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Mark is a Vice President in Evergreen’s CFO Advisory Services Group. He’s had a terrific career with over twenty years of operating and financial expertise in venture backed, closely held, and public companies.
“One of the things I like most about my work at Evergreen is helping growing companies work through their challenges,” Mark said. “Having worked in public accounting as well as the ‘real world’ of private companies, I’ve been there, I’ve seen the movie. Evergreen is a great environment to help early stage companies.”
Mark is a Catonsville native who attended Mt. St. Joe and then went onto Towson University where he received his degree in Accounting. “My dad was an engineer; that wasn’t my calling, but I did want to have a major where I could gain some specific knowledge. Accounting was the answer for me.”
Mark and his wife Mary Clare, and their three daughters, Amanda, Laura, and Olivia reside in Elkridge. He is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Augustine’s School in Elkridge as well as a member of the Maryland Association of CPA’s.
As Rick and I talked about our spring Newsletter, our thoughts kept bringing us back to “March Madness.” Sports metaphors and sports as a learning, growing, teaching experience energize us and encourage us to aspire to greatness.
At Evergreen, we love March Madness and what it represents. In this issue we’re going to do our best to “connect the dots” on the characteristics of March Madness and how we experience them everyday in our professional lives.
We’re especially excited about our “Guest Q & A” which will feature Head Coach Gary Williams of the University of Maryland Terrapins. Gary is an amazing person. He embodies all the characteristics of a Champion. He is a young “65” (March 4th). When the day comes and “Coach” has taken his suits to the dry cleaner for the final time, he will be praised and recognized as one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball. It’s been almost 40 years since Gary first cut down the net as head coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, NJ. It was his first head coaching job as he led the team to the state title and a perfect 27-0 season. Thanks, Coach.
Our special guest for this March Madness edition of Evergreen News is Gary Williams, Head Basketball Coach for the University of Maryland Terrapins. As Gary prepared to take his team into the 2010 NCAA tournament, Mike Gill spoke with him about his experiences in such a compeitive environment. We hope you’ll enjoy the conversation.
Maryland’s Gary Williams is among the most successful basketball coaches in ACC history. Despite having one of the most animated and volatile sideline presences in college basketball, Williams has never received the full measure of appreciation his accomplishments merit.
Only two coaches in the ACC’s 57 years, North Carolina’s Dean Smith and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, have amassed more victories than Williams’ 202 in ACC competition. Now in his 21st season at College Park, he has 441 wins at Maryland, more than anyone in school history, and 648 career victories through March 11, 25th all-time among Division I coaches.
Williams, who turned 65 on March 4, is among seven ACC coaches who have won a national championship (in 2002) and among seven who have made repeat trips to the Final Four (2001, 2002). His team won an ACC Tournament in 2004, and he led the Terrapins to first-place league finishes in 1995, 2002 and 2010. His Maryland teams have won at least 19 games for 14 consecutive seasons.
Williams’ Maryland team fell just short of completing a comeback attempt against Michigan State which led to a second round exit during this year’s NCAA tournament.
Entrepreneurs exhibit various leadership styles in their businesses. Some are hierarchical and imperial. They are the boss and everyone knows it. I have heard that a current public leader has told subordinates that he does not pay them to think or have opinions; he pays them to do what he tells them to do. I recently observed a discussion with another entrepreneur who was protesting that someone was discussing an issue with his “people.” He summed up his style by saying: “I have no people, there is only me. I am the only one in my organization that makes decisions.” The business he runs is a multistate chain of distribution outlets. Neither of these organizations seems like it would be a fulfilling place to work for most of our readers.
The onset of March Madness seems like an appropriate time to focus on another style of leadership that is displayed on the hardwood – point guard leadership. The role of the point guard is to implement the coach’s game plan. He or she provides leadership in the midst of the chaos of competition by controlling the tempo of the game and distributing the ball in a fashion that plays to the strengths of teammates. Point guards are seldom the team’s biggest star and usually do not lead the team in points scored or rebounds. They also are not typically the one to take the last second shot, but their leadership is critical on the outcome of the game.
This month’s interviewee, Gary Williams was a point guard during his playing career at Maryland and is one of many former point guards to succeed at the coaching level. Most talented people would rather work in an organization that is led by someone who leads like a point guard. Someone who distributes responsibility, plays to people’s strengths, gets tasks to the appropriate people at the appropriate time and who is motivated by the team’s ultimate success rather than personal recognition.
How do you lead – emperor or point guard?
2010: Market Conditions will be better for selling a company
We’re excited to bring you our final “Evergreen News” for 2009. Most of our Friends of Evergreen are somewhere between thankful and euphoric when they think of having 2009 in their rearview mirror. From the inauguration of a new president in January, the first quarter meltdown of the stock market to its comeback over the second half of the year, 10% unemployment while gold was blowing past a $1,000 an ounce……..2009 has been a “character builder” for everyone.
“What would Jimmy Buffett do”, is our way of connecting the dots to a decision that many business owners will consider in 2010 – To Sell or Not to Sell their business. At Evergreen, we anticipate that M&A activity will be up significantly over 2009. Though the banks remain cautious, well run companies in the middle market sector are anxious to expand their footprint; the capital to do acquisitions will be there. We’re also seeing strong signs that business valuations are rising, offering encouragement to business owners who want to spend more time in “Margaritaville.”
2009 has been a year of “growth and development” for us at Evergreen. We’ve added a number of key team members over the last twelve months and expect to add at least two more in the next thirty days. Team Evergreen has never been stronger; we’re deep and look forward to working with you in 2010. In the mid 80’s U.S. West ran an ad that showed cowboys on a hard trail drive, the caption under the ad read, “In business you either make dust or you eat dust.” 2009 has created a greater sense of urgency for all of us.
We want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday and a fantastic start to the new year. We thank you for your friendship and support and look forward to helping you “make dust” in 2010.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Evergreen