Mark Litzler is Director of Advancement at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. He was previously the Executive Director for Saint Luke’s Foundation located in Kansas City, MO. In that role, Mark oversaw a team comprised of fundraising professionals, marketing and IT employees. He was responsible for development of programs that support the organization’s mission in the field of Philanthropy and Public Administration. Mark’s accomplishments at Saint Luke’s ranged from growing the organization’s support from one to five different hospitals, and raising an excess $85 million for the Campaign for the New Saint Luke’s. In 2009 Mark received the “Non Profit Professional of the Year” award for his outstanding contributions on the non profit sector.
Besides his career in Public Administration, Mark is also an accomplished Cartoonist and has been published nationally, in The Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Harvard Business Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest,The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others. Litzler’s cartoons have also been featured in college textbooks, illustrating individual chapters and subjects. In the 1990s, Mark wrote “Today’s Agenda,” which appeared in numerous ACBJ newspapers.
Mark started his drawing cartoons while he was working for his college paper at Cleveland State University. His inspiration for his characters and humor is often found in daily routine activities, life, and relationships. What started as a hobby in college, quickly turned into a passion for Mark, and he has since worked towards improving his style, becoming efficient in his writing and portraying more real life situations in his cartoons.
Using the name “Joe Vanilla,” Litzler’s cartoons portray an average guy who is constantly dealing with life’s ups and downs, as well as office relationships and the inconveniences of keeping up with new technologies. Mark describes Joe as “our everyday protagonist. Relevant, quick witted, playful, ironic and timely.”
Future career aspirations for Mark include becoming a syndicated cartoonist for an established publication, and improving his writing and drawing skills.