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US Elite started in 2006 with one 13U team in PA that was recruited and coached by Mark Helsel. Since that humble beginning, Mark has been the vision, the director, the energy and the passionate leader of the organization. When it comes to having a professional background perfectly suited to lead a national organization like US Elite, it’s hard to imagine anyone more qualified and capable than Mark. Below is Mark’s bio.
Mark is a 1985 graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA where he earned his degree in Interpersonal Communications. While at Mercer, and under the tutelage of the late, great Head Coach, Barry Myers, Mark was a 4 year starter as an infielder for the Division 1 Bears.
Following college Mark moved to Atlanta, GA where he began his professional career as an outside sales rep. He quickly became the number one sales rep in the country for German based, Goldwell International Hair Care products. He then was hired by Allstate Insurance company, where he became one of the top producing agents in the southeast region, as well as one of the youngest.
A self proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Mark realized early in life that he was more comfortable working for himself. At age 25 he started his first business and has been self employed ever since. Throughout his career, Mark has started and sold 5 successful businesses. One of Mark's companies was a network marketing distributorship in Germany that he grew from 1 person (himself) to over 10,000 distributors in a three year period. At one point, he was ranked the #3 producer in all of Europe. During that time, he lived in Germany and learned to speak fluent German. He eventually sold his distributorship and moved back to the US where he got married to Dotty and began his family.
Today, Mark lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dotty, who is an educator in the public school system. They have been married since 1991. They have a son, Christian (PSU Grad), a daughter, Lexi (PSU Grad) and a son, Zack (UCF Grad).
Mark founded the US Elite Baseball organization in 2006 with a simple goal of giving a small group of above average 13U players from Pennsylvania a chance to develop as athletes, baseball players and young men. With the assistance of Matt LaNeve, Mark guided a group of young men and families, mapping out a specific plan for them to play baseball in college. During the next 4 years, he would use his networking skills, and vast experience in developing leaders to assist his players on a path to a baseball scholarship.
Thanks to the tutelage of travel ball legend, and founder of NorCal Baseball, Rob Bruno, Mark was able to build strong relationships with college coaches and pro scouts and promoted his players to them. By the time they were seniors in high school (21) of them received D1 scholarships. From there the organization began to add more teams and grow. By 2019 the organization had 75 teams from all over the country playing with Uncommon Standards and representing the US Elite brand. Mark has plans to grow the organization nationally, using the organization’s theme, Uncommon Standards, to attract players and families who seek more from this experience than just baseball.
Education, Professional Experience and business milestones
In his own words: “I learned early in my career that success almost always comes from a group of like-minded, passionate people, working together for a common goal. It’s never just one person who creates big success. US Elite’s success is 100% a result of many great people bringing an idea, or concept to life. That idea is Uncommon Standards in youth sports. If I’ve done anything right in this journey, its that I have surrounded myself with an incredibly talented group of leaders, who share the same vision, passion and dedication. Collectively, we want to make a positive difference in the lives of our young athletes, and their families. Our vision is to develop people while they play sports. It’s really that simple.”