Mark Ruiz (right), Central Regional Manager, with family.
The 2020 Elaine T. Brown Spirit Award recipient is Mark Ruiz, Regional Manager, Central Region. Mark embodies the service-excellence spirit, and is highly regarded by his customers and peers. Mark goes above and beyond to provide quality leadership, encouragement, coaching and excellent service to all.
Mark joined Texas Book Company in 2010. Prior to joining TBC Mark was a top performing store manager at Target Stores in Houston, Texas, with a $30M annual sales volume, and added duties as the area technical training sponsor where he coordinated retail training programs for all new executives. TBC is fortunate for Mark to share over 25 years of retail merchandising and operations experience, and expert training skills.
Mark’s Central Region team has achieved the President’s Club for nine consecutive years. Six of those year they achieved over 100%+ profit performance over budgets. Soon after joining TBC Mark coordinated a relationship with Vistar, which produces sundries sales growth and profits increase of no less than 10% each year. The entire Retail Division relies on Mark and his expertise to negotiate with vendors, identify new products, and ensure we maximize our margins. Dana Poag, VP of Retail, OnCourse and Military, said this in her award presentation, “Mark sets an example for everyone on what it means to work hard. Mark personifies team spirit. He is a relationship builder, with broad and deep relationships on his campuses and within his region. I am proud to have him on our team.” Mark is quick to give credit to his peers and his team saying, “I have learned so much every step of the way. I owe all of my successes to my store teams. I am especially proud of the way they have handled this awful pandemic. Their courage to come to work every day and keep their employees and customers safe is truly heroic.”
Mark is a proud University of Texas at Austin alumnus, and a lifelong supporter of Longhorn athletics. He enjoys a very active lifestyle, and love the outdoors and plays golf every chance he gets. In 2019 Mark checked off #1 of his bucket list when he went to the Masters in Augusta and saw Tiger Woods win the tournament. Mark is a self-proclaimed theatre “buff”, thanks to his daughter’s encouragement. They scored enviable front row tickets to the performance of Hamilton in Austin, which was a highlight of 2019 for the Ruiz family. Mark and his wife, Janie have a daughter, Grayson, who will be a junior at Trinity University in San Antonio this coming fall. The Ruiz family is protected by their “ferocious” toy poodle, KC. He and his family recently took a mini-vacation to Lake LBJ and Marble Falls to enjoy boating, and a mandatory visit to the historic Bluebonnet café for pie.
The Elaine T. Brown Spirit Award is given by TBC executive leadership in honor of Elaine T. Brown, a long-time valued TBC bookstore manager who always went above and beyond expectation, and was the highest example of servant leadership.
Established in 1975, Texas Book Company is one of the largest academic retail companies in the U.S. serving the higher education industry. Texas Book Company's Retail, Military and OnCourse divisions provides customized management on on-campus and virtual bookstores for college and dual-credit institutions. The Company’s OnCourse platform provides 100% uptime during peak seasons and fail-safe procedures that further guarantee the security of valuable sales, ordering, inventory, and operations information.