May 18—Richard J. Mark, the longtime chairman and president of Ameren Illinois and former president of the now closed St. Mary's Hospital in East St. Louis, is retiring from Ameren on Aug. 1, the company announced Tuesday.
Mark, a native of Collinsville, was promoted to president of Ameren Illinois in 2012 after serving as an executive with the utility company for 10 years.
"Leading Ameren Illinois has been the privilege of my lifetime," said Mark in a news release.
"I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a dedicated team that shared my passion for our customers," he said. "I'm proud of what we have accomplished together and I'm confident that even better things are ahead for Ameren Illinois."
The company did not announce a replacement for Mark.
Along with serving as an executive at the former St. Mary's Hospital in East St. Louis for 11 years, Mark served as chairman of the state financial advisory panel that monitored East St. Louis School District 189 spending for nine years until 2004, the News-Democrat reported in 2012 when Mark was named Ameren Illinois president.
When Mark left St. Mary's Hospital in December 2001 to join Ameren in January 2002, he told the BND that the move was "an opportunity of a lifetime."
Ameren said Mark is credited with improving reliability of service and reducing outages for Ameren customers.
Ameren Illinois has 1.2 million electric customers and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in Illinois.
Mark's accomplishments also include increasing Ameren Illinois' efforts to promote diversity and the company's philanthropic efforts.
"In 10 years, he directed more than $22 million in donations to Downstate Illinois non-profits and service organizations and stepped up the company's volunteer efforts for charitable causes," the news release stated. "As a champion of diversity, Mark opened doors for more minorities to grow into leadership positions in Ameren Illinois and increased the value of goods and services purchased from minority- and women-owned suppliers by 34% over ten years."
Ameren Illinois, through Ameren Cares, has been a financial supporter of the BND's expanded coverage of underserved communities and K-12 education in southwestern Illinois. Ameren Cares has awarded grants to the nonprofit Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project, to support two reporter positions at the BND. The positions have been funded by RFA, readers, community institutions and the BND.
Mark has been recognized by Black Enterprise and Savoy magazines as one of the top 100 most influential Black businessmen in America, Ameren said.
Martin J. Lyons Jr., president and chief executive officer, Ameren Corp., the parent company of Ameren Illinois, said in a statement, "Richard has been a difference-maker for our company, having served in leadership positions for both Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois."
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