What I Like to talk About

Dynamic education expert Mark C. Perna will share the groundbreaking innovations and strategies that are shifting the education and workforce development paradigm nationwide. Mark will share how the single most important competitive advantage in today’s workforce is the synergy of academic knowledge and technical skills — and how you can help students achieve it.

Mark’s revolutionary Three Pillars can give your organization the edge in today’s competitive educational and training landscape. As the connective tissue between everything you’re already doing and the Three-Pillar approach, the Career Tree® strategy will help you show students why education matters, motivate them to set goals, and help them achieve at a higher level. Plus, the planning culture model will empower you to inspire your students and start new conversations about the outstanding college and career foundation that goal-driven education delivers.

In addition, Mark’s revolutionary Education with Purpose® philosophy will help you maximize your enrollment, retention, and performance results as students and parents experience the incredible value of purpose-driven learning. You’ll gain key insights on today’s younger generations, how to answer their all-important question why, and how to connect with them at a deeper level. You’ll also find out how the proven Light at the End of the Tunnel strategy will help keep students from all backgrounds engaged in their chosen pathway. Finally, the Wade Factor story will recharge your professional passion by showing the truly profound difference you can make every day.

My Background

As an international expert on Generations Y and Z, Mark has devoted his career to empowering educators and employers to unleash the tremendous potential of today’s young people, both in the classroom and on the job.

After successfully parenting two Millennials as a single father, Mark has become a passionate advocate for bridging the generational divides that are contributing to America’s profound skills gap. Parents, schools, districts, businesses, and state organizations across North America have successfully used Mark’s insights and strategies to connect more effectively with the younger generations.

In his work with educational and business organizations, Mark has pioneered many best practices for achieving more with today’s young people, including the TFS Education with Purpose® philosophy and highly popular Career Tree® strategy, among others. Mark, who interviews frequently on radio shows, television, and podcasts, is often cited as the national expert in education enrollment, retention, and performance.

Mark enjoys inspirational movies, theater, travel, golf, wine, and time with his family — especially the latest Pernas, granddaughters Ellie and Lou Lou. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio.


“On target, best keynote speaker I have experienced in 32 years of education.” – Roger Gonzalez, Education Director

“Best keynote speech I have heard in 30 years.” – Stephen Freeman, VP at M&T Insurance Agency Inc.

“Mark’s passion, energy and knowledge are contagious. You can’t help but want to get to work with the Why generation!” – Ashley Canuteson, Director of College & Career Readiness

“This session has helped me see my 20-year-old son in a different light. I came here to be inspired as a teacher but left inspired to be a better parent.” – Kathryn Cooke, Teacher

“25 years attending industry forums and keynote presentations and I’ve never seen, participated or been impacted by another one such as Mark’s. Thank you!” – Tom Darcy, District Director

“Mark’s session was the most inspiring and engaging experience I have had in a long time to regard to K-12 public education and the shift we have to make to help our young students define their purpose.” – Chad Wyen, Superintendent at Mad River Local Schools

“This was the best keynote I have ever been to! It was so inspiring the whole way through, provided easily applicable information and left me ready to act!” – Shelley Baudean, Grants Specialist

“Lifechanging message. Let me say I feel I’ve learned a new way to understand and speak to my grandkids and the younger generation.” – Terry Strayhand, CTE Grants & Accountability LEAD

“Absolutely hit target for students of today and the impact of teaching for their future.” – Missie McKinney, Assistant Principal at Dalton High School

“Amazing presenter! Mark makes it real. He bridges the gap between education and employment.” –Terry Krezmer, VP, Human Resources at Larson Design Group

“You know a speaker is great when he inspires you to race back to your office or classroom to start implementing what he said. Mark is that kind of speaker.” – Sally Pestana, Kapiolani Community College

“Mark Perna — what a change agent! Amazing presentation! Mark shows that we should believe in today’s younger generation and help them open every new door.” – Timothy Reilly, Teacher, Author, Global Director at Farmington High School

“Buckle up for a fast, furious conversation of motivating younger generations and becoming aware of the issues with employment gaps and the way to fix them. Very exciting conversation with Mark Perna.” – Sadie Fritzler, Career Coach at Northeastern Junior College

Visit https://www.tfsresults.com/tfs_results/professional-development-results/ to see more testimonials and rave reviews!



Cleveland, Ohio


Available Upon Request


As an international expert on Generations Y and Z, Mark has devoted his career to empowering educators and employers to unleash the tremendous potential of today’s young people, both in the classroom and on the job.

Available to Verified Event Organizers Only

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