Whether it’s a Sunday mass, a Broadway production, or a thriving business, success depends on having the right people and the right equipment. A sermon requires amplification to reach the back pews. A theatre relies on lighting design to dazzle its audience. And like any production, a business must be planned and staged with care to be a hit.
Mark Nash understood the parallels between theatre and business early on. It’s what took him from a lighting technician at American Players Theatre to a sales position at Full Compass, and eventually, to serve as president of the company.
His high school years in Dawson, Minnesota were formative. He credits two dedicated teachers with instilling him with a life-long love for theatre that began working on the bi-annual musicals that brought the entire school together. The band, orchestra, and choir joined forces with the football players and cheerleaders to build the sets and perform.
Mark honed his stagecraft at the University of Minnesota, and moved his small family to Wisconsin after graduating. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to study lighting technology as a student of famed lighting technician, Gilbert Helmsley Jr.
“I would buy gear and intercom equipment from Full Compass as a graduate student,” he says. “That was probably my first exposure to everything that this company could provide. Then, when I worked at American Players Theatre, just down the road in Spring Green, we would buy our audio and lighting supplies there.”
So how did he go from a Full Compass customer to an employee? Purely by accident, it turns out—a fortunate one for both he and the company.
Mark’s familiarity with the equipment Full Compass sells was helpful in his new career, but it was his knowledge of the needs of our customers and the level of detail required to achieve their artistic visions that propelled him from sales to operations manager, and ultimately, to president. He believes his insights helped him thrive in business.
“My job at Full Compass is a lot like putting together a theatre production,” he says. “Each step must be planned and choreographed in advance. Everyone has their role and each is crucial to everything working smoothly.”
“We hired people with specific experience and skills, formalized a management structure, and saw steady company growth from 1990 through the present,” he adds with pride. But to him, success is measured more in the satisfaction of his customers than in sales.
“Our customers are our top priority,” Mark states emphatically. “For 40 years we have been committed to exceeding their expectations. No matter your audio, video, or production needs, you can rely on Full Compass to equip you for success.”
Mark Nash has been president of Full Compass since 2009 and this October marks our 40th anniversary.