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It’s always fun to introduce people you love to one another. Each month, we feature a member of our Root + River studio so you can better get to know them. Studio Partners are individual professionals and companies we have developed fabulous working relationships with and to who we relish referring our clients and friends. They support the Root + River beliefs and standards and are believers in intrinsic branding.

THE HUMAN: Mark McLane, ePromos Promotional Products

THEIR ROOT BELIEF: Make It Happen is #1 – both in life and work. What he commits to, he sees through.

WHAT THEY OFFER: High quality promotional products with an emphasis on exceptional customer service

HOW LONG WE’VE WORKED TOGETHER: Emily and Mark have known each other since kindergarten! In the early days of Root + River, Emily and Justin did a test drive of their personal branding approach with Mark. He was open, gracious and an early encourager who prodded us to keep building the magic. So when Root + River clients began asking for a studio partner with soul who could provide branded products, we thought of Mark. Through ePromos, Mark has provided our branded bound journals, T-shirts and those tangerine-colored pens you all love.

HIS THOUGHTS ON BRAND VISIONING: “For my customers what I am seeing is a lot of organizations recognizing and reflecting their diversity.” For example, he recently assisted a tech company with their programs to recognize and reward women in tech (historically an industry that has lacked extensive female participation). They are trying to attract more women to their field, and to promote women from within. At their different internal events, everyone gets a t-shirt, journals or calendar, etc. “Inclusion and diversity programs are especially important at larger companies where people can maybe feel like nothing more than a number,” says Mark, “Offering symbols of inclusion to the larger group – for example a t-shirt or branded bag – helps promote a positive culture through increased employee interaction.”

WHY WE LOVE HIM: Mark is solid, grounded, a good person with great energy and high integrity! He is one of the most loyal people. He is accountable and he does what it takes to make things right. What’s beautiful about him is that he considers people, and his relationships with them, as his greatest source of gratitude and energy. He has a people-first heart and mind. He’s also very funny and has a good mixture in life – with his health (He’s run an Iron Man!), his family (awesome husband, brother and father of four), and his work (super successful). 

YUMMY DETAILS: Mark worked at Home Depot to put himself through school. Once he graduated, ePromos was hiring and he wanted to get a little sales experience. Sixteen years later and he is still there. Turns out he liked the high volume, penetrating accounts, building and expanding relationships, and all the travel (before COVID). “I’m a loyal guy…sometimes loyal to a fault,” Mark shared, “My first job out of college and 16 years later I’m still here doing my thing. But during that time we went from 25 employees to almost 200 people. We are in the Top Ten in our industry and I contributed to that growth.”

Work evolved again during the pandemic. “The last two years were scary as hell. We didn’t know what was going to happen. Any money that came in we were like ‘put it under the pillow,’’ says Mark, laughing. “When there were no events, we were forced to ask ourselves hard questions about what we would do, how to adapt.” But it turned out another avenue was about to open. “I work with good companies who care about their employees. They turned inward and focused on their employees to make sure they were taken care of. They would send stuff to employee’s houses, still building culture and letting them know that they are appreciated.”

“There was a big change – I see it with my colleagues: you have to show people that they are respected and appreciated. This makes sense. Since we aren’t going to events any more – let’s do the right thing And it’s stuck around! We tried it out and it was so well received. Turns out people like being thanked by their boss.”

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