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Staff Spotlight – Mark Speirs, Business Counselor; SBDC at UW-Stevens Point

Throughout 2020, the Wisconsin SBDC’s 40th anniversary, the network is shining a spotlight on the talented team that makes our work possible. Read previous spotlights on Jason Schleip and Emily Shoenborn and Ray York.

  • Year started with the SBDC: 2017
  • Recommended movie: The Founder – Mark researched McDonald’s as part of his graduate schoolwork, so when he discovered this movie about a struggling salesman from Illinois meeting Mac and Dick McDonald, he was intrigued. Mark was particularly impressed by the movie’s ability to stay true to the facts of how the salesman maneuvered McDonald’s away from the brothers and created a multi-billion-dollar empire.
  • Favorite way to spend time in the community: Mark had never tried the sport of curling before, but recently joined the Stevens Point Curling Club. He loves the diverse group of individuals who curl on different teams at the club (which is currently building a new facility).
  • Inspiring person: Frank Lloyd Wright is particularly inspiring to Mark due to his own background in construction. Mark was previously the owner for ten years of a company that specialized in custom remodeling for homes.
  • Effects of the COVID-19 situation: He remembers his own first-hand experience as a business owner during the 2008 crash. He loves that in times of crisis stakeholders, including the SBDCs, can pull together to work as a team instead of working in silos. One of Mark’s favorite duties is participating in the Veterans Round Table peer-to-peer discussions, and those events have moved to virtual meetings instead of the usual in-person gatherings in order to continue to support veterans.
  • Previous SBDC experience: Mark was working with the economic development team at the University of Mary Washington when he was recruited to be an SBDC consultant in Virginia.
  • Quote from Melissa Meschke, Center Director at UW-Stevens Point SBDC: “Mark and I hired in just a few weeks apart. Neither of us were from the area and found ourselves building relationships with clients and stakeholders from the ground up. Mark has been absolutely critical in building both of those pipelines and has gone above and beyond with his work on our business guides and the Veterans Round Table, among other things. The center wouldn’t be where it is today without Mark’s valuable work.”

Learn more about Mark Speirs in his full bio.

See all of our staff spotlights and 40th Anniversary celebrations, as well as all of our team bios across our 13 centers.