Mark’s career journey at PEI-Genesis started the day he ran from the police. Yes, you read that correctly!
Throughout high school, Mark worked at a local bakery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shipping orders, managing inventory, and baking. One day, the building, unfortunately, caught fire and burned down, forcing him to look for another job. As Mark and his friend were walking around the city searching for work, his friend stole a magazine from a newsstand. Minutes later, sirens were wailing, and the two boys took off, running in different directions. Mark ran straight into a large building, sprinted up the steps, and banged on a door. When it opened, a man stood there – and asked, “Can I help you?”
On October 8th, 1979, Mark began his PEI career in the Receiving Department. He had an index card file, a blue pen, and a red pen to keep track of inventory. Without modern-day technology, all numbers and names were recorded on paper.
“The biggest challenge for me had to be learning the new systems,” said Mark.
He was learning not only new software tools but the entire computer itself. At this time, the company recently merged Philadelphia Electronics Incorporated (PEI) and Genesis Electronics and created what we know today as PEI-Genesis. After this merge, there were new systems and software that Mark had to learn quickly.
Mark grew with PEI as he experienced many changes and new opportunities over the last four decades. From Receiving to Shipping, then Sales to Product Management, Mark acquired connector knowledge through first-hand experience; he even learned how to assemble connectors when working in the ITT Cannon Department.
Throughout the years, there was one particular person whom he saw as a mentor.
This same man, who literally opened the door for Mark, guided him through his 40 years at PEI. “Steve Siwiecki is a great teacher, listener, and friend. He made sure we learned together.”
To this day, Mark and Steve keep in touch as they meet for breakfast each month.
In 1999, Mark became the Product Manager for all Amphenol product lines at PEI-Genesis, which now is the company’s largest supplier offering. Mark feels that all his hard work paid off when PEI was awarded the franchise of the 38999 Connector Series. This was a pivotal point for PEI-Genesis because it paved the way for future offerings. Today, we carry a massive inventory of 38999 connectors, including Mil-Spec and commercial derivatives, to support our worldwide customers.
As a “people-person,” Mark enjoys building relationships with customers, PEI members, or strangers at the tavern. Before the pandemic, he spent his Saturdays bartending. He loved chatting with customers. On Thanksgiving and Easter, he would cook for those with nowhere to go. He served ham and turkey to over 25 people.
“In every aspect of your life, someone somewhere behind you has helped you. So, give back!”
Other than connectors, cooking and singing are just two of the many things Mark enjoys. His comfort food specialties include chili, Shepard’s pie, and vegetable soup that he often makes for the office or his family of seven (plus some grandchildren). As for singing, Mark is a Mummer! Mummers train all year to prepare for the New Year’s Day parade in Philadelphia. They wear elaborate costumes and perform song and dance routines to celebrate the end of the calendar year as they strut down the infamous Broad Street. Mark’s division is similar to New York City’s Broadway as they tell a story, but with over 100 people involved.
Mark said he was unsure what the future holds for our industry, for he does not have a crystal ball. However, he does know one thing for sure; he’s going to retire in Key West, Florida.