If you receive an email from Gordon Marks of Marks Air in Tampa, Florida you’ll see his email signature includes the tag, “Yes! We’ve been doing this for OVER 44 years.” So you know this is not Gordon’s first rodeo. Gordon has been a member of MACS since 1983 and also served on the MACS board as a member, officer and chairman. Gordon was also honored by the board with the Mobile A/C Pioneer award in 2001. He has remained active with MACS giving sage advice on the planning of the heavy duty and off-road A/C educational seminars at MACS annual convention as well as moderating that event.
Why has Gordon spent so many years as a member of MACS? “The networking and relationships.”
Gordon started his business because he, “graduated from college and needed a job!” Marks Air’s business is 100% mobile air conditioning and they are a Red Dot distributor. They sell A/C parts and service A/C systems, mostly for class 6, 7 and 8 trucks and off-highway/construction equipment. They perform some street rod and classic car service, and various service tool repairs.
Gordon has no concerns about a new refrigerant in the mobile A/C marketplace because as he says, “Been there, done that, go with the flow.” What does keep him up at night? Personnel issues and as he says, a “lack of people that like to fix things and general employee babysitting issues plus insecurity about what could be next in government regulations.”
One thing Gordon does not have to worry about is his succession plan. Gordon and his wife Judy have five children – all girls – and daughter Caroline is working in the family business.
How does Caroline like working with her Dad? “When I started working for my Dad over 15 years ago, I thought it was just a temporary stop. I never anticipated how much I would love the service and repair business. It wasn’t long until I realized that I had found my thing. I thrive on having a new challenge every single day. Every vehicle and every system is different. You never know what you will get from day to day. I especially enjoy learning what drives each employee and the challenge of keeping everyone motivated,” Caroline explained.
“I came from a customer service background. It took me a while to become knowledgeable in A/C system components and diagnostics. These days, it is all second nature to me, although I definitely still learn something new every day!
“As far as changes go, we will have to change as the industry changes. To survive, we will have to go with the flow and provide products and services where they are needed. Sometimes, that requires adaptation. It will be necessary to remain flexible and willing to change with the industry demands. We definitely need to improve our internet presence, but we are working on that already!”
Caroline recently attended the MACS/NARSA social media training meeting in Atlanta, GA and you can visit the new Marks Air blog at http://blog.marksairinc.com/ On Twitter you can find them at @MARKSAIRINC
How does it feel to have a child join the business? Gordon says, “Caroline is one hell of a lot smarter about lots of things and relates better to the age of our customers. Having a woman join our management team is helpful because women make the bulk of the financial decisions now.”