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About The Markens Group

Our Why a message from Ben

It starts with my personal “why,” which began to crystalize in my mid-twenties. I became interested in serving on not-for-profit boards and in helping underserved people. I also became fascinated by Robert Putnam’s work on the deterioration of community in Bowling Alone, and how our interactions as a society have been affected by changes in work, technology, gender, and more. I am interested in reconnecting people with one another and improving comity and civil discourse.

Personally, I want to make a significant contribution to making a stronger community because I have a vision of how we can do it well, because I can, and because I care.

In parallel with my “why,” TMG works with associations, which are communities of interest and kinship focused on mutuality, common interest, and collective gain. Associations also provide a sense of belonging, inclusiveness, interconnectivity, and reciprocity to their stakeholders. This is important because all human beings want to belong and feel connected with one another. It’s in our nature.

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Why Do We Do it?

When Ben and Jennie Markens started TMG in 1988 with business partner Andy Levkoff, they agreed to live by two basic principles: they would only do it as long as it was “fun,” and they would resolve any dispute or disagreement by answering, “What’s fair?”

More than 30 years later, those core values still resonate. But we have also evolved. Dive in to learn about our values and how we live by them each and every day to support our clients and our community.

What Do We Do?

We connect people with common interests and needs to solve problems, share ideas and best practices, have fun, win, and close gaps. To do this, we provide outsourced professional services including strategic leadership, financial management, event planning, member services, marketing and communications, program management, website, social media, and general administration to trade associations, membership societies, and not-for-profits.

How do we Do it?

We use proven methods to accelerate growth in member recruitment, retention, and engagement. We optimize efficiency by providing full service at part time costs—our clients only pay for the customized services they need to achieve their goals. Because we employ specialists in each of the areas of offering listed above, the client gets fractional parts of experts which we can scale up and down as needed, as opposed to having to employ generalists that need to wear many hats—some of which may not fit all that well.

Who Do We Serve

TMG works with associations, which are communities of interest and kinship focused on mutuality, common interest, and collective gain.

We prefer to work with organizations whose mission is to make society better and foster community. We prefer to be responsible for full service and do all the functions that staff would perform. We are willing to provide partial outsourcing of the functions we offer, like back-office only, so the organization can focus its other efforts on the activities where they can have the biggest impact.

Why Choose an AMC?

Association Management Companies (AMCs) increase associations’ value and relevance to stakeholders, and lead organizations to greater growth and prosperity.

In fact, according to a 2015 financial impact study conducted by Brigham Young University, on average AMC-managed associations experience more than three times the growth in net assets and 31 percent more growth in net revenue, regardless of the association’s size and tax status.

In addition, AMC-run associations generally have less liabilities, lower expenses, and higher surpluses than other associations. Whether you’re seeking a full service management solution or outsourced support for individual capabilities, you can rely on The Markens Group to grow your resources and relevance to members.

Our Fundamentals we live by a set of 15 fundamental behaviors

We are Friendly

...kind, and empathic and give each other the benefit of the doubt. We say, “good morning,” “please,” and “thank you.”

Ben says, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

We do our best

...every day. We are personally accountable and don’t make excuses.

We foster teamwork

We can always count on our teammates to support and defend us.

We are fair

We always do the right (fair) thing and look for win-win solutions.

We say "yes"

We find a way to say “yes” or “yes and” with both external and internal customers.

Ben says, “I prefer to use “and” instead of “but” whenever it sounds okay.”

We have fun

...laugh, and celebrate milestones and successes.

We get results

We are results-oriented.

Ben says, “Don’t confuse activity with results. Work smarter, not harder.”

We are Prompt

We complete tasks on-time or ask for help if we can’t get it done.

Ben says, “Never worry, it’s done.”

We are collaborative

...and work to anticipate problems and solve them proactively.

We are relentless

...at providing excellent client experiences.
Ben says, “Our goal is to give all clients the white glove treatment.”

We create processes

...and re-evaluate our processes for successful events and projects.

We are creative

...and encourage dynamic problem solving and strategic thinking.

Ben says, “I feel that team members on the frontline have the best ideas for fixing processes and problems. As much as possible, we should try to find the root cause of problems.”

We communicate directly

Direct and clear communications are imperative to team cohesiveness. We encourage respectful, honest dialog directly with our colleagues.

Ben says, “Clarity and communication are the antidotes to anxiety and uncertainty. We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

We Improve

Improving is about getting better, not determining blame.

Ben says, “Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how we correct them (accept responsibility and do the right thing) and what we learn from them that matters.”

We serve community

Ben says, “We encourage our team to give and give back to the communities in which they live.”