Mark's Biography

The first thing that I remember wanting to be when I grew up was to be an automobile designer. I was fascinated by the curves and styling elements of the automobiles around me. Being heavily influenced by my father's little 1956 Ford Thunderbird, a ride in his friend's Porsche 356B, a stunning black 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing, an old McLaren Can-Am car that was converted to the street, and the automobile picture books of Ralph Stein -- a passion was developed that still continues in my life to this day.
During high school classes in Puyallup, Washington, my attention diverted away from automobiles and towards architecture and design. Drawings, blueprints, design, traffic flow, Frank Lloyd Wright, drawing competitions, rendering contests -- I did it all. I even placed and won a few contests!
Somehow I ended up chasing Petroleum Engineering and Geological Engineering classes in New Mexico instead of architecture. But I saw no future for myself in that particular field and ended up taking a computer class for the first time in my life. At first, I was totally clueless... I felt like the dumbest person on this planet. Nothing made sense at all. Until one day it clicked -- and the ideas came at a million miles an hour -- and a new career was born.
Off to Oregon I went, a new direction found in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Unfortunately the Electrical Engineering aspect was boring. No new challenges there. Nobody thinking outside the box in that curriculum – I couldn’t imagine a career doing this. Transferred schools and focused on the computer science aspect of it all.
Along the way, I ended up getting derailed for a while. I went automobile racing with a friend on the IMSA GTP circuit. Lots of fun. Lots of comradery. But no matter how hard we worked, we never "won". Nobody ever remembers who finished in 2nd place unfortunately. But connections and incredible friendships were made that are still there to this day and have given myself the incredible opportunity to play and experience the incredible exotic automobiles from the books of my youth.
So the computer industry was my nexus for quite a few years. Software programming, hardware and network support, politics, consulting, non-profits, government -- I think I did it all. But I wasn't getting to where I truly wanted to be... someplace where I was making big things happen.
Then one day I had an unexpected phone call. My automobile passion from my youth was re-ignited. A chance to go restore one of the most significant Ferrari's that hadn't been seen for almost 40 years. Off I ran -- and we made it an incredible success. Magazine articles, publicity, comradery, being mechanical and artistic with my hands again. But I was bored to death mentally -- a passion doesn't always make the best paycheck to be honest and I yearned to chase the Internet dream.
Internet company #1 was a bust... but good lessons were learned about the people I wanted around me to work with. Internet company #2 itself was educational -- but I literally burned myself out due to management having no goals or desires or vision. Internet dream company #3 was a success beyond all of our combined wildest dreams. Unfortunately integration was painful after our relocation from Tempe to Seattle. Friends and co-workers disappeared as the glory days went dot.BOOM! We became the company that was the primary focal point of the Wall Street Analyst / Wall Street Banking debacle -- not a glorious epitaph to be remembered by.
Eventually in July 2002, I headed out the door myself. Once all the good people, friends and hundreds of co-workers are laid off, you only go to the office to check e-mail and generate body heat; the handwriting was on the wall. I hate wasting time... especially mine. Due to a non-compete agreement that I technically had to abide to, I then spent the next few years having fun and reprioritizing my life. A bicycle ride from Seattle to San Diego was the first step. Next was a road trip with hiking boots and a camera through the beautiful National Park system to occupy my time as I thought about my future career direction. Eventually I ended back in Phoenix. Looked and chased career opportunities that I truly desired and was passionate about.
I think I'm really lucky. Today I have a business endeavor that is a passion of mine. Savory by Design, LLC allows me to utilize my marketing, design, artistic, technical, fabrication, welding, machining, engineering skills and every ounce of salesmanship abilities that I can muster. Ultimately where it will go is dependent upon my energy and feedback via customers and enthusiasts. There are a lot of great designs for parts, electronics, automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles that litter the sketchbooks and archives of my computer. The trick is prioritizing what gets built and how to get it into the worldwide marketplace and exposed to individuals and do they desire it as well for themselves. Ultimately "success" is valued in terms of "do I enjoy what I do (daily)" and so far the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. Time will tell the true story and hopefully years from now it will be a good one!
As for more about myself? It's simple really. I believe one should pursue one's own dreams. Make them happen when the opportunity is available. Don't put them on hold until it's too late. Don't be afraid of failing. If you fail, just learn from your mistakes and go try again. Ultimately just be passionate about what you are pursuing -- the results will inevitably follow. Hard work does pay its dividends in the end. Do it now while you have the chance. Enjoy everything while you can. All of this applies to life, career, adventure, travels, family, friends, and those people you meet on the way. When you do find success -- remember to share it with the people around yourself.
Mark Savory
January 2004 (updated March 2014)


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