Mark French Passes Away


Wednesday, May 8, 2018

Last week, LAI Video was devastated to learn that Mark French, our founder and featured survivor in A Teachable Moment, passed away from a stroke.  Almost four years from the initial incident, it’s a tragic end for a man who dedicated so much of his life to not only recovering from his first strokes, but also becoming a champion for the cause. 


Mark was the founder of Leading Authorities, Inc., which included one of the country’s top speakers bureaus, an award-winning video agency, and a full-service live event production company. He was also the publisher of CEO Update, a top resource for association executives, a community in which he been a longstanding friend. 

In 2015, Mark suffered from two massive strokes. His diagnosis was grim, making his return to the office as triumphant as it was improbable, applying his signature drive to finding a new normal.

And as he carried with him an almost mythical story of recovery, Mark knew that other survivors were not so fortunate. 

In that spirit of learning, he tasked us to produce something that could save lives.

After a year of production, we completed A Teachable Moment, a feature-length documentary that definitively describes strokes, captures the grueling aftermath, and outlines preventative lifestyle choices. 

Since the film’s premiere one year ago, we count ourselves lucky to have made countless connections in a sprawling network of organizations dedicated to stroke care and neurological research. A network that remains committed to using the film as a tool to educate the public and help others heal.

An advocate to the end, Mark would be enormously proud to see that hospitals, schools, non-profits, and businesses continue to screen the film to thousands across the country, bringing people together to learn and love and make some extraordinary change in this world.

Mark was a loving husband to Carol, father to Kathleen, Brian, and Lauren, and grandfather to Kirsten and Preston.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery, a joint enterprise of Georgetown University and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 14th, at 11 AM at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Bethesda, MD. Visitation with the family will be held before the service at 10 AM, as well as from 6 to 8 PM on May 13th, at Pumphrey’s Funeral Home, also in Bethesda, MD.

James Loizou