The mission of the Jane and John Marks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to improve the lives of citizens through advocacy and outreach. It recognizes a path to the betterment of society via sustainable economic growth and education, fueled by emerging technology.
Continuing Public Service
Education and Outreach
Two sides to the Digital Divide.
The Digital Divide You Know.
As our society has become more interconnected, Internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. However, for too many Americans, their broadband Internet experience is inadequate. Specifically, individuals in unserved and underserved communities often have access that is practically inferior to those living in more affluent conditions — if they have it at all. This is the (demand side) Digital Divide.
The “Supply-Side Digital Divide”
However, there is another digital divide, one that affects the unserved and underserved not as consumers, but as creators. Currently, many communities and individuals do not have the technological or human resources that would allow them to develop and deploy technologies and innovations that can be utilized on and with the internet. This is the “supply-side” Digital Divide.
The goal of the Foundation is to engage in activities and services that will address issues related to the supply-side digital divide.
Thinking Digitally. Acting Locally.
The Foundation will develop and support local, state, and national institutions and solutions to provide education,support, and opportunities for students and career-seekers in the field of information technology.
Education plus technology equals success. In accordance with STEM related efforts, state and nationwide, the Foundation will promote training, education and resource development for aspiring young achievers.
The Foundation is committed to the acceleration of broadband availability in underserved communities. We are working hard to promote and assist strategic institutions that are likely to create broadband-oriented careers and provide significant public benefits.
The Localmarks™ App
The Foundation is in the process of developing its first project; an app-based mobile directory of local assistance programs and centers available for young minorities. Leaders, users and other stakeholders will be able to build connections and stay connected to their community.
Users will be able to discover, locate and contact local youth-oriented programs through a simple hierarchical interface. Features will include an alphabetical listing, detailed organization information, GPS location, and one-touch dialing. The ability for organizations to self-update is also planned.
School of Code
The Foundation is partnering with local programs, experts, and professionals to help educate young people in technology.
Our goal is to give students the practical coding skills that are invaluable in the job market – but also to give them the insight and inspiration to be a force for good in our increasingly technologically-oriented world.
Students will receive training in:
- Software Development
- Web Design
- Social Media Management
- Information Management
The Hacker Space
Communications technology has advanced at a rapid pace, enabling vital connections between creators and innovators around the world. Nevertheless, we’re also finding that there’s still significant value in meeting and working face-to-face. Indeed, some of technology’s greatest successes have come from free-form garage-type spaces where individuals are able to freely experiment with tech and ideas.
Accordingly, it is a goal of the foundation to secure and develop a “hacker space.” By providing a centrally-located, publicly accessible creative outlet for tech-oriented individuals, we hope to help young people grow their ideas.
Who we are.
Jane A. Marks, M.A., LMFT, LMHC (Chief Advising Officer) has been a practicing psychotherapist in the Tallahassee area for the past 40 years. She serves as a motivational speaker to address the needs of children and teens. She is a member of many charitable organizations and sits as a member of various boards of directors including Florida State University’s Friends of Dance, Boys Town, the Tallahassee Memorial Foundation, and San Luis Mission Foundation.
John R. Marks, III (Chief Executive Officer) currently serves as the Mayor of the City of Tallahassee, Florida. He served eight years on the Florida Public Service Commission and spent the last two as its Chairman. He served on the FPSC during the divestiture of AT&T and was instrumental in the implementation of the Federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). Before being appointed, he served as an Administrative Law Judge on the Commission. He has been an adjunct professor at FSU’s College of Law, teaching utility regulatory law and a faculty member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ utility rate school.
John R. Marks, IV (Chief Operational Officer) received his B.S. degree in 1999 from Harvard University and his Juris Doctorate in 2003 from Columbia University. He is a member of the Florida bar. Currently, he serves as an Associate in Information Studies at Florida State University’s College of Information. He teaches information policy, legal research, web programming, communications, and project management. His career has focused on the social implications of internet broadband and new media technologies.
Farhood Basiri (Chief Technology Officer) is the Managing Partner of Bellwether Software, a web and mobile software development company. He is a former Assistant Director of Communications & Alumni Affairs at Florida State University, and currently teaches Florida’s only mobile application development courses at a public university.
Christian Doolin (Chief Innovation Officer) is a Design Lead for Deloitte’s Center for Immersive Learning, leading the design and development of gaming, simulation, and sandbox solutions to drive engaging client learning experiences. His professional experience includes risk modeling in the US transportation system; investment banking in the upstream oil and gas sector; and emerging market advisory for the privatization of Middle East ports and universities.