Mark Weingard is one of our internationally-renowned speakers at FTE, founder of Iniala
Mark Weingard, the founder of Iniala and has poured every ounce of his being into creating his passion project. Completely self-made, Weingard was an only child growing up in Manchester, England who later achieved success as a young professional trading stocks. Years later, a series of unfortunate events brought him to create the beautiful concept that is now Iniala Beach House.
The story begins when Mark was living in Singapore in 2001 when he travelled to New York for a meeting in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre. Running late that day, he narrowly missed the second plane hitting the tower, where 23 employees died in the office that Weingard was scheduled to be in. About a year later, another attack tragically claimed the life of his fiancée, Annika Linden, who was a victim of a 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali. Two years after that, Mark again cheated death, this time in the form of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, in which more than 230,000 people sadly lost their lives.
The loss of his fiancé Annika Linden made Mark understand what he wanted to do with his life. He created the Bali-based Annika Linden Foundation, which he used to start to help children of the bombing victims. Its work grew: projects have spanned education, health and rehabilitation. With Mark keen to expand the foundation’s remit further, he changed its name in 2012 to ‘Inspirasia’. This foundation is an integral part to the creation of Iniala, and is the organisation to which 10% of all revenue (not profit) is donated from stays at Iniala, plus another 5% of everything spent on cuisine and spa services.
Iniala was built on the site of Mark’s former house in Phang Nga, which was damaged in the Boxing Day tsunami. Needless to say, Mark was there when the tsunami hit on December 26, 2004. Eleven people died that day on Natai Beach but luckily none of Mark’s party, which consisted of 17 friends and their children celebrating Christmas. The group took shelter on the roof of the house while the wave destroyed Natai Beach. Months later, Mark was planning the rebuild of the house when he got the idea to hire world-class designers and expand the structure. In that, the Iniala dream was born.
Mark has a strong sense of faith and vehemently believes he has survived multiple catastrophic events for a reason: to support and build Inspirasia and its work. One can expect many exciting projects from him in the future. “I just look forward. For me, there’s no point worrying about the negativity and getting angry. I have a very strong philosophy. If someone throws a ball at you, hard, the best thing you can do is hold out a bat, and that ball will go back a long way.”
Mark is currently working on another villa project in Malta, followed by a project in Barcelona. Mark Weingard oversees Inspirasia, all Iniala projects and Aziamendi restaurant. Mark currently resides in Malta and Barcelona.