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Partner of the Month: Mark Holloway

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

It is a rare person in the SVP world who has not met, or heard the name, Mark Holloway, and we are proud to honor him as SVP Portland’s August Partner of the Month! 

Known for his energy and tireless efforts to create “Preschool for All” in Multnomah County, Mark has served as Vice-Chair of the Preschool for All Task Force (chaired by Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson) for the past nine months.

The Task Force was years in the making for Mark who has worked since 2012 with SVP Portland, community-based organizations, Early Learning Multnomah, and parents to build a vision and strategy for how our most underserved kids and families can have the opportunity for success from the start.  

“I am learning that community-based policy making is painstaking, intense, and absolutely worthwhile,” Mark said in a recent reflection. “I’m thrilled about the community’s engagement in this effort—more than 100 people from dozens of organizations, companies, jurisdictions, etc. all engaged with their hearts and minds in what we can make happen in our community. It makes me more confident than ever that we’re going to win Preschool for All to benefit our kids and families and our local economy!”

You are read the full Preschool for All Task Force report here. 

We are proud to have Mark as a member of the SVP Portland Partnership!  


What does your ideal Portland look like?  

When David and I moved here 12 years ago, we fell in love with the soul of Portland—calm and connected while still entrepreneurial and goal-oriented. And, of course, weird! I fear we are losing that soul with the growth of the city, succumbing to some of the challenges rather than optimizing the opportunities. One of the opportunities that I’m most excited about is the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in our community. I long for and try to play some part in lifting up the rich diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas and ensuring they have as many opportunities for success as those who have historically had the power, influence, and resources. If we can get that right—and I really think we can—we’ll bring such joy and peace into our community.

How does capacity building solve community problems? 

Whew! No small question here!! Assuming you don’t want a graduate thesis for an answer, I will just say that, down to a person, we thrive when we build our knowledge, capabilities, and personal capacity to make the best life for ourselves and those around us. It’s no different for organizations and organization leaders. When we invest in their capabilities and capacity, we put force and build momentum behind the power of their passion for change. And that changes the world.  

What are you looking forward to in Phase II of the Preschool for All initiative? 

I’m looking forward to bringing this baby into the world! We have come SO FAR in this effort—and done so together, as a community, which makes my heart sing—but we are far from done. Until we have secured the money for it, the job is not done. I’m particularly excited about this part because I love coalition building and selling a vision and we get to do that on a large scale to win voters over on making this critical investment. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am REALLY enjoying spare time I haven’t had in a while! So these days my joys are…

  • Long walks with Hank the hound. 
  • Making spaces beautiful (our yard has been getting some love these days). 
  • Traveling far and wide.  
  • And my guilty pleasures are TV and movies. I love to be transported and touched by the stories they tell.

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