Even Nutty At Times.
These are common characteristics, of course, for what many consider the world’s favorite confection: fudge. But when you get to know our president and CEO as we do, both personally and professionally, you quickly realize we could also be describing him — a one-of-a-kind man behind our one-of-a-kind products.
Early On, Mark Was Unique In His Ability To Blend Fun, Intellect And Creativity In His Life.
At the young age of 10, he was equally fascinated with comic books and Forbes magazine. Becoming the fearless forerunner of ingenuity that he is today required a background as individual and extraordinary as the ingredients that make up our retail solutions programs. Formal education was a must. He holds both a Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA from Cornell. During his time, there Mark was a disruptor who shook things up by rallying the student body to think outside the box with fun, harmless antics that caught the attention of his peers and school administrators alike.
After graduating, Mark entered the family business as employee number four. When Mark joined the Calico team, his days were filled with brain-storming and planning. He had this intellectual freedom, since, at that time, Calico had zero customer complaints and no operational stress. Why? Because they virtually had no customers. They weren’t making money, but knew they had a great idea and a fantastic tasting product. A year or so after Mark joined Calico, he discovered trade shows (Eureka!) and began promoting the Calico small-space, in-store fudge making program. The response from store owners was overwhelmingly positive. Retailers literally bought into the idea of making fudge in their retail shops, and Calico was on its way.
Mark’s creativity has been enhanced by his vast life experiences and daring nature which includes a stint as an exchange student in Sydney, Australia (Calico now has offices in both Australia and New Zealand), as well as a vast repertoire of fairly questionable behavior, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving and more. His imaginative, risk-taking adventures have added fun and flavor to his success as a retail solutions innovator.
Nothing means more to Mark than family. He proposed to his wife on their first date and, in the years since, became a devoted husband, loving father and doting grandfather. Mark is quietly generous, incredibly curious and thirsty for knowledge. A commanding storyteller, he displays a sharp wit and clever sense of humor.
In his 40-plus years at the helm of Calico Cottage, Mark has applied his business knowledge and strategic insights to propel the company to the forefront of the industry. He has also taken his sheer love of life and injected that into every facet of the company from product development to customer service to nurturing professional relationships and more. He understands inherently that for his customers to be able to satisfy and delight their own end-consumers, – their experiences with Calico Cottage must also be delightful in every way. In this sense, Mark is quite determined, dedicated, focused and serious. Serious about fun.