Mark has been the “Grand Poobah” of Southern Shutters, Shades & Blinds since 1993, and his experience in this field of work started in 1989, over 30 years so far. His position is so fun and rewarding that he doesn’t even really consider it a job! Every day, he collaborates with just shy of 40 people in order to create a truly unique product in an industry full of competitors selling generic shutters, shades, and blinds. Watching all of his people take pride in their work and seeing the true joy that comes from delivering products our customers genuinely love (and love to tell him that they love) is always amazing! To learn more about Mark, just keep reading below.
Mark grew up in Richardson, TX, watching his mother organize both the household and the emergency room at Presbyterian Hospital while his father started his shutter company in 1974. Mark originally wanted to become an accountant, but receiving failing grades twice in his intermediate accounting courses, made him reconsider that desire. Switching his major to Production and Operations Management, he graduated from The University of North Texas and took a job working for a 3M distributor, R.S. Hughes. That job didn’t last long – and he quickly learned he wasn’t suited to call on old guys in factories trying to sell them the latest thing in sandpaper, glue, and paper.
From there, Mark spent two years working his father’s shutter company in the paint department, which taught him a LOT about manufacturing. He then moved into sales for a couple of years, saved up some money, came down to Austin, and opened the doors of Southern Shutters. The rest, they say, is history. Now he has become one of those old guys running a factory that uses wood, sandpaper, glue, and tape!
After struggling to succeed in accounting, Mark wanted to put his love of math and organization to good use in another field. Thankfully, North Texas State University (as it was known back then) had just created a new degree program known as Production and Operations Management. It turned out to be the perfect fit! Following the completion of his degree, he also received a ton of hands-on experience at his father’s shutter company, which set him up for success later down the road. He is very proud to now be a second-generation shutter manufacturer.
Mark’s hobbies include enjoying Austin’s great music scene, spending quality time in the greatest water park in the world (Schlitterbahn New Braunfels) twice a year with his son, cracking up together, walking his dogs, and visiting the various renaissance festivals throughout Texas. He also has a definite sweet tooth. Fun fact, while spending his formative years in Canada, his mother taught him to use sugar as salad dressing. Today, he is pretty sure he has funded two watercrafts for his dentist’s family.