March 1 is a special day for CSL. Today, we celebrate Mark Hartman, who has been with the company for exactly 20 years, today. Mark was kind enough to talk with us about his tenure with the company in the form of a Q&A.
We’re honored for your loyalty to CSL as we know it’s becoming more challenging to retain talent. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but we are curious… what made you decide to stay with CSL?
Being in sales for the last 20 years, I’ve learned that a position must provide a challenge. And the last 20 years at CSL has provided this very challenge. The people I come in contact with – both potential clients and existing clients – have become a source of knowledge and a few friendships have blossomed. But, the people I have worked with at CSL are probably the main reason I have lasted so long.
Can you share a favorite memory from the past 20 years?
There are so many, I really don’t think I could narrow it down to just one. I do recall a time when I was in Alabama to visit a customer. My contact was busy so I was not able to see them, as I had hoped. But the Vice President of Technical Affairs offered to speak with me. Of course, I graciously accepted his invitation. We sat down and as I was going to shake his hand, I bumped into his coffee and it spilled all over his desk. Needless to say, I was extremely embarrassed. His response to me was, “That is certainly a unique way of getting someone’s attention.” He laughed, I cringed.
How is CSL the same when you started? Different?
We may have obtained different customers (companies) over the years, even though we still have clients that have been with us since we started. But, in general, they don’t change. The companies change, but their wants and needs remain the same. We certainly have grown and expanded our capabilities. Technology and regulations keep evolving, which is key for our success.
What do you believe the future holds for CSL?
CSL will keep growing and prospering. We have some great people who share the same vision. CSL will do just fine.
In your opinion, what ways can modern employers retain their staff?
Engage them. Be respectful. Don’t dictate, but encourage and coach them. Let them know they have a stake in the outcome of the business.
Anything else you would like to add?
I never thought I would stay in one place for so long. But, when you believe in what the company is doing and your contributions are welcomed, there would be no reason to leave.