We are proud to highlight Mark Gillis, IT Director, who has been with our MH family for the past 6 years! Mark works at our corporate location and is responsible for the management and direction of our IT team. He has over 25 years experience in the IT field including experience in design and engineering of networking systems, programming, creating innovative ways to integrate systems together, experience with IP Phone systems and overall general knowledge of computers and operating systems.
Mark came to MH Equipment from Human Kinetics Publisher, one of the world’s largest publishers of physical education, sports science and sports activity books and are based out of Champaign, IL. where he lead an IT team there for 13 years.
As for how he came to be at MH Equipment, the story is rather interesting: “I got started at MH Equipment after I met my wife to be (at the time) Angie, and decided we were destined to spend the rest of our lives together. She was rooted here (in Peoria) and she had a daughter (Alison) that was very involved in the school system. Well, since I was stealing her mother away, I did not have the heart to steal her away from her friends also, so I decided a move was in order. After five interviews with members of the executive team, I excitedly joined MH Equipment! During the process, I found that the HR Director’s aunt lived across the street from where I lived in Mahomet, IL and that my wife’s parent’s lived next door to the HR Director! Coincidence….I think not! God always has a plan.”
During his time at MH Equipment, Mark says that in addition to the rewarding accomplishments the IT team has gained over the years – from the Cisco phone system installation across the footprint to designing and implementing the MPLS network – his most rewarding experience was his charitable work creating and leading the effort of coffee mugs (over 400 mugs) and coffee drive (over 140 pounds) for our troops while in Iraq during the war. “It is when I affect people that I am the most proud!”
Mark’s favorite thing about working for MH is the people he works with. “I really enjoy working with the people and staff at MH Equipment. The staff here are really a great group of people to work with. I also think we are lucky to have a leadership group that is not only looking out for the Company’s well being, but my family’s as well. I think some people forget that MH Equipment provides us a great place to provide for our families and for that I am thankful!”
As previously mentioned, Mark is married to his lovely wife, Angie, and has two step-children: Alison who is 18 and attending Western University and Adam, who is a forklift driver. Angie and Mark live in Washington, Illinois and have 2 dogs, a miniature poodle (Jordan) and a toy poodle, Mimi, who actually rules the house because she is the cutest dog ever!
In his spare time, Mark likes to play cards (particularly Texas Hold’em) and is very sports oriented, “I try to play basketball twice a week, work out twice a week, play golf, swim, play water volleyball, take the dogs for a walks or to the dog park and keep my yard up. Angie and I also like to walk, boat, grill out and spend time socializing with friends.” His favorite sports team is the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois. Being from the Champaign, IL area for 40 years creates great loyalty – “I still get shivers going to College Sporting events and seeing the crowd’s reaction and the sense of pride they have in our University.”
When asked what person Mark would like to have dinner with and why, he replied “I would love to have dinner with Martin Luther King Jr. This is a man that believes that each person should stand on his own merits regardless of race, nationality, socio-economic status, etc. Many people do not know that he traveled over 6 million miles and spoke over 2,500 times in an 11 year period. The Black community had embraced him due to him fighting for their injustices. But there was a huge amount of white people who embraced him as well for his beliefs that everyone is created equal. Imagine what the United States would have been like today if he had not been assassinated at the young age of 39.”
And finally, something unique that not everyone knows about Mark: “I think that most people already know that I am tall (6′ 7″), but what they don’t know is that I was fairly short growing up. When I was in the 8th grade, I actually was able to play on the “B” squad (younger kids and short kids) as well as the “A” squad, due to how short I was. I did not start growing tall until end of my freshman year in high School. I actually grew 2 inches in 7 days when I was a Junior.” (Holy Cow!!)
Please join me in thanking Mark for his years at MH Equipment. We look forward to many more in the future!