What are people saying?

Mark travels North America speaking and sharing the insights and strategies of his new book. Not only is Mark’s work making a difference for business and industry groups, educators, and parents, but it’s also inspiring the younger generations directly. Read what others are saying about Mark’s message and share your own thoughts with Mark here!

Advance Reviewers


From Advance Reviewers

This is an amazing book you can apply to every area of your life. Educators, trainers, and anyone working with young people today will discover the tools and strategies to build direction, motivation, and passion in these pages.” Brian Tracy, Best-selling Author of 86 Books
Perceptive…reasonable and thought-provoking arguments all.” Publishers Weekly
Engaging. Accurate. Insightful. Mark Perna truly understands how the older and younger generations work (and sometimes don’t work) together. His insights will spark productive conversations and challenge the stigmas that have held the younger generations back in today’s workforce.” Adam Robinson, Founder and CEO of Hireology and author of The Best Team Wins
Mark is fantastic at explaining the pressures and expectations weighing on the younger generation entering the workforce. Written for those looking to hire and retain Generations Y and Z, this book outlines who they are and how we can empower them to turn the business world on its head.” Christine Hassler, Generational Expert, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author
Mark has created a comprehensive playbook full of insight while dispelling the mainstream myths concerning the younger generations. In addition, he strategically creates a compendium for greater conversations as well as a call to action among school administrators, industry leaders, policymakers and higher education providers. This is an essential read for anyone looking to influence education and the greater global economy while lessening the skills gap crisis.” CyLynn Braswell, Executive Director, College & Career Readiness at Northwest Independent School District
Youth culture today impacts everyone—Gen X and Baby Boomers along with Gen Z and Millennial stakeholders. Answering Why will help inform your thinking about how to adjust to an ever-evolving workforce, enabling the reader to create scalable solutions to employee engagement and other workforce opportunities.” Jeff Fromm, President FutureCast, Keynote Speaker & Author, Marketing to Millennials, Millennials with Kids, and Marketing to Gen Z
This book will remind educators and workforce development professionals why they care about students and careers. As a member of the Millennial generation, I found the specific examples and real-world success stories compelling. By opening the conversation with useful and practical steps to reach the Why Generation, Mark Perna is working to reframe mindsets about how we connect students to careers. Answering Why will be the catalyst to change our thinking about this critical topic.” Jen Schottke, Vice President in the Construction Industry, Elected Board of Education Trustee, Millennial, and Parent
Educators have long been searching for a cohesive set of strategies to engage today’s young people. In Answering Why, Perna delivers it—while making a powerful argument for equipping all students in the K–12 system with both the academic knowledge and technical skill to be competitive, whether college, technical school, or career is in their immediate future. I’m proud to recommend this book to all parents and educators looking to make a bigger difference for their students!” Christy Perry, Superintendent, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
Answering Why is a marvelous tool for workforce development and education organizations across the country. It’s an easy read but full of eye-opening insights and actionable steps to connect more effectively with today’s up and coming workforce. Parents will also benefit from the strategies to motivate their children to greater performance. Organizations that are looking to build a robust learning and training culture should start with this book. Bravo!” Jimmy E. Greene, president and CEO of ABC Greater Michigan and Greater Michigan Construction Academy
This is an incredibly important message that will change the face of education and workforce development in this country.” Cathie Raymond, Deputy Associate Superintendent/State Director, Career and Technical Education, Arizona Department of Education
What an eye-opening book! Answering Why reveals the vast potential of today’s young people and equips us to answer their why. Mark Perna has created the missing piece in the puzzle of the younger generations that we’ve been trying to solve blindfolded. This book is going to change the game for students and parents everywhere.” Paul Galbenski, 2012 Michigan Teacher of the Year, Dean, Oakland Schools

