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Marks Air celebrates 50 years of mobile air success

The staff of Marks Air, Tampa, FL

By Giselle Horrell, MACS Contributor

In an ever evolving and demanding industry, riding the highs and lows to withstand the test of time, Marks Air Inc. of Tampa, FL celebrates 50 years of being in business. Since the company’s founding in 1971, Gordon Marks, his family, and his employees have helped guide Marks Air to this successful benchmark.

MACS member Caroline Marks Acebedo

Caroline Marks Acebedo, one of Gordon’s daughters who joined the company over 20 years ago, has borne witness and contributed to Marks Air’s tenacity. Being a woman in the automotive industry, Caroline knows first-hand that “you have to have thick skin” and has recounted the numerous times she would be assisting a customer, and “they would ask if they could speak with a man” instead or would “start asking questions to one of the men in the parts department behind” her.

While such attitudes feel outdated in 2021, Caroline does not “let it bother” her since the company’s staff have always been “very supportive” of her and the behavior only comes from “a small percentage of the customers.” Additionally, her parents had taught her that she “could excel at absolutely anything” to which she applied herself. Caroline’s history with Marks Air lends truth to that sentiment as well as demonstrates the strength of her commitment; she notes, “With the exception of being a technician, I have worked every position there is at Marks Air.”

Beginning in inventory control, shipping, and receiving, Caroline moved to the parts department before being promoted to service manager wherein she handled “purchasing all the parts for the business.” Having also handled bookkeeping, HR, and payroll, she now manages and owns part of the company. Her parents had been “working one or two days a week” at Marks Air for the last few years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic started last March, they both retired completely, leaving Caroline to guide the business forward.

Discussing previous economic hardships that affected Marks Air, Gordon notes that the best course of action is to “go with the flow and adapt!” The financial struggles of 2008 stand out to Caroline—the teamwork that persevered and resulted in not having “to lay-off any employees during that time.” Drawing from that experience, Caroline has kept Marks Air afloat during COVID-19 and a computer system shift from the older program they have used since the 1980s, surprising herself with how much she has grown and learned from the experience—embodying the fortitude of the company itself.

Due to COVID-19, Marks Air staff celebrated the anniversary with a post on social media and cake in the office. Normally, the company marks the occasion by throwing a large party with MACS training classes and barbeque and by inviting vendors and customers to the event. Acknowledging everyone who plays a part in their continued success is important to Caroline and Gordon.  From Col. Harry T. Faulkner of Auto Air Conditioning and Radiator Co. in Atlanta who encouraged Gordon to launch Marks Air Inc. over 50 years ago to conscientious employees who embrace the challenges of tackling difficult repairs and projects, all who have influenced Marks Air have been instrumental in the company’s accomplishments.

Additionally, according to Caroline, MACS has helped to guide Marks Air throughout the years. She says, “MACS has provided training that is not available anywhere else,” and MACS “helps us stay informed with industry news and new product information.” However, she notes that the yearly Training Event and Trade Show is the most valuable element of being involved with MACS due to the networking opportunities, unique and informative training, and the showcase of new industry products all available at the same event.

MACS was founded in 1981, and Marks Air joined as MACS Members in 1983—so the owners of Marks Air have been involved with MACS almost since its inception. Both Caroline and Gordon have served on the MACS Board of Directors, with Gordon serving as Chairman for five years. Caroline is currently serving a two-year term as a board member and her second, one-year term as Treasurer. She loves the opportunity as a way “to give back to an organization that has brought me so much and offered so much for our company.” In particular, she values the relationships and friendships she has formed with her fellow Board Members.

Having survived an unpredictable year filled with uncontrollable events, Caroline has committed to concentrating this year “on the things we can control.” To demonstrate this resolution, she states, “Our team focus is on excelling in every area possible.”

One response to “Marks Air celebrates 50 years of mobile air success”

  1. Richard Ennis says:

    Congratulations to one of the best service centers in the country!!

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