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Work experience

Dec 2005Present


Ascend Media LLC

Ascend is a leading business-to-business media-focused enterprise including professional magazines and journals, conferences and trade shows, continuing medical education, and internet properties and databases serving the medical, dental, healthcare, food, beverage, packaging and business services industries.Ascend also provides professional practice healthcare marketing services.At its height, Ascend had revenues of $130 million and EBITDA of $20 million with over 500 full-time and part-time employees.Ascend’s equity partners are Veronis Suhler Stevenson and CCMP Capital.I have recently sold several significant divisions of Ascend over the past two years.

·Directly manage departments of 60+ employees.

·Direct reports include Accounting Department, Production Department, Circulation Department, eMedia Technologies, Information Technology Department, Application Development Department, Financial Planning Department and Travel Department.

·Directly report to CEO of Ascend.

·Responsible for all acquisitions and divestitures.

·Renegotiated Ascend’s Credit Agreement on several occasions.

·Direct contact for Ascend’s bank group.

·Liaison between Ascend and Board of Directors.

·Implemented significant cost reductions through headcount and expense savings throughout the organization.

·Integral in eMedia revenue growth of over 100% in a span of two years.

·Lead in acquisitions of publications and tradeshows.

·Lead in four separate divestiture transactions completed a high multiples.

Jun 2000Dec 2005

Chief Accounting Officer and VP of Finance

AMI is an international publisher with revenues of $537 million and EBITDA of $146 million with over 2,000 full-time and part-time employees.AMI is one of the largest media companies in the U.S. and the number one publisher of celebrity journalism, health and fitness, country music and Spanish language magazines. These include Star magazine, Shape, Celebrity Living, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health magazines, ¡Mira!, National Enquirer, and Country Weekly. In addition to print properties, AMI owns Distribution Services, Inc., the country’s leading in-store magazine merchandising company.AMI’s equity partners are Thomas H. Lee and Evercore Partners.

·Directly managed departments of 30+ employees.

·Direct reports included Accounting Department Controller, Vice-President of Tax, Financial Reporting Director, Sarbanes-Oxley Director, Advertising Billing Director and Internal Audit.

·Directly reported to the CEO of AMI.

·Responsible for all areas of accounting, finance including: SEC filings (10-K’s, 10-Q’s and 8-K’s), bond investor relations, debt compliance reporting and monitoring, federal income tax filings, state and local income and sales tax in all 50 states, budgeting, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, internal audit programs, external audit liaison with Deloitte & Touche audit team, lead financial presenter at all Board and Audit Committee meetings, and financial systems re-engineering and maintenance.

·Presented along with CEO at quarterly earnings conference calls and bondholder annual events.

·Integral in the transformation of Star magazine from a tabloid to a glossy magazine.

·Integral in the launch of several new publications including Celebrity Living, ¡Mira!, Shape en Espanol, Living Fit, SLY and Looking Good Now.Performed acquisition due diligence on several publishing targets including Weider Publications, Times Mirror, Primedia, F&W and The Source.

·Lead in successfully converting legacy accounting and human resources software to PeopleSoft (G/L, A/P, A/R, fixed assets, T&E, payroll, HR and budgeting).

·Implemented financial systems for single copy sales, subscriptions and travel & entertainment.

·Lead on steering committee for the development of a fully integrated operational and financial paper purchasing system.

·Steering committee chairman for Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance.Supervise and direct KPMG outsourced team related to SOA work performance and documentation.

·Lead in $350 million acquisition of Weider Publications.

·Negotiated purchase price and led due diligence effort.Within six monthly fully integrated Weider’s back office based in Woodland Hills, CA to AMI’s back office in Boca Raton, FL. I was integral in realizing over $10 million of cost savings.Lead in $150 million bond offering and issuance of $140 million term loan to fund the Weider acquisition.Road show presentations and preparation of S-4 registration statement.

·Lead in issuance of $150 million bond offering to pay down our term loan and fund a dividend to AMI’s equity partner.Road show presentations and preparation of S-4 registration statement.

·Lead in the complete recapitalization of AMI involving a series of transactions to bring Thomas H. Lee in as an equity partner and buy down Evercore Partners equity stake in AMI.

May 1993Jun 2000

Senior Audit Manager

SENIOR AUDIT MANAGER (Chicago, IL and West Palm Beach, FL).

Significant clients included Walgreen’s, Bank of America, Auto Nation, Slimfast Foods, American Media Inc., The Wackenhut Corporation, R.R. Donnelley, Travel Services Inc. and Statia Terminals Inc.Services provided to clients included performance of audits, acquisition due diligence, financial management outsourcing and internal audit outsourcing.

  • Regional expert on various SEC and GAAP application technical issues.
  • Provided consulting to various clients regarding SEC reporting and GAAP application.
  • Lead Senior Manager on several IPO’s and bond offerings.
  • Managed audits and consulted on various roll-up IPO transactions.
  • Drafted various registration statements and attended drafting sessions for clients related to IPO’s, bond offerings and private placements.
  • Responsible for annual regional technical training for Arthur Andersen.
  • Taught annual technical training classes at Arthur Andersen’s world headquarters for new audit staff.
  • Led due diligence teams on several client acquisitions including work related to: purchase price negotiations, earn-out contracts, contingency evaluations and legal review.
  • Led the efforts on developing and implementing detailed acquisition target integration plans.This included back-office integration and developing cost savings.


Sep 1988Dec 1992

Bachelors Degree

Marquette University


Cameron Bishop

“I recruited Mark to join Ascend Media as Senior VP and CFO after a 6 month nationwide search. Mark joined the company and relocated his family at a critical time in the life cycle of a private equity backed $120 million media company. He was my right hand, working as a partner on a daily basis. His skills in all fundamental areas of CFO responsibility were excellent, including treasury, financial reporting, M&A, financial diligence, negotiating credit agreements and maintaining bank relationships, expense control as well as billing and receivables, lease negotiations and system installation and upgrades. In addition, Mark played a critical role in strategic planning and daily operations as he displayed a special ability to view the CFO role in not only a control capacity but as an enhancement to top line growth. Mark has also done an excellent job of managing several operational disciplines including audience development, IT, travel and eMedia. He has also been a great asset in helping the company to build and maintain a positive and inclusive corporate culture because of his people skills and active involvement in employee programs and employee atheletic teams. Ascend Media has benefited immensely from Mark's involvement.”


Enjoy basketball, tennis, regular exercise and charity work with Habitat for Humanity.



Illinois AICPA