Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Fall 2013

Vision: Mark Holland

In 1990, the largest manhunt in the history of the Utah State University police force began. They were looking for me and three of my Aggie friends. This event helped spark my entrepreneurial spirit. I wouldn’t suggest setting off a water bomb at a USU/UNLV basketball game in today’s world. I suspect an Aggie would face much stiffer penalties than we received. Working with creative, risk-taking Aggie buddies certainly prepared me for some of the stressors that I would face later in my career.

Life is too short to make conscious decisions to compromise our integrity.

Six months later, while running a start-up high tech company, I was faced with a choice: significantly stretch the truth to help save the company I had been hired to fix, or face loss of funding and business disaster. In seeking counsel, a wise board member encouraged me to do the right thing. I followed his advice, went through some trauma, but ultimately the decision saved the company. Leadership is as much about integrity as it is about creating a vision that works. I find that when we choose to do the right thing, we look around the table and find ourselves among friends and colleagues who also do the right thing. Conversely, by taking short cuts, using deceit or half-truths to get things done, we end up among people who share the same values (or lack thereof)—not where we want to be!

Life is too short to make conscious decisions to compromise our integrity. We will step in enough trouble erroneously, so we don’t want to willingly create skeletons for our closet.

Developing a vision that creates passion, energy and a high probability of success is a great characteristic of strong leaders. Start with integrity.

At Intermountain Staffing and Ascend HR, our growth has taken us from sales of $3.7 million in 1992 to over a $100 million in revenue last year. This year we continue our growth. As Rod Kearl (a very committed Aggie!) and I build our team, we surround ourselves with people who can fill in our blind/weak spots as we grow.

About Mark Holland:

  • Founder & CEO, Ascend HR Solutions
  • Chairman & CEO, Intermountain Staffing
  • Member, USU Board of Trustees
  • Chairman, Huntsman School National Advisory Board
  • ASUSU Vice President
  • Water Bomber
  • True Aggie

Early development of our purpose statement with an intense commitment to live by it has helped us develop a team that does the right thing, is energized by our company and purpose, and thrive in good and difficult times. The Intermountain Staffing Purpose Statement is “Our purpose is to partner with employees, clients and the community to create opportunities for growth and mutual success.”

In summary, finding balance in an increasingly busy world creates life success alongside of work/faith/other things we put our talents to. Nothing is more important to me than my wife Wendi and my kids Maddie, Doug, Sam, and Ella. They give my life purpose. Spirituality plays a critical role for me. Mix in some exercise and adventure - that is a great recipe for success!

Go Aggies!