Applauding Alumni: Mark Winkelman, BAC '89

 Applauding Alumni Mark Winkelman, BAC 1989 


Mark Winkelman graduated from Walsh College in December 1989 with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. He started with Better Made Snack Foods, Inc., in 1994 as an accounts receivable clerk. In 2011 Mark became the company’s president.  Mark Winkelman is a proud alumnus who believes in giving back and supporting Walsh College.  Here is our interview in its entirety.



Why Walsh?

When I decided to pursue my degree I knew that Walsh was the best option in Southeast Michigan.  Walsh had a fantastic reputation for producing the best and brightest in the accounting field and I knew that this degree would be valuable. 

Describe your Walsh experience.


As a commuter student, I attended evening classes while working full- time while paying for my college tuition.  When I graduated I felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride on commencement day.  I knew that all of my hard work, dedication, and personal efforts had paid off.  I learned a great deal from Barb Alpern the communications instructor.  Although the class was quite rigorous it was definitely enjoyable.

What is the biggest challenge you face at Better Made?


This isn’t really a challenge but more of a personal endeavor to make sure that all team members are aware of the goals of Better Made and understand they contribute to the success of our company.  Therefore, I take time to ensure that the staff is educated on our corporate goals. 


With such a large company, how do you accomplish this?

Every staff member is encouraged to learn about the company and even our snack food industry.  There are times when there is opportunity for mentorship with employees but overall I try to incorporate learning and education in every interaction. 

Do you serve as a mentor?


Yes, there are times that I can spot an employee with great potential or even those who ask for guidance.  This may mean working one- on- one to help them achieve goals but ultimately I constantly ensure that our staff is aware of their roles and how they work in the company. 

Great!  So you see the company as a whole entity made up of parts?


Exactly.  Every department should be aware of how the other departments function and their roles.  I strive to eliminate silos and to build partnerships within the company so that everyone is working towards the same goal or at least are aware of how they intermesh. 

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership role for the first time?


Know your company and industry.  I listen to my staff and use their input in formulating decisions.  I seek their opinions as they are more closely connected with their roles. I encourage them to offer creative ways to solve issues.  I have found that the team has thought through a problem and has developed some great solutions. Typically these are the solutions that work.

Anything else you want to add?


As a leader, make sure you are well rounded and connected to others.  A leader must constantly expand their base of people and connections.  They should become better acquainted with those in their industry. It is where opportunities arise.  Leaders should network often and become a connection for others. 

Mark this has been a great interview! 





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