From Business & Industry

Mark Perna was an absolute pleasure to work with as the keynote speaker for our company’s tuXperience Event. He tailored his presentation to fit our audience and was extremely energetic, engaging and entertaining while at the same time hitting our attendees with topics that hit the “sweet spot” for what they are experiencing with today’s workforce challenges. Our attendees could not say enough as to how much they enjoyed his presentation, as well as the ability to take back to their organizations so many of the thought-provoking topics and solutions he addressed!” Lysa Kenney, Sales & Marketing Specialist at Tooling U-SME and Bryan Knaack, Manager, Client Services at Tooling U-SME
Understanding the passions and needs of others creates engagement and leads to success. Mark Perna understands and preaches this in an engaging and embracing monologue.” Mark Drury, Vice President, Business Development at Shapiro & Duncan Inc.
Fantastic delivery of an incredibly relevant topic. Who doesn’t want to understand Gen Y better? The storytelling format made the entire presentation so much more interesting and relatable. I would say this was one of the best I’ve heard on this topic.” Dana Zorn, Training & Development Specialist at Hilite International
We are all trying to make a difference, make improvement, and make an impact in our business and our personal lives. The info shared today provides insight and inspiration to do just that!” Robert Martens, Chief Mfg Eng – Steering at Nexteer Automotive
One of the most informative presentations that I have ever been involved with at the professional level. Mark gives a great perspective on how to understand the Millennial Generation.” Wade Thompson, Vice President, Membership/Workforce at ABC North Alabama
Great strategies on bridging the gap between my Baby Boomer managers and Millennial employees. This is one of the best and most engaging presentations I’ve heard in a very long time. I’m very excited to get the presentation and utilize the knowledge.” Andrea McCrary, HR Manager at Atlas Copco Secoroc, LLC
Mark provides valuable information about engaging Millennials in a very energetic and captivating way, with great examples and stories.” Scot McLemore, Technical Workforce Development at Honda North America, Inc.
This presentation gave me a much better understanding of how to deal with the Millennial Generation. I had never heard of many of the ideas.” Tim Webber, VP of North America Operations at Greif, Inc.
Great insight on how Millennials expect respect of them first and how respect must be earned. Also the light at the end of the tunnel strategy is helpful. I would like to read Mark’s book when it is published.” Janis Tobin, Controller at Arwood Machine Corp.
High energy and excellent message on hearing the branch creak, giving the vision, and creating common ground with Millennials.” June Hazzard, VP, Human Resources at Woodward, Inc.
After hearing this presentation, I have a much better understanding of the Millennials, their needs and a strategy for success.” Jim Kunik, Sr. Brand Strategy Manager at WW Grainger, Inc.
This message is very current with our needs, on how to interact with Millennials.” Seth Machlus, VP of Operations at Hartwig Inc.
Experience is everything. This presentation provided great input on retaining and managing Millennials.” Maria Kogen, Sr. Director, Brand at WW Grainger, Inc.
I walked into the classroom thinking that I should be back at the office getting my work finished. When this presentation was ending, I became extremely disappointed that I couldn’t have the entire day to sit and learn from Mark. Hands down 100% the best time and information I have received in my career. Thank you!” Kimberly Stephens, Chief Communications Officer at Lake Emergency Services
I absolutely loved the presentation. Mr. Perna was the best speaker/presenter I have ever seen. Please bring him back again.”Franchetta Honer, FL Hospital Waterman at FL Hospital Water Client Services & Office Supervision

