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Mark C. Thompson to Speak at JFK University Commencement

June 6, 2014

PLEASANT HILL, CA – John F. Kennedy University has announced that Mark C. Thompson, best-selling author, executive coach, businessman, and venture capitalist, will deliver the keynote address at the University’s 49th Commencement Ceremony at 1 pm on June 21, 2014 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Over 420 graduates in the University's undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs will be receive their degrees at the ceremony.

Based in Silicon Valley, Thompson is New York Times bestselling author of Success Built to Last, Admired - 21 Ways to Double Your Value, and Now, Build a Great Business!, which focus on leadership, business growth, and organizational excellence.

Mark is the CEO and cofounder of Virgin Unite Mentors, Sir Richard Branson’s network for executive coaching and entrepreneurial innovation, and is a Founding Patron of Virgin Unite’s Entrepreneurship Centre. Mark is also Program Chairman for the Board of Governors of the Hesselbein Leadership Institute and a founding member of the Advisory Board for JFK University's Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Mark has served on the Board of Directors of Best Buy, Korn Ferry and Interwoven (now owned by HP). He was Chairman of the Board of Rioport – which popularized the MP3 player prior to the iPod and iTunes and was Chairman of Integration which was acquired by Silicon Labs.

He is an investor in entertainment software and health care companies. He is a Founding Board Member of Smule, which is Google and Apple’s top music applications company - including a top selling app for the hit TV series "Glee" - with over 60 million active users. He is an investor in Cancer Genetics, a leader in DNA- based cancer diagnostics for personalized clinical management of cancer treatment. In 2004, Forbes Magazine called Mark one of “America’s top investors with the ‘Midas’ touch.”

From 1987 through 2001, Thompson worked for Charles Schwab in a number of senior capacities including Chief of Staff, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Chief Communications Officer and cofounder of the Schwab Foundation. He served as the Executive Producer of, one of the world's largest ecommerce transaction websites.

He is a founding advisor of the Stanford Realtime Venture Design Lab, and a visiting scholar at his alma mater, Stanford University. He has served as faculty at the World Economic Forum and the World Business Forum.

In 2010, Thompson extended his talents to Broadway, joinng the Alicia Keys in the production of the Tony Award nominated StickFly. Following this success of this production, he joined the Disney Theatrical Productions team for Peter and the Starcatcher which would garner five Tony awards in 2012.

Thompson received his Bachelor's degree from San Jose State University, an MBA from Golden Gate University, and an MA from Stanford University.