Pronounced, “Burn-O-Vich”, Markʼs parents met at a church function in Detroit, Michigan. Markʼs mother, who legally immigrated from the former Yugoslavia in the 1950ʼs to escape the horrors of communism, taught him at an early age the importance of freedom and limited government. She often quoted Barry Goldwater, reminding him that “any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.”
The family moved to Arizona in the 1960ʼs and Mark grew up in Phoenix and attended public schools from 1st grade through High School. Also learning the value of hard work at an early age, he was a paper boy for several years for both the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. He went on to graduate from Arizona State University (BS, political science, cum laude). Like many Arizonans, he was drawn to San Diego, where he graduated from law School (University of San Diego 1991) but returned to his roots in Arizona after graduation. Mark proudly served his country as a member of the Army National Guard.
Mark met his wife Susan while they both worked as prosecutors for the Maricopa County Attorneyʼs office. Mark worked in the Gang/Repeat Offender Unit and prosecuted many difficult and high profile cases from 1992 to 1998. Always interested in new challenges, he went to work at the Arizona Attorney Generalʼs Office (1998-2003) and represented the Arizona Department of Gaming, where he developed an expertise in gambling law, as well as gaining an increased appreciation for Native American culture.
Mark has also previously served as the Director of the Goldwater Instituteʼs Center for Constitutional Government, and authored numerous studies, articles, and briefs advocating for free markets and individual liberty. He also served as a Senior Director for the Corrections Corporation of America, before later returning to his roots as a prosecutor and public servant. Mark has served as an Assistant United States Attorney where he prosecuted public integrity crimes, as well as crimes occurring in Indian Country.
He left the U.S. Attorneyʼs office to serve the people of Arizona as the Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, a law enforcement agency that investigates illegal gambling activity, as well as working with tribal regulators to ensure the integrity of tribal gaming. During his four year tenure, the Department seized hundreds of illegal gambling devices for the first time in the agencyʼs history, as well as investigating and assisting in the prosecution of illegal gambling operations. The Department also streamlined the vendor certification process and proactively worked with tribal gaming operations to reduce the number of compact violations during every year of his tenure. In his final fiscal year as Director, the Department returned more than $250,000 of his agencyʼs budget appropriation to the Stateʼs Educational Improvement Fund.
He and Susan have two children, who attend charter schools in Phoenix. They have two dogs and enjoy hiking, dinner with friends and family, as well as various sporting activities. He is also a huge Grateful Dead fan.