The Genumark Employee Spotlight series is to give you a little insight into the people that help Genumark run smoothly. We are more than just a promotional merchandise, trade show swag, or uniform company; we are a diverse group of backgrounds, personalities, and stories… just like you!
To kick things off, we thought there was no one better than Genumark’s President & CEO, Mark Freed.
Mark has been at the helm of Genumark for over 25 years! He is known around the office and the promo industry as a thoughtful and caring leader. So we put Mark under the spotlight to get to know him better!
MARK, WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?
There is no typical day but, you know, every day is interesting. I start by walking around to say hello, go through emails and voicemails before reviewing the company’s sales and new orders. After that, it’s whatever the agenda has for me to do.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE THE PROMO INDUSTRY?
I was a lawyer for professional liability litigation. I didn’t love what I was doing and didn’t entirely feel fulfilled or in my sweet spot. I decided to help my cousin expand a promotional business to Canada.
COOLEST PROMOTIONAL PRODUCT GENUMARK HAS WORKED ON?
I don’t know about “coolest” product but I always get a huge kick out of seeing one of our products in public. Like in a TV ad when we see some of the campaigns our Sports & Licensing division has worked on. Also, when being helped by grocery store workers or getting a pizza delivered by someone wearing our uniforms. All created and designed by Genumark!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? DREAM JOB AS A KID?
I worked for my father’s department store in Windsor. I think the first thing I ever sold was a pair of socks or underwear.
I wanted to be some kind of athlete. Obviously, that didn’t happen due to a lack of talent.
WHAT WOULD YOU NAME THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YOUR LIFE?
How I Made My Mark
IF YOU COULD LEARN ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would like to be fluent in one of the Chinese dialects, be it Mandarin or Cantonese.
DEAD OR ALIVE, DREAM DINNER GUEST?
I’ll say two. McCartney and Lennon. One is dead, one is alive. I have become really obsessed lately with Beatles on Sirius radio.
WHAT CHORE DO YOU HATE DOING?
Most of them. Washing dishes especially.
INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF GENUMARK?
Golf. Watching sports. Going to good restaurants. Travel. Interacting with interesting people.
FAVOURITE FOOD & ADULT DRINK?
NY Strip, medium rare. Tito’s Vodka on the rocks.
THREE WORDS TO DEFINE YOU?
Father. Husband. Son. Grandfather.
I cheated and went over the allotment.
IF YOU COULD RELATE TO ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
George Bailey, the character played by Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Enjoying your life at work and at play, knowing that in some small way you have had a positive impact on other people.
FAVOURITE SPORTS TEAMS?
All the Detroit sports teams, which has been both a blessing and a curse.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Trust your gut instincts and don’t procrastinate.
WORDS OF ADVICE TO OTHERS?
Embrace the journey to what makes you happy. Do what you say you are going to do. Be nice, be fast, and be helpful.
Thanks Mark! It was great learning about the man at the helm.
Stay tuned to find out who we will shine the spotlight on next!