Andrew Marks

Occupation: Vice President, Professional Services, Birst

First Car: 1970 Chevy Caprice

Favorite Restaurant: Town, San Carlos, CA

1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

a. When I was in my late teens, I did a stint as a stand-up comedian on the Sunset Strip
b. I was a mediocre student in high school and college
c. When I got divorced from my first wife, I had a Divorce Party (the “Single De My Oh”) party to celebrate which was covered in the Sunday Style section of the New York Times.

2. What’s been your greatest adventure in life?

Being a father to my 12 year old son; and then doing it again 9 years after he was born with my 2 ½ year old girl.

3. What’s your best childhood memory?

I have an amazing group of friends that I hung out with and had lots of adventures with that are still close friends today.

4. If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

Thomas Jefferson – "When you guys wrote the constitution, specifically article II, regarding the right to bear arms, did you mean the right to own guns, or just have “bear” arms"?

5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

Going through my divorce with my first wife and dealing with the reality of not seeing my son every day when I come home from work.

6. Tell us about your favorite hobby.

I love music in all forms. I love listening to a variety of music and going to live concerts. I am also an avid guitar player, although I can’t read music.

7. What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

Right now I am reading “Leadership & Self Deception” by The Arbinger Institute. My favorite books include anything by Stephen King (The Stand is probably my favorite from him) and Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code).

8. Do you have a favorite app(s) you can’t live without?

Well, I can always “live without” apps, but my favorite and most used app on my iPad and iPhone is Flipbook.

9. Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

Italy: Tuscany, The Amalfi Coast, and the Lakes to the North would be my top places.

10. If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

City of Hope – I and my family have been fundraisers and givers to this amazing organization for three generations, with my great grandfather being one of the original founders.

11. If you weren’t on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I’d be on the professional golf circuit.

12. What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

I was recruited out of college to work for Apple Computer in their customer assistance center, providing support for consumers and business customers all over the globe; eventually was promoted to an exclusive group of executive relations representatives whose focus was to act as a conduit between Apple’s senior executives and the general public as well as work on Apple’s internally built CRM products which is where my fascination with enterprise software began. Eventually I found myself working for Scopus Technology, a very early CRM vendor, where I became one of the first Business Analysts in that sector. That led to a regional services management role and then everything pretty much took off from there.

13. What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Don’t try and spread yourself too thin. Become an expert in your field and hone your skills. Your career growth will be borne from that.