University of Southern California

LESSONS OF A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR
November 13, 2009 • by Mark A. McKinley

Dear Friends of Marshall:

In the world of an entrepreneur, every day is a different event.  Every day, you have to make decisions.  You can't defer them.  If the decisions you make are bad bad bad -- you go broke.  If the decisions you make are good good good -- you're going to be okay.

At the USC Marshall School of Business, I learned how to analyze and solve problems.  I've used these skills on a daily basis for the past forty years to make good decisions.  Those good decisions have enabled me to start several successful businesses.  Forty years after I graduated, I'm still trying to give back to the School that gave me my foundation as an entrepreneur.  As part of that effort, I'm proud to have been a part of the launch of USC Marshall Partners as the Founding Chairman.

Does Marshall Partners sound like a business?  Good.  I hope so.  Just like a successful business venture, Marshall Partners leverages the great talents of alumni, parents, students, faculty and friends to make a real difference for the School. 

In addition to helping Marshall’s bottom line, Marshall Partners also provides extraordinary networking and dialogue opportunities for our members.  We come together across the regions to both enjoy unique experiences and to support Marshall.  We've hung out with the Navy Seals in San Diego; we've gone behind the scenes to experience the inner workings of LAX; we've taken over the Reagan Library for a day—all to raise money for the School.  Marshall Partners started in Los Angeles, but we've spread across California, across America including New York and Chicago, and now we're planning to open a regional group in China!

Donations by Marshall Partners support the extraordinary programs led by Dean Ellis and his team.  We provide funds for new faculty, for students to go overseas, for the continued growth of the Marshall physical plant.  As someone who can remember when Quonset huts dotted the USC campus, it's a pleasure to walk through the beautiful grounds now.

I hope you'll consider becoming a Marshall Partner with me.  Believe me, it's a good good good decision.

Fight On!
Mark A. McKinley