5 questions with Mark Wright
Mark Wright is chairman of the board for Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, an organization that provides counseling for people affected by HIV and hospice facilities for those in the final stages of HIV disease. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser, Be An Angel, will be Sept. 9 at Eddie Deen’s Ranch.
How did you first get involved with Legacy?
I first got involved with the Founders Cottage when a good friend of mine had a partner who needed a place to live out the end of his life. Melissa Grove, who is the executive director now, was the director of the cottage at that time, and she helped us out. I started out by volunteering at the counseling center. And at the time, I lived in Oak Cliff near the cottage, so I started doing odd jobs for them, things like painting and gardening. Then last year, I chaired the auction committee for Be An Angel.
How long have been on Legacy’s board?
I have been on the board since October of last year. I was elected chairman of the board this past January.
What sets Legacy apart from other AIDS service organizations?
Everything about Legacy is geared completely towards its clients. We have the lowest administrative costs of any AIDS service organization in the city, which means that more of every dollar that comes into the agency goes directly to the clients. This is a place that gives people with AIDS a place to live and to die with dignity. That is very important to me. And the counseling programs Legacy offers are so incredibly valuable. You can listen to our clients talk about the services and that is obvious.
What do you do when you are not working for Legacy?
I work designing custom semi-conductors for a company based in San Jose. Well, it’s actually based in Taiwan. I enjoy gardening and landscaping, doing home improvement projects and building furniture. I recently remodeled my kitchen.
What about your family?
My partner, Toby Ashabranner, and I have been together eight-and-a-half years. We have a cocker spaniel, Woodrow, and a springer spaniel, Jeremy. My sister, Katherine Evans, lives in North Dallas.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 25, 2006.