“I don’t think anyone seriously sits down and plans to have a career in the woodworking industry. After the ambush, you just surrender and embrace it,” says Mark Clemens.
And embrace it he has. Clemens has been involved in the wood products industry for 33 years, with the majority of experience in the retail fixture market. In addition to his position as vice president of product development for the Seattle office of idX Corp., a position he has held since 2008, Clemens is actively involved in a number of industry-related groups, including the Architectural Woodwork Institute, where he is the current president of the Washington chapter.
“My association in the Architectural Woodwork Institute has been very rewarding,” Clemens says. “It’s wonderful to mentor young volunteers and to watch them gain confidence and take charge.”
Clemens himself is no stranger to taking charge. An advocate of the corporate mantra of “people + process + passion = success,” Clemens has done his part to help the the St. Louis, MO-based idX develop new products and grow its market share in the retail fixtures and consumer environments industries. “While our competitors contracted, we grew,” he says in relation to the past year.
In addition to internal improvements at idX, the company recently established a new division in the San Antonio area through the acquisition of Cuero, TX-based Lancaster Industries, a 28-year-old custom fixture, millwork and furniture manufacturer. The company also has facilities in London, UK, and Toronto, Canada. As a result, Clemens adds, “idX is uniquely positioned to compete in the global marketplace.”
And it does not stop there. The architectural and store fixture manufacturer continues to define itself as a leader in the industry — through design, sustainability and continuous improvement. “Our best and toughest challenges come from within,” Clemens says. “We challenge ourselves with continuous improvement. I hope that never stops.”
Outside of the woodworking marketplace, Clemens interests are widely varied. In his spare time, he enjoys “golf, politics and soon, grandchildren.”
• Education: Degrees in Architecture and Business, University of California, Berkeley
• Years at the company: 4
• Years in the industry: 33
• Words that best describe you: Creatively resourceful
• The best advice received: Hire the best people, communicate the vision and get out of their way.
• The person you have tried to emulate in business and why: Steven Jobs. His company
separated itself from the competition with innovation.
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