Building a business, leaders and community.
Meet Mark Marmo
Region: Western Pennsylvania
Industry: Oil and Gas
Success with Vistage
- Grew from $0-$63M in 5 years
- Built a high-performance culture that attracts and retains top talent
- Developed senior managers into corporate leaders
- Enhanced company-wide alignment and communication
- Improved problem-solving capabilities and speed
In 2013, Deep Well Services, an oilfield service company, was hanging on by a thread. The original owners ran through $5 million in cash within six months and lost its best customer.
Mark Marmo, who had been there for a year, asked for a shot at running the company. The new owners agreed, but on one condition: He join Vistage.
Mark joined a Vistage Chief Executive (CE) group with Chair Chuck Gounaris. Mark knew the financial side of the business, but he was new to the idea of what it meant to be a president, how to build a team and how to plan for growth.
His Vistage Chair, CEO peers and expert speakers gave Mark insights into effective leadership that he readily implemented at Deep Well Services. One speaker, in particular, opened his eyes to the role that culture could play at a company. Leadership is not just increasing the value of a company, Mark recounts, but making it place where people want to work.
Mark turned around Deep Well Services within a year and was on track to outpace the competition in 2015, when the oil and gas industry experienced its worst downturn in decades. Competitors and customers were going out of business. Mark, however, didn’t panic.
He knew they could weather the downturn by investing in talent and preparing for growth. His team stuck to the plan developed with Chuck, their Vistage Chair. Not only did they survive, they finished 2016 with positive EBITDA.
Now poised for growth with a green management team and an aggressive strategic plan, Mark leveraged yet another program: Vistage Inside. The goal was to align senior leaders on objectives, solve challenges faster and deepen trust.
The team describes what followed with amazement and pride. Silos collapsed, while communication improved. Problem-solving became more efficient, and skill sets expanded. Team bonds grew, and so did the business.
Ultimately, Mark and his team were able to take a business that had been written down to $0 and sell it for $63 million to investors of their choosing.
He intends to continue growing the company, which is providing a good quality of life for workers in a region that’s been depressed for decades. “It’s not about flipping a company. Deep Well Services is making a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “About 60% of our workforce is based in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. They’re in six-figure jobs that can support a family.”
Mark has also noticed a difference in himself. “I’m a totally different person. It’s because of what Vistage has showed me. It’s helped me evolve into a better person and a better CEO.”