Get to Know Nu Skin’s New CFO: Mark Lawrence
May 09, 2017
Nu Skin is excited to welcome Mark Lawrence as the newly appointed Chief Financial Officer. Mark has 20 years of operational and financial experience. Most recently, he served as the head of finance for Amazon-Lab126 where he was responsible for the company’s global finance functions and played a key role in the launch of several Amazon devices. In addition, he has held senior financial leadership roles at Silicon Valley-based companies Polycom and Brocade, as well as Utah-based Vivint Smart Home. As part of our ongoing series to help you get to know our executive committee, we interviewed Mark and learned everything from his favorite food and vacation spot to his definition of success and innovation.
The Source: What does “success” mean to you?
Mark: I believe success is becoming the best “you”, and that process and end state will be different for everyone. I have a few specific goals that help define that for me. For example, I want to make a difference in the world. I believe that starts at home, but hopefully translates to my work life as well.
TS: To whom do you attribute your success?
M: I have been surrounded by great people my whole life who have been strong influences. My wife Melinda is the hardest working person I know. I think she learned to work on her parents’ farm in Beaver, Utah. After we moved to California early in our marriage, she built two gymnastics gyms from the ground up. She managed to run those businesses in a way that provided a great place for thousands of kids to learn an active lifestyle, all the while keeping our family running smoothly. Since the day we met, I have done my best to keep up with her.
TS: What daily habits contribute to your success?
M: I generally get up early, scan my emails that came in overnight, and then head to the gym. If I don’t get a workout in first thing, I have found it does not happen.
TS: How do you strike the right balance between your personal and professional life?
M: I believe in a work hard/play hard mentality. To me, that means to try to make the most of the time I have both at work and with my family. There have been times in my career where I have been very good with the balance, and others where I have struggled. Rest and relaxation are very important to keep ourselves healthy, fresh, and ready for the rigors of life and work.
TS: What are your favorite hobbies?
M: I love to play and watch sports live or on TV. I especially love supporting my kids in their activities. I used to be a pretty good golfer when I was young. Golf is a game that requires lots of time, and over the years, I have chosen to spend my time in other areas. I still love to play when I get the chance.
TS: Where is your favorite place in the world?
M: My first answer would be wherever my family is. Two specific places that I love are Hanalei Bay in Kauai and Lake Powell. In both places, I find myself able to turn down the noise of the world and focus on family time.
TS: What’s your definition of innovation?
M: I have lived and worked in what many people feel is the hub of innovation for the past 20 years in Silicon Valley. Often, I have looked at some of the products released as “answers looking for a problem to solve.” I consider true innovation as the development of a product or process that makes a difference. All of us can be innovative. I think innovation starts with asking questions and then looking for answers to those questions.
TS: What is your favorite quote?
M: “Accountability is not consequences, but ownership. It is a character trait, a life stance, a willingness to own your actions and results regardless of the circumstances.” - Brian P. Moran
TS: Is there a childhood experience that shaped who you are today?
M: My very first real job was as a newspaper delivery boy at age 14. My dad had a few conditions before he let me get that job. One of them was that I put every single newspaper on the front porch of my customers. This was not required by the company, and it was not the most time efficient way to deliver papers. However, this rule required extra work every day for no obvious incremental reward. I agreed to his terms because I wanted the job. I started off following those requirements, but at times I would miss the mark. It seemed that every time that I didn’t quite get all the papers on the porch, my dad would pull me aside and talk to me about my commitment. It would always shock me how he would know when I didn’t follow through.
This experience taught me a couple of lessons: the principle of “trust but verify” has been very valuable in my career in finance. Looking back at my experience, my dad encouraged me to correct my misses quickly before they developed into bad habits. I also learned the value of great customer service. Whether your customers are internal or external, it is best to exceed their expectations.
TS: What is your favorite food?
M: I love all food! But if I had to choose a specific meal, it would be the Carne Asada Burrito at Super Taqueria in Hollister, California.