Getting to Know Altec – Mark Whitbeck

As part of our Getting to Know Altec blog series (we last highlighted Customer Support Manager Cathy Champlin), this month we’re learning a little more about Mark Whitbeck, one of our amazing Sales Engineers who is based out of Colorado.  Mark has been with Altec a total of 10 years, and is the soon-to-be-famous voice behind our new 5-Minute DocLink Demo Video series: Automating the AP Invoice Process, AP Approval Process.  So continue reading to get to know the man behind the video voice!

What was your first job?

Back in high school in Spokane, Washington I collected pollen for a company that processed the raw product used for allergy scratch tests.  My parents knew someone who worked for the company and they helped get me the job.  The company had a hard time finding people because it was early morning hours – driving 30-60 minutes to farmland where we would vacuum the material from the plants.  Plus anyone who had allergies was not a candidate.  It was an incredibly dirty job but it paid quite well. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

My wife and I visited Thailand, the weather is nice, the food is good and cheap and the beaches can’t be beat, so maybe we’d like to live on an island there.  I do like the snow – you kind of have to, living in Colorado – but I could be fine visiting in short bursts; being in it all the time is tough.

What do you like best about working at Altec?

I really enjoy working with the current Sales Engineer team, we have a great group of individuals.  Everyone really knows their stuff and we learn a lot from each other.  It’s truly a collaborative environment which makes the whole customer experience better in the long run. 

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?

Both my wife and I work so time at home with our kids watching movies and listening to music is our favorite activity right now.  We enjoy just hanging out together and bonding, plus I am working on teaching the kids all the best movie quotes!

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

What’s most challenging is also the most rewarding for me, which is working with customers in a variety of different industries.  Every company has different needs and there’s often a steep learning curve because no two industries are the same.  So learning their specific requirements and marrying that up with what we can do for this can be challenging.  But it’s so incredibly gratifying to create and successfully execute a plan for them.

What is your favorite thing about your career?

I enjoy working with and helping people use software to make their jobs easier and more enjoyable.  I know what we’re doing isn’t saving lives, but all the same, what we do can make a positive impact on people and companies.  Sometimes, when I am working with someone on a specific issue or task, I’ll hear an audible gasp from them because some facet of DocLink will significantly help them.  So when you get that, you know you’re helping people make their processes less tedious and better.  When someone’s really grateful to us for solving a problem for them, it can be extremely satisfying.

If you could have a conversation with any person living or deceased, who would it be and why?

I would want to speak with my grandmother.  She only passed away last December but she had dementia, which can be a long road to travel, and it was hard to see her go downhill.  She was instrumental in my life and it would be great to have one more conversation with her.  You never get enough time with family and the ones you love.

What would you sing at karaoke night?

Last time I tried karaoke I was with Altec Sales Director Patrick Nguyen.  We were trying to impress a potential customer and I sang Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-lot!  I don’t think it went well so I’m officially retired from karaoke.

What makes you laugh the most?

Dad jokes make me crack up, not because they’re funny but I enjoy seeing someone else’s eyes roll into the back of their heads.  Seeing my wife’s agony at the jokes and puns I come up with makes me so happy!  And I can’t wait to embarrass my kids (ages 4.5 years and 8 months) in front of their friends with my growing repertoire.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Wow, so many possibilities with this, but I would say a day of spring skiing followed by a cold beer while relaxing in a hot tub – without kids – would be my ideal day.

What is your favorite meal?

That’s easy…a medium rare filet mignon from a nice steak house.  I don’t need sides, per se, but a great steak always pairs well with veggie and potato dishes.

If you were a super hero, what powers would you have?

Right now, with two young kids I’d have to say the power to move objects without touching them so I could pick up toys with my mind!  All the tiny person paraphernalia makes me crazy, so it would be great to be like Mary Poppins – just snap my fingers and they’d all be put away.

What was the last thing you recorded on TV?

We cut cable about 3 years ago, so now we stream everything.  We’re struggling to find a favorite after the Game of Thrones finale, there was something missing in my life after that.  But we’ve started watching House and so we’re trying to fill the void.