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Governor Mark R. Warner

Mark R. (the "R" stands for Robert) Warner was elected Virginia's 69th governor in November, 2001. He is a businessman, a community leader, a husband, and a father.

Mark grew up in a middle class family where he learned the values of hard work, faith, and family, and the importance of a good education. With the help of student loans and part-time jobs, he worked his way through school. He became the first member of his family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1977 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1980.

But instead of practicing law, Mark followed a different passion: business. While he learned during his first two business ventures that getting started isn't always easy, he did not give up. Mark remained determined and worked hard. In the early 1980s, he started his first successful company in the brand new cellular communications industry. Mark went on to become a founding partner of Columbia Capital Corporation, a technology venture capital fund in Alexandria which helps provide start-up money and advice for exciting business ideas. As a result, Mark has helped start more than 50 businesses that have grown to employ more than 15,000 workers.

Mark's hard work extends beyond the business world. He has been a dedicated leader in community life across Virginia. He served as founding chair of the Virginia Health Care Foundation, which has provided health care to more than 425,000 underserved Virginians in rural and urban areas. Through the Virginia Health Care Foundation, Mark started SeniorNavigator.com, a program that uses the Internet and a network of trained volunteers to help older Virginians and their caregivers find answers to medical questions, locate senior health services, and connect with other senior citizens in their communities.

When he saw too many people falling on the wrong side of the digital divide, Mark started TechRiders, a program that brings free computer training classes to houses of worship all across Virginia. He started the Virginia High-Tech Partnership to connect students at Virginia's five Historically Black Colleges and Universities with internships and jobs at leading high-tech companies.

Mark has served on the boards of Virginia Union University, the George Washington University, the Appalachian School of Law, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and the Virginia Math and Science Coalition. He serves as co-chair of Virginia's Communities in Schools Foundation with Senator George Allen.

Mark and his wife, Lisa Collis, have three daughters Madison, Gillian, and Eliza. They are active members of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House. Mark is 50 years old.

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