We had a chance to ask Mark a few questions so you could get to know him better. Here's what he had to say.
Washington Business Hall of Fame (WBHOF): What was the hardest job you have ever done?
Mark: "My first job out of college in investment banking at Goldman Sachs during one of the most active periods on Wall Street was like business boot camp, but it was also an invaluable experience. It was 100 hours a week of relentless work around the clock for three years, but that experience changed the trajectory of my career as it taught me how to do every single thing at the highest levels of professionalism, from the menial to the most meaningful. It gave me important insight into what it takes to do world class work and also gave me a set of mentors that taught me a lot."
WBHOF: Did you have a mentor or a role model over the course of your career?
Mark: "I have been blessed to have many mentors over my career and I am deeply grateful for the many people, including several people who are icons in the Washington business community, that took an interest in me over the years and that have taught me so much. Some of the most influential people in my career have been Ken Brody from my time at Goldman Sachs, David Rubenstein who recruited me back to Washington to work at Carlyle when the firm was five years old, Jeong Kim who was my lead investor when I started my own firm and stayed committed to me through bad and good times, and Ted Leonsis who has been my role model for how to build a sports organization as a community asset and think about businesses with a 'double bottom line.' But above all, my life role models have been my family who came to this country after WWII with nothing after losing everything during the war and rebuilt their lives with resilience, optimism, no bitterness, and daily gratitude for the boundless opportunities that America gave them. I never go a day without thinking about the power of their example."
WBHOF: If you were to create a slogan or a theme song for your life, what would it be?
Mark: "I have three!
'It’s a long life and a small world' so always take the long view, protect your reputation and treat people well.
My family’s history surviving WWII, after having a prosperous life prior, has taught me that 'life is precarious' so enjoy the journey and never take for granted your good fortune.
And finally my wife’s and my life slogan is 'EAWO: Everything Always Works Out' which is a great reminder that, while not every single thing actually does go your way, most things do work out, keep things in perspective, and, in the end, don’t forget how fortunate we are."
WBHOF: What do you think is the single greatest challenge facing the next generation?
Mark: "I love the ideals and values of the next generation that are grounded in the belief that making the world a better place and a more fair and equal world for all people should be the guiding principal and the top priority. That generation is a real source of hope, but their single greatest challenge will be to find common ground to pull together and solve the very significant long-term issues that confront our nation and our world. The incredible polarization created by social media echo chambers, left and right leaning media and a badly dysfunctional political system has made it impossible for the generations currently in charge to tackle the hard issues and, while I am an eternal optimist, it concerns me greatly if you logically extrapolate forward without any course correction that we must hope that the next generation will be able to do."
Join us November 28th as we honor Mark and five other outstanding Washingtonian business leaders at our 31st annual Washington Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala!