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A View from the Board – Caroline Marks

Excerpt from MACS ACtion Magazine Sep/Oct 2023 Issue; Edited by Peter Coll & Gisele Horrell

Thinking Creatively

Our industry has faced many challenges during the previous few years. Months of supply chain difficulties resulting from the Covid ripple effect is like nothing we have experienced in the industry in decades. It took an enormous effort to think creatively, and  we relied on our friends and allies in the MACS community to ensure that both our customers and our company could survive.  I am so thankful to have developed the many relationships that I have through attending years of MACS conventions.  It has been rewarding to be a part of the MVAC community’s cooperative effort to  navigate these new waters. We are adding more merchandise to our shelves than we did previously now that things are returning to some degree to normal, but we have found that if one of our vendors is out of a particular item, it will likely be a while before they get it back.

A qualified technician

The Industry Search

The search for qualified technicians has been one of our biggest challenges. There has been a noticeable decline in trade school enrollment, and this is concerning to all industry trades. The push for 4-year universities has been huge for the last couple of decades, however this is not necessarily the best path for every student. We need to encourage young men and women that are able and willing to learn to get into a trade school, hone in on their skills and get to work!

Industry Initiatives

Marks Air Logo

Marks Air has taken a big initiative in this arena. I have joined forces with like-minded, determined individuals at both Erwin Technical Institute and Hillsborough Community College Heavy Duty Truck Technician Program. Currently, I sit on the Advisory Board for both college’s programs and advocate for the Automotive Service Technology Program.  I firmly believe that we can contribute to addressing the technician shortage in our industry by effectively engaging high school students and enhancing the visibility of community colleges and trade schools.

Additionally, Marks Air has also developed a training program to help many of our customers who manage fleets and who have also experienced the lack of qualified technicians. We implement and facilitate MVAC classes throughout the state of Florida, and the response to our training has been so favorable that we are eager for the chance to develop a secondary curriculum as a follow-up.

For all of us, the last few years have been a challenge and a huge learning experience.  What is in store for us is unclear to me. But navigating whatever comes our way ought to be fun.

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About The Author

Caroline Marks is part owner and operator of Marks Air, Inc. in Tampa, FL. Caroline has been around the family-owned air conditioning business since she was in a playpen. In January 2000, Caroline started as a full-time team member in the parts department. Within a couple years, she began managing the service department. With her customer service background, Caroline brought a renewed outlook to the business.

Caroline continued to excel and currently serves as the Director of Operations. Although parts sales accounts for 60% of their business, Marks Air is a full-service mobile air conditioning repair and installation facility with eight bays. Caroline’s father, Gordon, opened Marks Air in 1971. He served on the MACS board for five years, serving as President during the refrigerant change over in 1993 and 1994. Caroline aspires to follow in his footsteps by serving as an integral part of an organization that provides valuable training and opportunities in an ever-changing industry.

“I absolutely love attending the MACS convention and trade show each year! It is exciting to see what new products will be available in our industry. The training sessions are full of valuable information that really applies to what we do every day. Most of all, I love networking with people in our industry. As a part of the next generation of managers and business owners in the mobile air conditioning industry, I feel that I bring a fresh perspective to the board.

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