Central Illinois Business Magazine
GET TO KNOW THE CEO          February 2014

Mark Herriott is one of four family members who are operating partners of Herriott Group Inc.,


the umbrella organization for Herriott's Rental and Columbia Street Roastery.

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CIB] What was your first paying job?

[Mark Herriott] The family business. My first job outside of working with our father was at Jos. Kuhn & Co. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about retail and see how another family business operated.

[CIB] What is the biggest challenge for you in your job on a daily basis?

[MH] I find it difficult to balance the amount of paperwork which is mandated in business today with what I enjoy the most, which is working directly with our restaurant, office and wholesale coffee and tea customers.

[CIB] What is the most satisfying part of your job?

[MH] The opportunity to work directly with our restaurant and wholesale customers where together we can create something special for their business. And the ability to take the raw materials we import (coffee and tea) and create products which meet our customers' expectations.

[CIB] What is the best advice you've received?

[MH] Growth and change always happens faster with a coach or training partner.

[CIB] What is the best advice you can offer other entrepreneurs or business leaders?

[MH] Find people who you can trust to give you straight-forward opinions based upon their experience and what they actually see in the marketplace. Ask them to share what has allowed them to succeed as well as what they learned from their mistakes.

[CIB] Who was/is your mentor and what did that person teach you?

[MH] My brother, David, has had the biggest impact on me from a business perspective. While we are the antithesis of each other, interestingly this has been our strength. Our ability to rely on each other when we were reconstructing and building the businesses allowed us to grow, change and learn from each other.

[CIB] What accomplishment are you most proud of?

[MH] Being a part of a family which has been able to create a new business (Columbia Street Roastery) and grow the other (Herriott's Rental) to a point where there is an opportunity for the fourth generations to participate.

[CIB] What do you like about Champaign-Urbana?

[MH]The eclectic "fabric" which has been created in this community from both a cultural and intellectual perspective.

[CIB] What are your hobbies?

[MH] Playing bridge and traveling with my wife, Marianne.



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Editor's Note

Welcome Home

With spring comes the season for homebuying and homebuilding. I’ve noticed homes in my neighborhood have been selling more quickly than in the past few years. And several homebuilders I talked with for this issue’s cover story are optimistic about what this season will bring.

The Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois will have its Showcase of Homes in the Prairie Meadows subdivision in Savoy from June 12 to 22 — the first showcase in five years. I’m looking forward to checking it out and seeing the craftsmanship of area homebuilders.

Also in this issue, we have a profile of architect Andrew Fell, who has designed both single-family homes and numerous apartment buildings in our community.

Two University of Illinois professors are hoping they can influence the paper industry to be more environmentally friendly. They’re experimenting with making paper from native prairie grasses and agricultural waste. Read about them in the Innovation feature.

Enjoy this issue, and the spring season.

Jodi Heckel is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or jheckel@news-gazette.com.