Mark Smith is serving his fifth term in the Iowa House. He serves as the Chair of the Human Resources Committee and also serves on the Environmental Protection, and Judiciary Committees as well as the Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee.
Mark Smith was born in Osceola, Iowa on January 5, 1952, the son of R. Eugene and Betty Danner Smith. His family lived on a farm near Osceola until moving to Winterset, where Mark graduated from high school in 1970 and received a college scholarship.
After graduation, Mark worked in a special nutritional and recreational program for children through Iowa State Extension Services. That led him to study social work first at Graceland College (BA, 1974) and then the University of Iowa (MSW, 1986).
Mark has spent his entire career helping people. He has worked with troubled children and their families, treated substance abuse, directed services to the mentally ill, and made sure nursing homes provide quality care for the elderly. Mark was among the first to provide early mental health counseling to children through the schools. He is currently the Director of Special Projects at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI).
He is often called on to train substance abuse counselors, foster parents and social workers. Mark was the only member of the Iowa General Assembly to work at the World Trade Center following the attack on America on 9-11-01. He also works as a divorce mediator helping couples work through their disputes. He has received numerous awards for his work and was named to the Board of Social Work by Gov. Vilsack before being elected.
Mark and his wife, Karen Lischer, have been married for 23 years. They have a daughter, Allie, who attends Beloit College. Mark is the former foster parent of two boys, Kevin and Darwin Eggert of Clearfield, and is now a grandparent to five foster grandchildren.
Mark attends Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he serves as an Elder and teaches Sunday School to adults with special needs.
Mark was treasurer of the Friends of the Marshalltown Public Library, a nonprofit organization that has raised thousands of dollars to improve library services. He served as a member of the Marshall County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Advisory Board and served as the 1999 Chair. He has been a member of the Fisher Elementary Student Improvement Team and the Middle School Advisory Committee.
Mark is an avid bicyclist who has ridden numerous RAGBRAIs and bicycle treks in other states. He is past president of the Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club. Mark serves on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers.