mental health counselor and leadership coach. Mark is quite active in the lives of his two God Children: Martin and Ixchel McNeish, and serves as a mentor to his many nieces and nephews.