Mark R. Mills has spent over three decades successfully working with leaders in business, politics and public affairs to communicate great ideas, engage audiences, stand before the media and move public opinion. He also co-developed and directed leadership programs that have cultivated future business-experienced political leaders in the U.S. (learn more)and emerging civic-minded business leaders in a developing country (learn more.)
A former communications director and media spokesperson to a United States Senator (retired) and U.S. Senate Republican leadership office staff director, Mark is president of Mills Strategic Communications, Inc., which provides public speaker and media training, public relations/advocacy strategies and leadership development.
He has placed clients and served as a spokesperson in thousands of media stories over his career and is a political analyst in the media, often appearing live on television.
To promote business experience in public office, Mark also administers a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) public leadership educational organization that “builds the local bench” of business leaders who are preparing to run for office or serve on boards and commissions where they can use their business skills to address public issues. Learn more.
Nearly 600 business leaders from individual programs in Florida, California and Virginia have been trained for public leadership. Graduates have won seats as elected officials and landed appointments. Florida Trend magazine named the group as a Business Newsmaker of the Year (2011).
In 2014/15, Mills worked with business leaders in Belize to develop and facilitate a business leadership program to engage future civic-minded business leaders who will have a stake in the nation’s progress. Learn more.
Mills has extensive communications and leadership/management experience on numerous political campaigns, including serving as message strategist for a successful and historic referendum in Florida that repealed a previous voter-approved constitutional amendment. Despite media predictions that the referendum would lose, nearly 64% of voters approved the measure, saving taxpayers at least $25 billion.
He is a frequent political analyst in the media and appears regularly on an Orlando television station. He was a political analyst on a news segment that was nominated for a regional Emmy.
Mark served as deputy staff director and then staff director of the number-three ranking U.S. Senate Republican leadership office - the Republican Conference - in 1998/99, under (retired) U.S. Senator Connie Mack of Florida and during the trial of President Clinton. Mark was communications director to Senator Mack throughout much of the Senator’s tenure (1988-1989, 1990-1997), guiding press and external communications efforts and serving as spokesperson.
He was twice named one of the 50 most influential Capitol Hill staffers by the newspaper Roll Call.
Mark’s career in politics, public relations and media relations began in Ohio, working as a media aide in the State Senate, for a public relations firm in Columbus and on numerous campaigns, including runs for governor and U.S. Senator. He also worked for a public relations agency in Pittsburgh.
He began his career as a broadcast journalist in Ohio, winning an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting on a pyramid-money scheme.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a master’s from Asbury Theological Seminary/Florida (2005), where he served in 2007 as an adjunct instructor of Church in Society, during a faculty transition.
He and his wife Virgi live in Central Florida, have two grown sons and dote over their granddoggy. Mosquito Lagoon (FL) redfish are said to fear him (if they could talk.)
Mark R. Mills
Counsels organizations and business leaders on message strategies, including public speaking, media and presentation training;
Directs public leadership development program to prepare business leaders to run for office and land appointments (LEARN MORE);
Staff director of U.S. Senate Republican Conference during trial of President Clinton;
Communications director for U.S. Senator Connie Mack of Florida (retired) throughout most of the Senator's tenure;
Served in management, communications/media relations roles on numerous political and public affairs campaigns;
Political analyst for a television news segment that was nominated for a regional Emmy (2016.)