Get a peek into the lives of our members with The Faces of ADP™. Meet Mark Smith, owner of TXPages.
One-on-One With the Owner and Publisher of TXPages
Mark, TXPages has clearly made its own mark on the directory publishing space, and in fact has won quite a few awards from ADP over the years. Most recently, TXPages scored the 2020 Directory of the Year award in the 50,000 and Under circulation category. Congrats on that!
Plus, further recognition is in order today – Mark, congratulations on being reelected to ADP‘s Board of Directors, and thank you for sharing your insights with us here.
How do you think the Association has changed since you were first elected to the Board?
The thing I see that has changed the most is its willingness to adapt to the changing world of advertising to include online products & services.
What do you think should be the top three goals for ADP?
- Adding new publisher members
- Acquiring sponsors for events
- Acquiring and maintaining vendors that supply our industry with products & services
How do you think the Trusted Local Certification™ Program initiative will affect the directory publishing industry?
I believe this gives consumers confidence in using a product that has verified information about the publishers and the businesses who advertise in our publications and online.
It may also remove those publishers who have been known to do things that give other publishers a black eye. It may push them out of the directory business. This initiative motivates publishers to publish their product with the intent to provide the very best information, as well as the best businesses to choose from.
In addition to being a directory publisher, you and your lovely wife Brenda raise cattle. Do you see any similarities between the two businesses?
Sure do! The cattle we have produce a product that the consumer desires. There are many similarities in regards to competition, technology, quality of product and affordability.
What has raising cattle taught you?
That you learn to depend on many other people and ranchers for quality resources. Also, that there is always room to learn more! …and sometimes, you just have to deal with the s*#%!
You have four sons; what challenges do you think their generation will face in the future?
Idealism. This generation is extremely idealistic and finds it difficult to adjust and adapt when things don’t go exactly as they expect.
Technology. The dependence this generation has on technology keeps them from learning how to do things on their own (aka, the “old fashioned way”), and it tends to minimize work ethic.
Thank you, Mark, for sharing your viewpoints on ADP, your cattle business and your family. Also, ADP readers would like to know a little more about you, and what makes Mark tick!
We’ll take it easy and start with something simple.
What’s your favorite meal? Lasagna.
What’s your pet peeve? Incompetence.
What’s the one thing (besides your house) you spent the most money on?
My boat. It’s a 1997 Hallett 270 with 500 horsepower. It was $70K back in 1997 when I purchased it.
What’s the worst lie you ever told your parents?
That I was staying the night at a friend’s house, when I was really over at Brenda’s while her parents were away!
What do you wish you were really good at?
Picking great stocks and understanding the financial markets.
Which sport are you best at? Baseball.
Who is your celebrity crush? And why?
Shania Twain – first for the obvious reason, that she’s HOT! Second, because she was instrumental in getting me interested in country music, which led to all things country.
What song do you rock out to? Def Leppard’s “Animal.”
What actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life? And why?
Gerard Butler. He has a sincere yet goofy and funny demeanor about him. And he has the ability to go off the rails when needed.
If you could be a member of any TV sitcom family, which would it be? Tool Time.
If you won the lottery what would your biggest splurge be?
I’d buy a beach house. After I paid off everything and retired!
What was your best Halloween costume as a child?
I didn’t have many good ones as a kid, but as an adult, the best one was going to a Halloween party as Dr. Hymen, with Brenda being the Head Nurse, passing out prophylactics to the party guests…we won the contest for best outfit at that one!
Now that you have shared all your innermost thoughts and a few childhood secrets, let’s discuss the present day – and your future.
Describe your ideal day for readers, Mark.
Wake up, have my coffee and go to work. When I arrive, all the advertisers would renew, increase their advertising program, and the best part is they all pay in full. All this while getting a phone call from my printer telling me that they’re picking up my print tab for a year! I would then end the day with a 6-pack of beer, hanging out by the pool with my beautiful wife.
If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future? And why?
I’d go back in time to the late 1800’s. Things were simpler then, yet on the verge of entering an exciting manufacturing and innovation era. It would have been cool to be a part of all that.
Mark, I just knew you were going to say “go back in time” and make your ideal day come true.
Speaking of the future, what would you tell your future self if you had a time machine?
To remember where I came from, stay humble – and to always be willing to learn.
Name five things that make you happy.
- My relationship with God.
- My relationship with Brenda.
- My family, kids and grandkids (all 9 of them!).
- Blessings, counting each of them and understanding what they are and where they came from.
- Beer…because it’s proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!
Since we now know your priorities in life, let’s dig a little deeper.
Have you ever been heroic?
Yes, I think so! When my youngest son was born, our midwife had not shown up yet. We had planned to have a water birth at home in the spa. We thought we had some time based on the births of our other 3 sons, but he came too quickly.
Remembering how the doctors/midwife delivered the first 3, I did not panic and caught him as he was born, then brought him to the surface of the water and the three of us had the most amazing moment alone with our new 11-pound baby. (The panic set in later.)
Wow, Mark – you delivered your fourth child! That is indeed pretty heroic and amazing.
Now that we know you have patience enough to deliver a child, where else do you not mind waiting?
In the bar, at a restaurant, while waiting for a table to have dinner with a beer in my hand.
What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?
I spent a fantastic Saturday for once NOT working on the ranch – and hanging out by the pool with my girl…and some beer!
While it seems enjoying beer may be one of your superpowers, what other superpower would you like to have and what would you do with it?
To have the knowledge of a crime about to happen, and to be able to prevent it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. –Proverbs 3:5–6.
Describe one of your most memorable experiences.
Definitely re-read my heroic answer!
What do you need more of in your life? Grace.
What do you need less of in your life?
Idiots…just kidding…sorta. Stress – isn’t that everyone’s answer?
Thank you, Mark, for sharing a peek into your life with ADP’s readers.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming Faces of ADP, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.