It was October 1st of 1984.
Prince Harry had just been born. MTV held their first Video Music Awards. “Lets Go Crazy” by Prince was playing on every radio station. And a young man named Mark King started a new job at a small industrial repair company called Speck Industrial Controls. That company was the beginning of what has become Radwell International today. On October 1st, 2019, Mark has been employed at Radwell International for 35 years. Brian Radwell, the company President and Owner, is the longest tenured employee at Radwell. Out of almost 1,000 employees, Mark King has the next longest tenure as a Radwell employee.
We sat down with Mark to hear his story and to look back at the early days of Radwell International.
Congratulations on your 35th anniversary. What was your first day of work like? Does anything stand out?
I was nervous, as most people would be on the first day of a new job. It was a big move for my family and for me but I really received tremendous support that day. I really felt like I was welcomed into the family environment with open arms. A lot of that family feeling is still a big part of our corporate culture at Radwell today.
The company was very small at that time with only a handful of full time employees and a couple of part time employees. Jerry Radwell was in charge and Brian Radwell (current President and owner of Radwell International) was 18 years old and working part time while he was in high school.
Jerry Radwell was an awesome guy, a really great person and a fantastic mentor for me. I am grateful I had such an amazing mentor early in my career.
What was the original working environment like at Speck?
We worked in a small warehouse dealing with limited inventory. We all helped in all areas including shipping, receiving, repairs, anything we could do to help get products to our customers. Our original focus was on several lines and we started branching out and looking for other opportunities to grow the business.
Tell us a bit about your job responsibilities when you first started compared with your job responsibilities today.
35 years ago there were no computers, no internet, not even a fax machine. There are so many more resources today that can help an engineer than there were 35 years ago.
Once my job segued into application engineering I began working with customers who had a problem but didn’t know what they needed to solve their problem. I was in charge of coming up with what they needed to solve their issue. Today my team and I support internal employees so that they can support our customers in the most effective way possible.
If you could go back and give your younger self advice, or better yet, give advice to young up and coming engineers, what advice would you give?
Here is the advice I would give:
- Challenge yourself
- Be confident
- Stay strong in your faith
- Have a solid game plan
- Be flexible and able to roll with the punches
- Don’t discount the importance of an education
- Believe in yourself
- Stay up to date with technology
- Find an amazing mentor and listen to him or her
Great advice! Are you doing anything special to celebrate your 35th anniversary?
I will probably celebrate with a nice dinner out with my family.
To learn more about Radwell International