From Educators

Wow! Bringing Mark Perna in to speak to MCC faculty and administrators was one of the best decisions we ever made. His powerful keynote address during our fall opening week was, and continues to be, instrumental in helping the College sharpen its focus on enrollment, engagement, and retention. Mark is a dynamic and entertaining speaker, but more importantly, his presentation was one of real substance. He laid out specific, step-by-step strategies for getting students in the door, keeping them interested, and helping them cross the finish line. Our audience was so impressed that they gave Mark an enthusiastic standing ovation at the conclusion of his presentation. He truly made a lasting impact here! His message prompted everyone to get fired up about reaching students, and his experience-driven guidance has laid the foundation for us to stay on message as an organization.”Michelle Rule, Institute for Faculty Excellence, Faculty Development Coordinator at Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska
Mr. Perna was dynamic, energetic and knowledgeable. Made the presentation engaging and relevant to all audience members. Positive attitude and humor were great. Thank you for the information and your passion!”Stephanie Gwin, Social Studies Instructor at Pioneer Career & Technology Center
How to connect to the Y and Z Generations — so true! Thank for you igniting the spark in me to change. To plant the seed for a new tree to grow the minds and interests of my students. Please email me your presentation and sign me up for that book when it prints!”James Rumon, M.S. Tech Teacher
Mark was very engaging and entertaining. I really enjoyed his personal stories about his sons and students that have been successful. These stories made it more real.”Cindy Carpenter, Syracuse High School
Mark is very engaging and draws in his audience. He makes us feel like together we can accomplish any goal that we set.”Tonya Randolph, Academic/Career Advisor CTEPS at Cochise College
Awesome speaker — genuine, knowledgeable, practical.” Allison O’Dell, ELA Academic Liaison at E2 BOCES
Mark is easy to listen to — very engaging, entertaining and informative.”Lisha Johnson, Teacher at Highline High School
Absolutely magnificent presentation — informative, fun, engaging! A strong call to action.”Beth Augustyn, Instructor at Metropolitan Community College
Finally! Some fresh, exciting ideas to attract students to our programs. Can’t wait to spread the word back at my district office. Hands down, best presentation!” Erica Shumaker, Administrative Assistant Curriculum at West-MEC
Mark is the most engaging, dynamic, motivating ‘marketer’ I’ve ever met! His passion is addictive. I can’t wait to get back to my classroom!” Linda Rudio, Adult Ed Instructor at Bradford Union Technical Center
This is by far the best session I have been privileged to attend. It was informative, engaging and enlightening. I can truly say you are the best keynote speaker I have seen.” Ghytana Goings, Chair, Arts & Sciences at Wallace Community College Selma
Best presentation on Millennials. Extremely helpful on how I’m going to interact with my students and engage them in finding their light.” Kristin Garcia, Counselor at Early College HS/Career Pathways
This is the third time I have heard Mark, and I have learned something new and useful each time.” Murray Fenn, Consultant at Green Hills Area Education Agency
In eleven years of teaching, I have never been so inspired and re-charged!” T.J. Rhodes, AG Teacher at Bear River High School
Exceptional, motivational, practical ideas to engage students, improve morale and raise the caliber of work we receive from our students.” Lisa Moon, Nursing/Health Science Director at Bridgerland Applied Technology College
Mark is an awesome motivator.” Juanita Landry, Art Teacher at Lafayette Parish School System
Nailed it! Millennials want support and respect. This keynote address absolutely hit the nail on the head. Give them structure to succeed. Well said.” David Smith, CTE/Business at Bear River High School
The idea that the Millennial generation is one of the smartest, most self-sufficient generations is a very interesting viewpoint. It also may be a great motivation for my students to apply themselves and drive themselves.” Cody Ortego, Teacher at Lafayette High School
Mark nailed it right on the head. He knows my clientele without having met them.” Kyle Saunders, Department Head at Bridgerland Applied Technology College
I just wanted to say THANK YOU. In reality, keynotes are like a box of chocolates… you never know what you will get until you open the box. Let us just say that not only was I pleased, but the chatter throughout the day clearly indicated that we as planners and you as the keynote speaker hit a home run. It was exceptionally well planned and engaging. The delivery was flawless. The real test is how many stay for the follow-up, and you retained 25% of the audience who wanted more despite having many other session choices. The surveys speak for themselves — they were perfect. Thank you for making a difference for our educators in our Massachusetts vocational technical community.” Peter D. Dewar, Director of Professional Development at Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators
Great strategies for connecting with students/peers, great info on generations. This speaker is awesome — lots of energy, full of great statistics, upbeat, positive. Should have pyrotechnics on stage. One of the best presentations in my 9 years coming to the conference. Keep up the momentum.”Susan O’Hare, Early Childhood Instructor at Greater Lowell Technical High School
I gained a better understanding of Generation Y individuals, what they need, how they think and what I can do to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. A++ presentation!”Audra Marini, Math Teacher at Montachusett Reg Voc Tech High School
Mark is genuine — he knows his stuff.” Joseph Corriveau, Plumbing Teacher at Blackstone Valley Reg Voc Tech HS
Mark hits the nail right on the head. Not only is he a great presenter, but he also happens to be 100% on point with what is needed for education. I now have another hero besides Mike Rowe.” Richard Sauro, Auto Collision Repair/Refinish Instructor at Blue Hills Regional
Awesome information given in a way that grabs you. Thank you for practicing what you preach! You don’t just deliver this information, you live it.” Mallory Morris, HIT Instructor at Ogden-Weber Technical College
I always appreciate useful, relevant information/data to use with students and parents. The Career Trees are very intriguing. Love that the millennials weren’t denigrated. It was a great, realistic assessment of them.”Jennifer Mclellan, Mercer Island School District

