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I am so proud to be welcoming CustomMade Data as the newest addition to the North Sixth Group family as part of our advisory board affiliations. Founded by my longtime friend and marketing industry leader Mark Feldman, CustomMade Data is an end-to-end marketing database solution that enables B2B sales and marketing leaders to achieve their growth goals by delivering and managing 100 percent complete and accurate databases.

While North Sixth Group will be playing an advisory role for Mark and his team, this means so much more to us than a traditional board seat. Here’s why.

In 2009, I had just started our firm and had no paying clients. I had no income, no reputable clients to boast of, and a makeshift office space set up in my basement. One of the first client accounts we competed for was a technology company out of Boston named NetProspex. Their head of marketing was a very intuitive, savvy executive named Mark Feldman.

After running an exhaustive search for a PR firm, Mark made a gutsy decision to give our firm his account. He called me up personally to tell me why he decided to hire us. Mark told me that he believed in me and he wanted his company to be our firm’s first paying client account. As a young marketing executive working his way up the ranks, he explained to me how he was putting his neck on the line to hire me, but he felt it was the right decision. I was determined not to let him down.

The account didn’t pay much money – we started with a modest retainer that was prorated in half for the first month to $1,750 – but it was something. Beyond the money, it gave me the confidence boost I needed to convince myself that our firm could go out and compete to win business from more established competitors. I was so excited about winning the account that I hung NetProspex’s first check on the wall of my office and didn’t cash it until NetProspex’s accounts payable department insisted that I did so.

Mark has been a great believer and supporter of ours through the years. He has hired us many times over as he has advanced his career and become one of the most skilled marketing executives I have known. He has also been a great friend to me and helped me navigate through the inevitable curves and challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

Now, it is Mark’s turn to begin his entrepreneurial journey as he launches CustomMade Data. It is a well-deserved opportunity for someone who has truly put in the sweat equity to his profession over the past decade. Mark is going to be a fabulous operator and does not need any support or counsel from myself or from North Sixth Group to succeed. However, I couldn’t be more excited to be playing a small role in his entrepreneurial journey. Hopefully, in some small way, this will enable me to contribute and to say thanks for betting on me when nobody else would.

All the best to Mark and the team at CustomMade Data on this new venture. We are so proud to welcome you all to the North Sixth Group family.