Mark FederMark Feder, SVP '71, '75, '76, of Hawthorn Woods, Ill., is the owner/controller of B.E. Atlas Company; a family-owned wholesale hardware distributor that sells to more than 2,500 independent retailers, plumbers and electrical and construction contractors in the Chicago area. He is responsible for the finance department, and has 30 years of experience.

Feder earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from RIT's Saunders College of Business, gained valuable leadership experience as a member of NTID's Student Congress, and has used these skills to improve the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Chicago. He was involved with the NTID Alumni Chapter of Chicago and established the chapter's strong foundation, and was a past advisor to the Chicago Area Interpreter Referral Service. Currently he is assistant chair of the 11th Biennial Deaf Seniors of America Conference, which will be held in Chicago August 31-September 6, 2011. In addition to coordinating the conference, he will be assisting with arranging a reception for RIT/NTID alumni.

While working for B.E. Atlas Company, Feder established the National Catalog House of the Deaf (NCHD), which sold assistive devices such as visual signalers, closed-captioned decoders, TTYs, smoke alarms and other items, serving the needs of Chicago's deaf and hard-of-hearing community. NCHD grew to be a nationally recognized TTY distributor, and Feder received a top sales award from National Captioning Institute. NCHD folded after 15 years, but Feder went on to give lectures to deaf entrepreneurs on establishing new businesses.

He is married to Beverly (Taylor), SVP '71, '75, and enjoys spending time with his three grown children, Rosanne, Tami and Kevin. He and and Beverly recently became proud grandparents to Brennan. He is a strong supporter of the NTID Alumni Association, and encourages other NTID alumni to support RIT/NTID.

How RIT/NTID has contributed to your success?

It has been 35 years since I graduated from RIT/NTID. It was a great milestone in my life, and thinking back, it's clear that my time at NTID contributed in many ways toward my becoming a successful leader. I grew up in a mainstreamed/oral educational environment, and benefitted from the opportunities that NTID offered me such a leadership skills development, a quality education with dedicated teachers, support services, interpreting and meeting and working with hearing students. I gained knowledge that impacted my life in so many ways. I remember meeting with Dr. D. Robert Frisina, director of NTID, and he told me how important NTID was as a “fishbowl” and how joining organizational activities would benefit me. I met many RIT/NTID student leaders who influenced and motivated me in advocating for students' rights. My involvement with the NTID Student Congress during my college years gave me many rich experiences working among deaf and hearing students. NTID staff and administrators influenced my leadership and communication skills. NTID also encouraged me to have confidence in following my path, and provided guidance throughout my college years and job career. It also gave me the opportunity to interact with the local community and helped me secure a better future for myself and my family.

A biographical resume during college years —

  • First Vice President of newly-formed NTID Student Congress (1971-1972)
  • Second President of NSC (1972-1973)
  • Establishment of Student Advisory Group (SAG)
  • Success of Deaf Hockey Tournament
  • Formed a new liaison with RIT Student Association
  • Deaf Awareness Day in Rochester, N.Y.
  • NTID liaison representative for NSC to RIT Student Association
  • President of NTID Drama Club (1975)
  • Resident Advisor for Tower A 7th Floor (1975-1976)