Foundation Names New CTO
by Howard Collett
Mark Pollmann has recently joined the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation as our Chief Technology Officer. Mark is passionate about data, technology, and making new things, and loves to learn about the history of how things came to be.
“This is a fun project for me,” said Mark. “In reading and learning about Wilford Woodruff through his journals, I can identify with his sense of numbers. Being a statistician, I relate to tracking the transactions of life, like the number of letters sent and received, how far one has traveled each day, or who spoke at a conference and for how long. I love that kind of stuff.”
Mark relishes the ability to be transported back in time to observe the restoration of the Savior’s church unfold before one’s eyes. “From our point of view 100 plus years later, it’s hard to appreciate what it was like to learn doctrine as it unfolded as opposed to something that is firmly embedded in tradition. I appreciate the ability to have this additional perspective of the gospel not only for its historical value but for its ability to strengthen our faith.”
“I am also excited that much of the infrastructure, techniques, and tools we are building are likely to be valuable in bringing other collections to light,” said Mark. “This includes prominent historical church members as well as other notable people from the past. Ultimately, the tools can be used for anyone who has a collection of material in their family to make it easier for their posterity to read, learn, and enjoy.”
Mark recently retired as Chief Technology Officer of Optum Labs, the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group. Before United, he was a founder in Savvysherpa, a creator innovative products in the healthcare industry bridging the insurance company and the care providers. Mark partnered with several organizations like Microsoft, Apple, Dexcom, Fitbit, Qualcomm, and several to healthcare companies to bring together tech and human behavior to get better health outcomes. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Statistics and Math and the University of Minnesota with a Masters of Business Administration.