Mark was born in New Jersey but quickly made up for that fact by moving to the Lehigh Valley as soon as he was 18. Both his parents were immigrants, and they lived for years in other countries as refugees before getting to the United States. They wanted the American dream for themselves and for their children. When Mark was born, both parents were college professors, however by the time Mark started college his Mother was the owner of a successful construction company and his Father was shop steward for the mail handlers in the post office in Trenton. Mark learned that changing career paths and making sacrifices for the family, though painful, can be necessary to achieve your goals.
Mark attended Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering after 4 years. Leveraging his experience on construction sites with his mother's company (his Mother had him start working construction at age 12), he got a job at FL Smidth in Bethlehem, working in cement plans across the globe. Mark was building cement manufacturing equipment and doing predictive maintenance on operating machines. During that time Mark saw a lot of the world; 42 out of the 50 states and six foreign countries.
After meeting his soon to be wife (it was karaoke night), Mark shifted gears to get a desk job at FLSmidth and became a project manager coordinating the construction of large $200 million cement plants in Indonesia. It was that work in project management that opened Mark's eyes up to the pure joys of accounting, finance and tax law!
At the time Mark was getting his master's degree at Lehigh University at night while working full time. With half his credits completed at Lehigh University's Business School and agreement from Mark’s wife that she would be the only bread-winner in the family for a time, Mark left his job at FLSmidth and attended school full-time to complete his MBA in the summer of '99.
After working a briefly for his mother's construction company, straightening out the business of her property portfolio in Pennsylvania, Mark secured a job at Air Products and Chemicals in their finance department.
Air Products and Chemicals is a large company and Mark worked with business people, scientists and accountants on both the Gases and the Chemical sides of the business in the Decision Support Group. After working on some mergers and divestments, Air Products sent Mark and his now family of three to Europe to be the European Chemical Controller, to help implement the computer software SAP in the European subsidiaries, which ultimately lowered the overhead cost in that region by 10 %.
Coming back to the United States for the birth of their second child, Mark continued with Air Products and Chemicals, ultimately working in the Hydrogen division (HYCO), providing hydrogen gas to the oil sands region of Canada. Achieving the title of Area Controller, Mark had three MBA's and one CPA working for him during the summer of '09, providing the financial support for businesses accumulating more than $750 million dollars of revenue per year.
However, history would not let Mark rest, and by the fall of ‘09 Air Products succumbed to the great recession and Mark “parted ways” with Air Products.
Unable to secure a job which would allow Mark to take care of his family and stay in the Lehigh Valley so his wife could continue teaching at Emmaus High School (Michele taught French), Mark decided to set up his own consulting company, modeling himself as a high-level CFO who could work for small companies doing their financial projects, capital acquisition, system modernization, loan refinancing, strategic planning, and equity investment. One of the companies that Mark helped modernize was his mother's construction company, since they were still using carbon paper in 2010.
Unfortunately, Mark's mother had an accident in the summer of 2010, which left her paralyzed from the neck down. Mark had to make the difficult decision to drop his other clients and jump into the family business and manage that full-time. The business was managing apartment buildings spread out over four states, but mostly in Hudson County, New Jersey. Mark's mother passed away in 2011. By doing some refinancing, selective asset selling, and better operations, Mark tripled the net income of the business in the following 5 years, providing a stable income for Mark's family, his sister’s family and his disabled brother's trust. The properties were sold between 2015 and 2017.
In 2016 and 2017, Mark and his brother’s Trust purchased real estate in Pennsylvania and now Mark's company manages it. He manages about 200 apartments between Scranton, Lehigh Valley and Berks county.
Mark has always volunteered his time to worthy causes,. Currently Mark volunteers for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Bethlehem Where he has run a support group for people who have family members with mental illness since 2016. He has also served as a board member since 2018 and he is the current treasurer of NAMI-Lehigh Valley. In 2017 Mark was nominated to be on the Lehigh County’s Selective Service Committee (the Draft board). To be on the Selective Service Committee the nomination needs to be approved by current Governor and the current President, so Mark was nominated by Governor Wolf and President Trump. Mark has also been working with the board of Trustees of Lafayette college, in a role to help college students understand what it's like to be have a career in the real estate industry.
Mark also volunteers with his youngest son at the Sanctuary at Haaffsville, helping homeless cats. Mark’s youngest son loves cats, and his oldest is allergic so this is the compromise that we have.
Mark’s past volunteer experience included coaching youth sports. Mark coached football, SPYA, basketball (SPYA and St Joe's CYA,) , soccer (St Joes & Parkland Soccer Club) and Rugby ( Allentown Blues Rugby Football Club).
When his kids were in Cub scouts, Mark supported them by volunteering. He has led every Cub scout den level, and spent four years as the committee chair of Pack 1600 in Orefield, and served as a Merit Badge Councilor for two years for Troop 1600.
When Mark graduated college, he was active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ s (ASME) local chapter and became the president of the group in the mid-90’s running the organization of approximately 1,000 mechanical engineers in northeastern Pennsylvania.
At one point, Mark earned a pin showing that he donated over a gallon of blood at Miller Memorial Blood Bank, but we cannot find it.
In his spare time, Mark enjoys watching rugby, brewing his own beer and spending time with friends and family.
Mark’s 25th wedding anniversary is May 17th 2021, but instead of getting the couple a gift, just write Mark’s name in the Primary ballot on May 18, 2021.
Mark overwhelming won his WRITE IN CAMPAIGN He had 1243 people who WILLINGLY WRITE HIS NAME IN (not just check the box as the only person from my party running). It was an overwhelming result, no one (that I have talked to) ever remembers a write in campaign that generated that many votes.
The Dog and I have an arangement.
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