If you haven't seen Budweiser's emotional ad in honor of Dwayne Wade's retirement, it was a beautiful reminder of the greater impact we can have on others throughout our careers. Blood Hound founder and CEO, Mark Mason, recently announced his retirement. This video (below) struck an emotional chord in our offices and in the field, as we remember the greater impact that Mark has had on us, as our boss, our mentor - and our friend.
After serving as a District Manager in Public Utility Locating, Mark identified an opportunity in the Private Utility Locating market.
"There was a huge information gap. Contractors knew about public underground utilities via One Call/811 and understood that they were required, by law, to have the public utilities on their site located before they started digging, but there wasn't a lot of talk or information readily available about buried utilities beyond the meters."
Capitalizing on this opportunity, Mark and his wife, April, started Blood Hound in 1999. It was a big risk, in an underdeveloped market; the Masons trudged ahead with only their own financial backing and "sweat equity." Running the one-man operation out of his home, Mason set out to educate area contractors about the underground utility liabilities that remained on their sites - and partner with them to promote comprehensive safe digging.
These efforts to educate and partner with contractors landed Blood Hound on Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Companies to Watch list two consecutive years.
In 2016, Mark had the opportunity to partner with USIC, the leader in underground utility damage prevention. It was not a decision that Mark made lightly. The benefits were strong - and immediate. Aside from being able to provide his employees with better benefits at a lower cost, better equipment and greater opportunity for advancement, he had the assurance that if something were to happen to him, there was a network of leadership in place. Ensuring that daily operations would continue at the same level of activity and quality was paramount in his decision, to protect both his employees and his clients.
Mark spent the subsequent years, working as hard as he ever had, to continue his mission to raise awareness surrounding the liabilty of unmarked private utilities. He became not only a spokesman for, but an expert opinion on Private Utility Locating serving on industry panels, giving keynote presentations, and developing educational resources that continue to revolutionize industry opinion on comprehensive safe digging.
We extend our sincerest gratitude to Mark for not only his impact on our industry, but for the greater impact he has had on our lives. Congratulations, to you and your family, on a long-awaited and well-deserved retirement.