Mark M. Harris

Mark M. Harris has been with the Office of the General Counsel of The Boeing Company—where he provides enterprise-wide legal support for executive compensation and benefits matters—since May of 2008. Prior to joining Boeing, Mark served as Director/Compensation and Benefits for Tribune Company.  Immediately prior to joining Tribune, he spent three years as Director of Employee Benefits for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Company.  From 1985 to 1996, he was in private practice in the Employee Benefits Group of the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Advocate Healthcare. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Grinnell College and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

Mark is an enthusiastic camper, canoeist, kayaker, and fisherman. It was through these activities that he was first introduced to Openlands:

“I was attracted to Openlands for a few different reasons,” says Mark. “I’m an avid consumer of what you could call Openlands’ product. I’ve spent a lot of time on the water in the region, and Openlands’ trail guides are an incredible resource. I’ve also been impressed by the improvements made in landings, which Openlands was a part of.”

Mark and his wife Lori have two children: Nate and Marni. They live in Western Springs, Illinois. Lori is the owner of Salt Creek Butterfly Farms in Countryside, Illinois.

“My family and I love the outdoors, and there are plentiful opportunities in our region to get out and about. We use the wonderful open space that Openlands makes possible, including the Lakeshore Preserve. We’ve enjoyed going out to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and taking advantage of the bike trails and hiking paths.

“Growing up, my family introduced me to nature. My dad was a big fisherman and my mom loved tennis. They introduced me to the outside, the open air, and being out and active. I also participated in summer camps when I was young, which was a great introduction.”

Serving on the Board of Directors is a way for Mark to lend support and leadership to Openlands.

“I know and respect Nancy Sutherland and Jerry Adelmann. They introduced me to Openlands the organization, beyond the physical assets that Openlands has made possible. As I’ve learned more about the organization, I’ve become very impressed with the depth and breadth of what Openlands does. I knew about the trails and the waterways, but I’ve learned about projects like the urban gardens.

“I’m also impressed by Openlands’ inclusive mission. These spaces aren’t being reserved for the elites. They are being made accessible to everyone. And that is important.”


  • B.A. (English), Grinnell College
  • University of Michigan Law School

Civic and non-profit affiliations

  • Advocate Healthcare, Chair of the Board of Directors