Through The Years: Mark D Anderson

Join us in celebrating Mark’s 10-year milestone by making a gift to the NBA Mark D. Anderson Fund. 

In 2011, Mark D. Anderson was called to serve as the President and CEO of the National Benevolent Association. At the time, he was overseeing the operations and programming at Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kansas City, Missouri. Mark has spent more than 34 years in the nonprofit, medical, and mental health fields working on and leading programs that aided in bringing communities together. So, when the NBA announced its search for a new President and CEO, Anderson saw it as an opportunity to secure a position that combined his decades-long experience with health and social service organizations and his faith.

“I have always cherished the ministry of NBA, as well as having a deep love for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  As a social worker who has worked extensively in communities that have been marginalized by society, I saw becoming President and CEO as an opportunity to wed my faith, caring for the vulnerable, with my social work skills,” Anderson says. “It has been a way for me to give back to a Church that has supported and sustained me throughout my life. There is never a lack of innovative and creative ideas from my colleagues, trustees, and Disciples who are living out the Gospel. We are Church.”

For the last 10 years, Mark’s leadership has guided the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) health and social service ministry through triumphs, challenges, and an unprecedented global pandemic. His work at NBA and beyond has focused on justice and healing for communities and individuals during some of their darkest days. Now, to celebrate his decade of leadership, here is a look back at the moments and opportunities that led Mark to this organization.

From the time he began college at Phillips University, Mark’s heart has been in health and social services, which enabled him to bring compassion to each role he’s served in. His time in undergrad led him to pursue a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

After his time in school, he headed south to Florida to serve at the Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach. As a clinical social worker, Mark provided discharge planning for patients who were leaving the facility, conducted individual and family therapy for patients, and facilitated a cancer support group.

“I was humbled to walk alongside patients and families in some of their darkest days in dealing with cancer and HIV/AIDS. I remember the hope that was ever-present even when the goalpost was moved on them – treatments that had failed, a new level of care required, and even in their dying days. They, along with the gifted medical staff, remind me that hope is ever-present and sometimes we must carry the hope for another during difficult times.”

Following his time at Good Samaritan Hospital, Mark spent several years in positions where he served as a family therapist and created plans and programming to support patients in their day-to-day lives. In 1994, he found himself at Good Samaritan Project (now known as Thrive Health Connection), a regional healthcare organization that provides health and wellness services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections. While there, Mark served as a Senior Case Manager, Director of Client Services and finally as the Director of Programming, where he oversaw the organization’s HIV/AIDS prevention programs and managed a $1.5 million budget.

Mark at an on-site visit with NBA Health and Social Service Partner Hiram Farms.

Mark first joined the NBA in the late 1990s when he worked as the Associate Vice President in Children & Family Services. In this role, Mark worked alongside executive staff of nonprofits serving children, youth, and families. Following this, Mark was called to be the Executive Director for SAVE Inc., a Kansas City-based housing nonprofit serving people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. With responsibility for the overall vision, financial management, resource development, staffing and programming of SAVE Inc., Mark oversaw tremendous growth in the organization’s services and visibility while ensuring its fiscal soundness and focus on its mission.

Outside of his professional life, Mark has always made it a commitment to be connected to communities where he lives. In St. Louis, he’s been a member of Memorial Boulevard Christian Church and Union Avenue Christian Church. He’s been a member of the National AIDS Housing Coalition, The Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, and he currently serves on the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Mark’s love and passion for community building has also extended to the classroom, where he’s taught courses in social work at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri—Kansas City.

Mark at a 2017 Women’s March protest in Los Angeles, California.

Since becoming President, Mark’s focus has been to build and sustain genuine relationships and partnerships with health and social service organizations and other ecumenical partners. As an ambassador for NBA, he has connected over the years by attending and providing leadership at various Disciples events, regional gatherings and General Assemblies of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As a lifelong justice advocate, he has joined public protests against instances of brutality, racism and other injustices. As NBA President and CEO, he represents Disciples health and social services on the Interfaith Roundtable of national faith-based agencies.

Towards the end of this 10-year milestone, an unprecedented pandemic affected the world and the way we work and interact with one another on a daily basis. Social distancing was required, no in-person gatherings or events, and the loss of life from so many diagnosed with COVID-19, made real again the significance of the wide network of health and social service workers and nonprofits.  

As we enter into a new season, another decade of leadership, and more opportunities to gather safely during the ongoing public health crisis, the NBA is taking a moment to celebrate Mark and his decade of leadership. We invite you to join us in celebrating this milestone in August with several events. We are tremendously grateful for the leadership that Mark has given to NBA these past 10 years.

To honor Mark’s decade of service, give generously to the NBA Mark D. Anderson Fund that will support and sustain NBA ministries for the future.


Facebook Live: Fan Meet with Mark D. Anderson

Are you a fan of the NBA, our leader Mark Anderson and the work we do? Then join us for a fan meet and greet with Mark D. Anderson, President, and CEO of NBA. Mark has spent 10 years at the helm of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) health and social service ministry. 

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A Toast & Roast: Celebrating 10 Years of Leadership with Mark D. Anderson

Nothing says celebration like joining a call with a hundred or so of our close friends! Join us as we commemorate 10 years of Mark’s executive leadership with NBA.

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