There was a lot to be excited about on May 5, 2020. Not only did Cinco de Mayo finally fall on Taco Tuesday, but perhaps even more exciting, it was also the day Mark Smither celebrated his 25-year anniversary at Paulsen.

“It has been my privilege to work with Mark for all of his 25 years at Paulsen,” says Sara Steever, president, Paulsen. “He has an uncanny talent for finding and expressing what is essential in a brand; it's unlike anyone else I have ever known! His wit puts our clients at ease and helps them build unity and alignment with their goals. He is key to our success as a strategic player in our industry. Here's to the next 25 years!”

Mark began his role in 1995 by copywriting, producing and providing creative direction. “I started because I wanted to write witty headlines, making people laugh.” But after a few years, he realized there was a deeper purpose. “It was very self-centered. It wasn’t helping clients grow. I started applying everything I knew as a writer and creative director and started applying it to research and strategy and found I was able to bring much more value.”

In his current role as VP, Strategic Director, Mark is the driving force behind Paulsen’s strategic planning, research and marketing capabilities. “Now we’re leading strategy, and this is some heavyweight stuff. There is an awesome sense of responsibility that comes with it.”

To truly be successful at the leadership level, Mark says, “You really have to think about your team and everything else but yourself. You need to think about ‘How can I make others happy? How can I help others grow? How can I help my clients succeed?’ I learned I was actually happier about that than I ever was for any singular award that I might have won because I was actually helping somebody instead of myself. And I thought, ‘This is pretty cool. I really enjoy this.’ And so I never went back.”

When a career hits the quarter-century milestone, there’s a lot to look back on. So much, in fact, Mark says, “There isn’t one thing that stands out. It’s a combination of all those little moments that all add up. It goes fast.” But as quickly as it goes, Mark’s admiration for his fellow Paulsenites is evident daily. “I love that I get to work with such energetic, smart, fun people. I still can’t believe they pay me for this.”