From Parents

Address the why, I will be using this for my son as well as my classroom from now on. Great message and easy to follow.” Lynne Collins, Morgan Community College
These concepts and approaches to understanding the Millennial generation are useful in my work in approaching students and parenting my Millennial son. I wish my husband could have attended.” Sherry Gaynor, Chef Instructor at First Coast Technical College
My daughter is 23 and what you said makes a lot of sense. I will become a better instructor and a better Father. Thanks Mark.” Phil Brown, Chef Instructor at First Coast Technical College
Would love for my 25 year old Millennial son to see this presentation!” Deborah Hehn, Adult Ed Instructor at First Coast Technical College
Great tips on connecting with students and to my own children.” Jennifer Reihl, RN, CTE Instructor at South Bend Community School
As a parent, thank you. I now know how to talk to my daughter, figure out what she wants to do and how to get there.” Kara Rowlinson, Payroll Clerk at Pioneer CTC
Students do not hear the branch creak. This presentation has helped me understand my youngest daughter, my grandson and my students.” Diane Zwiernikowski, Family Life Teacher
Awesome presentation! Thank you. A light at the end of the tunnel for me — parent of a teenage boy. Your personal story about your son Nick was very inspiring. I have my own Nick.” Pam Thomas, Counselor at J. Wallace James Elementary

From Young People

Thank you for bringing light to my generation instead of bashing it! It was very refreshing hearing someone from another generation understand how/why we do things and what we value.” Sahvanna Mease, Family Consumer Sciences Teacher at Vista Ridge High School
Before now, I seriously thought that college was my only option. Not anymore.” Brooklyn Pustari, Student at Colorado Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
The way he explained everything made sense and didn’t describe my generation as failures.” Lexis Michael, SkillsUSA State Secretary at SkillsUSA Colorado
Great relevance to education and life with younger generations. As a millennial, I found you do an incredible job explaining my generation.” Alexa Acord, Spec. Ed. Teacher at Colorado Springs SD 11
Loved the Career Tree, starting at the roots and growing to the top. Even as a high school student, I know this presentation changed my life.” James Ryan, Colorado TSA Officer at Large at Technology Student Association
This was seeing my life generalized through someone else’s eyes. It made me self-reflect, made me proud, made me see direction and made me laugh at myself.” Megan Greenland, Director of Events and Communications at ABC Arkansas Chapter
This was an amazing presentation and as a Millennial and first-time teacher, I feel very excited and inspired to do my job!” Kristen Bielik, Columbiana County Career Center
As a Millennial, you hit the nail on the head! As a Marketing Director, I wish everyone in my organization could experience this seminar. I loved it and am aching for more!” Jill Owenby, Director of Marketing at Southwest Technology Center
I am a Millennial and it was still very enlightening to learn things about myself and my peers that I have never thought about before, like Generation Y vs. Generation Why and making sure Millennials are stimulated at all times.” Angela Cannizzaro, Engr. Manager and Director of Quality at EJ Basler Co.
As a Millennial, your presentation helped me understand myself better, as well as how to work better with my students. I identify with your son in that I didn’t do well in school until I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for the great info!” Kristen Bogue, Business Instructor at Bridgerland Applied Technology College
As a Millennial and teacher, I found the information accurate and eye opening to give the students what I would want from a program.” Darren Libby, Digital Design Instructor at First Coast Technical College
I am from the millennial generation and went through the bad and good of the Career Tree. I entered into education to help students avoid my mistakes. The Career Tree has laid out my vision perfectly.” Andrew Bird, Woods Cross High
I am a member of Gen Y and I learned so much about myself today. But most important, I learned how to use my personality to benefit the college, rather than try to fit the mold. I realized I have something to offer.” Ashley Mellott, Marketing Assistant at Ogden-Weber Technical College
As a Millennial, I agree 100% that experience is everything. Also agree that lifestyle choice is just as important if not more than career choice. We need to give our students the light at the end of the tunnel/lifestyle vision for enrollment and retention!” Amber Weaver, Registrar at First Coast Technical College
I am Gen Y but it can still be difficult to understand what younger Gen Y and Z need and want. I enjoyed the breakdown. I also enjoyed the Career Tree and how to make this valuable to my students.” Elizabeth Booth, Teacher
I am a Y Generation and it was interesting to be able to understand more of my generation and to see where to connect with others in my generation and those from others.” Rachel Prothero, Nursing Assistant Teacher Aide at Ogden-Weber Technical College
Love the Career Tree. Being a Millennial myself and an expert in my field, I try to get my students to feel as passionate about a career as I do. Even if they feel this is not the path for them, I steer them in the direction they will love to work in.” Kara DeJack, Sports Medicine Instructor
As a millennial, I found Mr. Perna very accurate and I reflected on my own life, goals and present endeavors.” Jen Oney, 2015 WA ACTE Attendee