The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation recently announced Mark Butler, president and CEO of Ollie's Bargain Outlet, as its chairman of the board of directors.
"We are very proud and eager to have Mark Butler as our new chairman," Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, said. "Mark and his wife Betty's passion for giving back has been vital to our success in helping thousands of underprivileged youth across the country. We have the utmost faith that Mark's leadership will help the Ripken Foundation soar to new heights."
In his new role, Butler will be responsible for providing oversight and leadership to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. He will also play a critical role in creating strategic partnerships with companies and nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and support for the Ripken Foundation.
Butler helped found Ollie's Bargain Outlet in 1982 and became president and CEO of the company in 2003. Since then, Ollie's has grown from 27 stores to 163 stores in 16 states. As president and CEO of one of the top 50 fastest growing companies for 11 of the past 14 years, Butler's vision for growth is evident in his involvement with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Butler promotes in-store fundraising for the Ripken Foundation annually. During the fundraising event, Ollie's shoppers can donate $1 or more and have their name proudly displayed on Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation cutouts in the store.
Last year, Butler and his wife generously funded the foundation's 14th youth development park aptly named Mark and Betty Butler Field, in Harrisburg, Pa. Ollie's Bargain Outlet is also the title sponsor of three additional parks in Maryland, including Ollie's Bargain Outlet Park in Annapolis, Vi Ripken Field in Aberdeen and Babe Ruth Field in Baltimore City. With plans to build 50 fields in five years (#50in5), the goal of the youth development park initiative is to develop several unique, multi-purpose, low-maintenance fields with synthetic turf that will provide a cohesive recreational and educational experience for underserved young people across the United States.
"I'm really excited to be chairman of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation," Butler said. "So many great people are behind the mission of the Ripken Foundation to serve disadvantaged youth in distressed communities and I'm really proud and excited about the goals we've identified for the next few years. I can't say it won't be challenging, but I'm certain it will be very rewarding."
Butler is also part owner of the Harrisburg Senators Baseball Club, "AA" affiliate of the Washington Nationals and a 2005 and 2014 Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" finalist for the Greater Philadelphia region. Butler resides in Carlisle, Pa., with his wife and their three children.