BIS in Individualized Study

Mark Friese, 2015

Mark Friese

Since receiving his Bachelor of Individualized Study degree from Mason, Mark Friese has made a significant impact locally and nationally – serving the community of families that include members with special needs.

Mark heads the Merrill Lynch Special Needs Group in Washington, D.C., where he helps clients negotiate the complex issues and choices that are encountered by people with special needs and their families. Mark and his team help them establish their priorities and make plans for their financial futures. They also work as advocates, testifying before Congress, educating the community, and serving as a resource for their clients’ particular circumstances.

Mark’s work on behalf of the special needs community goes beyond serving his clients, though. He is a frequent public speaker and has conducted seminars covering financial, education, tax, special needs, and estate planning for schools, institutions, corporations, associations, retirement communities, and professional groups.  Mark has appeared on local media, providing resources and information to the special needs community. He is a board member for many organizations that focus on helping the special needs community, including Shared Horizons, the Special Needs Pooled Trust in Washington D.C., the Autism Society of America’s Northern Virginia Chapter, and the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities.  Mark also serves as a committee member for Autism Speaks and he has worked with the National Disabilities Institute in marketing and planning.