The first thing you notice about Mark Lindquist is his energy. Which is truly amazing, considering that in this instance, he’s on speakerphone.
“Today’s a 10!” Lindquist responds to the ‘how are you?’ question.
Lindquist, one of the most in-demand motivational speakers in the upper midwest will highlight the Huron Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau’s annual meeting, “Building for the Future,” Tuesday night at the Huron Event Center.
For ticket information and reservations, call the Chamber at 352-0000.
“I expect people to leave the Chamber meeting fully energized!” said the Ortonville, Minn. native. “Energized to go and do what needs to be done.”
Lindquist came to Ortonville by way of Seoul, South Korea. He was adopted and grew up in the small western Minnesota town, and now calls Fargo, N.D., his home after serving in the Air Force.
Erica Woodbury at the Chamber was able to hear an abbreviated Lindquist presentation at a speaker symposium and got the full Lindquist effect at the Mid-American Chamber executives meeting.
“He sang for us at that meeting and between his singing and his incredibly motivating speech, I was on board.”
While he is highly sought out as motivational speaker, Lindquist said that it’s from his singing of the National Anthem - at numerous collegiate and professional sporting venues — for which he is most often recognized.
“Many people have commented that they truly appreciate hearing the National Anthem, ‘the way it’s supposed to be done,’” he said. It’s a talent that he first floated while in high school, with encouragement of his football coach.
He encourages everyone in leadership roles to take a good look at how they are leading today’s youth. “Young people are watching everything that happens,” he said. “They watch and they emulate what they see. You might think they are disinterested and are disconnected, but I guarantee they are watching your words and actions. Does what you say and what you do align? Are you a role model for the next generation and what kind of role model are you?”
Lindquist said that the turning point in his life took place on Sept. 11, 2001, when he was working in a support role with the American Red Cross Action Team that responded to the Pentagon.
“I was 20 years old and that was an extremely powerful moment. I was too young for Kennedy and was only six when the first Gulf War took place. I remember the windows shaking in our office and the smell of smoke that drifted across the Potomac after the jet crashed into the Pentagon.”
That event led to his enlistment in the Air Force, where he was stationed in Honolulu, which in a round-about way, led him back to the frozen tundra of Fargo, not exactly the hotbed for in-demand motivational speakers and nationally recognized singers.
“I was back for the holidays from Honolulu,” he recalled. “When I rang the doorbell at my parent’s house, I peeked in the window and saw my sister whisper to her son before he came to open the door.”
Later, Lindquist asked his sister what she had said to his nephew.
“She said, ‘Remember, it’s Uncle Mark, from Facebook,’” Lindquist said. “That really hit me. I didn’t only want to be someone in pictures on social media.”
So when his service was up, he settled in Fargo, two hours up the road from his parents home and began building his business.
One of the things Lindquist pushes his audience to do is to push themselves in new ways.
“As adults we have gotten out of the habit of trying new things,” he said. “We have to stretch ourselves into doing things out of our comfort zone. The status quo is the enemy of progress. In 2018, let’s break out a new experience!”
Lindquist said his message Tuesday night will be about igniting passion in the leaders of the city of Huron. “If you’re a leader - and everyone is a leader in a way - you’ll want to be there. If you aren’t there, you’re going to miss out!”
And then, as he does for many of his speeches, he will close the evening with his signature presentation of the National Anthem.
Expect to be energized.
Motivational speaker Mark Lindquist will be the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau annual meeting at the Huron Event Center.