Leadership Oakland is proud to share that two graduates from its program were selected to be part of The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 under 40 class of 2020.
The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 program recognizes and spotlights dynamic leaders under the age of 40 who are making a difference in Oakland County and beyond.
“Mark and Heather are both so deserving of this honor. I was elated to find their names on this distinguished list,” said Tom Sommer, executive director of Leadership Oakland. “We consider our Cornerstone Program participants to be elite leaders in our county and this reiterates the strength of our program.
”Mark Geary, graduate of Leadership Oakland’s 27th class, is the Director of Media Relations and External Communications for Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest health system.
In this role, he develops, plans and executes news media relations strategies, objectives and tactics to expand Beaumont’s presence and reputation regionally and nationally. He is also responsible for managing news media issues, creating media statements and key messages. Previously, Mark served as a Media Relations Manager and a Media Relations Coordinator for Beaumont.
Prior to joining Beaumont, Mark spent a decade working as a TV news reporter in North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri and Michigan. He has earned two Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award and a national Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award.
Mark enjoys sharing what he has learned throughout his career with others. He presented about media relations at the Troy Non-Profit Management Conference four times and has also presented the Michigan Hospital Association’s annual communications retreat. In March, he will present to public information officers from across the state at Detroit’s annual crisis communications summit: The Public Information Officer and the Right to Know.
“I am honored to be included with the wonderful group of leaders selected to be part of the Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 class of 2020,” Mark said. “Oakland County is a great place to live and work and I have enjoyed meeting many other leaders in the area through the Leadership Oakland program.”
Heather Farmer, a current participant in the Cornerstone Program’s 30th class, is the Deputy Finance Director/Deputy Treasurer for the City of Auburn Hills.
Prior to joining the City of Auburn Hills in October 2016, Heather worked in the private sector and has over ten years’ experience in the accounting field. Heather is currently completing a dual master’s program at Walsh College, in which she will obtain a Master of Business Administration degree and Master of Science in Finance degree, with a concentration in Financial Management. She is a member of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association.
Heather also volunteers her time to Meals on Wheels and other local community initiatives. She was awarded the Auburn Hills Optimist Club Optimist Civilian Employee of the Year in 2018 and the Senior Services Director’s Award in 2019 for her dedicated volunteerism.
“It is an honor to be recognized by Oakland County Executive David Coulter. I am enjoying the Leadership Oakland Cornerstone Program and am excited for the future of our county and the region,” said Heather.