Journalist, Author, Entrepreneur
Class of 1976
Another gifted journalist sprouting from the halls of Sycamore High School is Mark Vancil. While attending Northern Illinois University, Mark had a short stint as a writer/reporter at our local Daily Chronicle newspaper. He’s worked his way from a paperboy to an award- winning writer and reporter. From 1982-1987 he was a sports writer for the Chicago Sun Times covering the Chicago Bulls. This Sycamore prodigy has traveled the world and his work has appeared in many major American newspapers and international magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, and Sports Illustrated. He also has written for magazines in Australia and Japan!
For nearly two decades Mark was the Founder and President of Rare Air Media, a Chicago-based publishing and communications company. Rare Air Books, a division of Rare Air Media, produced more than two dozen award-winning titles, including four New York Times bestsellers with a variety of high profile individuals, professional organizations and corporations such as Michael Jordan, Mario Andretti, Cal Ripken, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Johnny Cash, Nike, MasterCard International, Hard Rock Cafes International, McDonald’s and Pepsi Co.
Mark has written, edited and produced all of Rare Air’s books, including The Bald Truth, David Falk’s business- focused autobiography. He also created and wrote Leadership From the Inside: Dinner Table Values, with Sgt. Major Alfred McMichael, the 14th Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corp. and the first African American to hold that post, as well as Leadership in Anxious Times, by Care Communications CEO, Leslie Fox.
Mark was also managing partner of Running Bull Pictures, a feature film development company located in Hollywood, California. Running Bull Pictures’ The Inner Circle has been sold in nearly a dozen countries including France and Australia.
Mark is currently President/Managing Partner of Williams Inference Global, LLC, an Illinois-based business intelligence company. Williams uses a form of qualitative analysis that the Central Intelligence Agency calls “reduced cue analysis” to service a variety of institutional and corporate clients, including Fidelity Investments, Wellington Capital Management and the Royal Bank of Canada. He also sits on the board of KEWA Financial, an insurance bonding company based in Toronto, Canada.
Mark and his wife, Laura, established The Mark and Laura Vancil Family Foundation which supports women and children related causes including the National Breast Cancer Coalition and The Women’s and Children’s Shelter.
Spirit and determination have taken this Sycamore native a long way! We are so proud to induct Mark Vancil into the Sycamore High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame!
Mr. Mark Vancil – 2016 Inductee SHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame