Mark has been volunteering with TEAM since 2012. Before retiring - which he did twice - he worked in corporate finance: first with The Coastal Corporation, and then, bored after an early retirement, with Paragon Engineering Services. His first volunteer job with TEAM was pulling orders in the Food Pantry, and later on, he helped to remodel both the TEAM Ministry offices and the Resale Shop. For the past three years, Mark has served on our executive committee (board of directors) as TEAM's treasurer.
We are thankful for the experience and expertise that Mark brings to his position. Take a moment and learn a bit more about him and his role as treasurer.
What has surprised you most about working at TEAM?
When you live your life living in a nice neighborhood and working in a corporate environment you look around and think that the world is pretty much as you see it every day. It is not really like that for quite a few people that constantly struggle to make it. Some suffer from generational poverty where getting enough food to feed the family can be a challenge. Others live on the edge with just enough money to get by until they run into something as minor as a ruined tire, which can result in a financial crisis. This is what surprised me most about working at TEAM and it is a reality check.
Is there anything that you wish more people knew about our organization?
Yes, a couple of things; 75% of TEAM’s clients are disabled, retired or the working poor and over 90% of the financial donations that are made to TEAM are used to pay for client assistance and the operation of the Tomball Benevolence Network. We are able to do this because of the income generated by the TEAM Resale Shop, which covers most of TEAM’s operating expenses. We have increased the Resale Shop contribution quite significantly over the last few years and are working very hard to continue increasing this contribution.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to TEAM?
First of all, we help the truly needy. Our caseworkers do a good job of screening clients with the goal of helping to cure a problem and not provide a temporary fix for a chronic situation. Secondly, we believe that we are good stewards of the goods and funds that are donated to TEAM as evidenced by the 90%+ level of financial donations that are used to pay for direct client services.
What do you think are our most urgent needs?
Like most other non-profits, money is always an issue, not only to fund client needs, but also to cover operational necessities. TEAM has two connected buildings that were constructed in the early 1930s plus one that was built in the mid-1990s. The two older buildings need some long-delayed repairs, including work on the roof to take care of leaks when we have heavy rains.
What do you see as our areas of opportunity?
I think that one of TEAM’s real opportunities is to open a second resale shop in the Tomball community, which will provide additional funds to support and expand TEAM’s current programs and it will help for us to introduce new programs. Also, TEAM has reached a size and scope where we should be able to secure grants from organizations that are outside of the Tomball area.
Over the next five years, what do you think will change about how TEAM serves the community?
As the Tomball Benevolence Network (TBN) grows and becomes better established, I believe that TEAM will greatly expand its reach in the Tomball community. We will bring more people and organizations together to serve a broad spectrum of community needs.
And just for fun, what is something that we don't know about you?
My wife Debby and I are avid bluegrass music fans. We routinely make out of town trips, including visits to North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and West Virginia, to attend bluegrass festivals.