About Me

Starting Businesses

I’m Mark Aardsma, entrepreneur and investor. In the last ten years I’ve started three businesses. One that introduced me to the wonderful opportunity of entrepreneurship in America. And two that I am very grateful to have led from initial concepts to multi-million dollar businesses. My ATS Acoustics business manufactures acoustic panels. I also run First Leaf Capital, an investment and venture capital company.

Facing Fears and Seeking Coaches

As a young leader with a whole lot of fears and struggles, the growth of my businesses stretched and challenged me. I knew I was in over my head, so I sought coaching and mentoring from some great people who were further down the path than I was.

Growing Personally and Growing Results

I entered a challenging personal growth process that propelled my leadership and my business results. Several years into my obsession with my own growth and development, I discovered my love for that translates to helping others in ways that I was helped.


I enjoy the meritocracy and nerdery of investing of all kinds. Investing is now my primary occupation. Through my investment company First Leaf Capital, I am actively seeking business acquisitions, and select minority investment opportunities.

More About Me

I have a particular interest in how entrepreneurship and human development work in the fields of international economic development and poverty alleviation.

I serve on the board of directors of Farmers-Merchants National Bank in Paxton, Illinois, and of the Mindful Teacher Foundation.

In the last few years I got my pilot’s license, and I very much enjoy flying to gatherings, meetings, and events around the country in my Cessna P210 airplane. I live with my wife and four children in central Illinois.