- by Kaitlin Lowe
In honor of Veterans Day, we had the privilege of speaking with Mark Pisani, a veteran whose military service and journey at Turn Services have shaped his approach to work, leadership, and teamwork. Mark’s story is not just about his military service but also the invaluable skills and values he carries with him as he continues to make a difference here at Turn!
Mark’s Military Service
Mark began his military journey in February 1996 when he joined the Louisiana Army National Guard. He underwent Basic and Advanced Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, before being assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, part of the Louisiana Tiger Brigade. Mark’s role as a team leader, responsible for 5 to 7 soldiers, allowed him to develop leadership skills that would prove valuable in his civilian career.
Mark described his two most remarkable experiences during his service. In 2002, he and his fellow soldiers went to Belize to learn about jungle warfare, collaborating with the Belize military. In 2003, their training took them to the National Training Center – Fort Irwin, where they faced simulated Russian field attacks, honing their tactical and teamwork skills. Mark also participated in hurricane duty, supporting communities across the state.
Upon Mark’s ETS (Expiration – term of service) his rank was E-5 (Sergeant). He termed out just prior to the brigade being activated for a tour of service in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) in 2004 – 2005. Solemnly remembering those lost, Mark says, “we lost some good men there. Rest in Peace SFC Kurt Comeaux, SGT Christopher Babin, SGT Armand Frickey and many others.
Mark identifies five critical skills he gained from his military service: time management, self-discipline, decision making, adaptability, and accountability. His military experience taught him the importance of pushing one’s limits, building trust, and learning to trust others. Mark shares that these skills “have helped me in both my personal and professional life.”
Journey at Turn Services
Mark’s journey with Turn Services began in 2014. Over the years, his role has evolved significantly. Initially responsible for Human Resources and Risk Management, Mark’s responsibilities expanded to include both Associated Terminals and Turn Services in 2016. In 2019, he refocused on Human Resources for both companies, adapting to changes brought about by acquisitions, technology, and external factors like hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlights the importance of adaptability in navigating these challenges.
“My journey with Associated Terminals and Turn Services has been one of many challenges— including acquisitions, systems and technology changes, critical personnel leaving the organization, new laws, hurricanes, Covid, inflation, employee needs, and a series of job landscape changes,” said Mark. He explains that to be successful, our HR Departments at Associated Terminals and Turn have had to be adaptable.
Mark also noted that his department’s “primary mission is to become caretakers of our employees,” and would like to take this moment to “thank my team at both companies for their continued efforts and unwavering support for me, our company, and our mission.”
Observing Veterans Day
To Mark, Veterans Day represents selflessness. On this day, he takes the opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who have served, showing appreciation for their sacrifices.
Military Leadership and Teamwork in the Workplace
Mark emphasizes the military’s hierarchical structure and its resemblance to organizational hierarchies in the civilian world. Understanding the importance of roles and responsibilities within an organization’s infrastructure is crucial for success. He stresses the need for teamwork, having states that “the adage of ‘we are only as strong as our weakest link’ plays a pivotal role.”
Armed with such leadership experience, Mark shares advice that “knowledge is powerful. Always be willing to teach. Always be willing to listen and learn from someone at any level of your organization.
Advice for Veterans Transitioning into Civilian Careers Mark advises veterans to recognize that the civilian workforce operates differently from the military. He encourages veterans to adapt their military-learned skills to navigate unfamiliar situations, offering a unique perspective and approach that can be valuable to any company.
Camaraderie Among Veterans Mark believes that veterans share a unique bond based on their shared experiences of challenges and sacrifices. This bond creates a deep level of camaraderie, trust, and support within the veteran community, ensuring that someone always has your back when you need it.
Mark Pisani’s journey from the military to Turn Services highlights the resilience, adaptability, and strong work ethic that veterans bring to the workplace. His experiences, skills, and values continue to make a significant impact, not only in his own career but also in the broader veteran community.
This Veterans Day, we honor Mark and all veterans for their service and dedication.Back to News