In 2009, Mark had an opportunity to move back to his hometown of Fairfield, and help founded The Leaven, which has become an award-winning program providing after-school and summer tutoring for children living in under-developed communities in California. The Leaven, under his leadership, has become the fastest growing grassroots nonprofit in Fairfield, California, and expanded its programming to Southern California. Lillis is responsible for the strategic leadership of The Leaven’s after-school tutoring centers and “Summer Success Program,” volunteer recruitment and donor development.
In addition to his leadership of The Leaven, Lillis is a member of the Board of Directors for Vacaville Christian School, a school dedicated to enhancing academic achievement for every student. In 2011, he was selected as a U.S Air Force Thunderbirds Hometown Hero. He also was chosen that same year to serve as an Honorary Commander with the United States Air Force 573 Global Support Squadron stationed at Travis Air Force Base. Currently he is an Honorary Commander with the United States Air Force 60th Operations Group as well as provides leadership to the Travis Regional Airforce Committee as a member of the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining The Leaven, Lillis served as an Assistant to the Mayor and City Council in Santa Barbara, California. He was also an assistant to a member of the United States House of Representatives during that time. Mr. Lillis holds a Bachelor’s degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Strategic Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.
Mark, his wife, Melinda, and son Hudson are currently residents of Suisun City and active in several community activities in Solano County, as well as attending church at Grace Family Fellowship. He enjoys reading, running and hiking.