Inducted into the Pavement Maintenance Hall of Fame
By Jeff Winke
From a tiny farm community in western Wisconsin to his 2023 Pavement Maintenance Hall of Fame induction in Charlotte North Carolina, Mark McLeod has traveled many roads. His journey started in 1966 when his brother asked him to help seal a school parking lot on a hot July Saturday. “It was a hot humid day and it was a large parking lot and it felt like I never worked so hard in my life! After it was completed, there was this beautiful black asphalt we had sealed … and I was hooked!”
Mark worked for his family business until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard a fast-attack nuclear submarine. After the Vietnam War, he returned and then bought a sealcoating company in Loveland, Colorado. After building that business for a decade, he sold his share to his partner and wanted to try something new.
He was approached by the Thorson family, who had purchased Wikel Manufacturing, and started the Sealmaster brand manufacturing. He was hired as the sales director for all the United States. Sealmaster locations were being established.
During this 20+ years of working with his teams, Mark realized he had a passion for talking about pavement maintenance and started to set up regional and national shows where he was a speaker and round table contributor. He truly enjoyed teaching new contractors… as he said, “It was fun to share the tricks of the trade with newbies in the industry.”
Mark stated: “I had found great personal satisfaction in watching contractors grow into successful pavement maintenance companies–all over the world.”
That passion led Mark to creating and assisting with franchises and their successes. Mark was awarded his own Sealmaster franchise in Tampa, Florida. While in Tampa, Mark developed a communication forum with his contractors. At weekly donuts and coffee meetings, they could discuss anything that they wanted to chat about. The get-togethers were successful. Mark enjoyed teaching proper crackseal, and sealcoat application techniques as well as effective sales approaches. Mark said, “Training was what i loved to do! I love watching people grow professionally.”
After successfully developing the Tampa business, Mark sold his interest and moved back to Wisconsin to again work with the family business.
A few years later, Mark received a call from Bill Neckerman, the president/CEO of Maintenance, Inc., located in Wooster, Ohio. Mark was invited to come tour the facility in Wooster with hopes of building a business connection.
“I loved the area and the people were so welcoming,” Mark said. He was hired as the company’s vice president and business development champion. “I hit the road setting up seminars, round tables, and conducting regional shows. Everywhere I went I was teaching pavement maintenance and proper use of additives in sealcoats to contractors.”
Things went so well that Mark was asked to join the Paveman Pro website as a moderator for sealer additives and pavement maintenance troubleshooting. Paveman Pro is an asphalt pavement and repair resource for pavement maintenance contractors specializing in asphalt paving, sealcoating, line striping, crack filling and infrared pothole patching.
Additionally. Mark has become a regular contributor to industry trade magazines and wrote articles regularly for Allied Pavement Equipment magazine. Both his “My Happy Sealing” articles and his “On the Parking Lot with Mark McLeod” columns provided a platform to educate contractors.
In 2015, Mark purchased ABLE industries to have an equipment line and bolster the company’s portfolio. He created with his team, the largest hands-on parts and equipment showroom in the country.
Mark has more than 55 years experience in the pavement maintenance industry and he continues to teach pavement maintenance best practices. He is President/CEO of Maintenance inc., Wooster, Ohio, which has over 350 distributors worldwide. The company has been in business since 1938.
“Working with all the great people in our industry has been an honor. To be included in the Pavement Maintenance Hall of Fame is a personal achievement for me, but my induction would not have happened if not for the contractors, industry experts, and magazine platforms that were available to me. I thank all of our industry leaders who taught me–some whom are now with me in the Hall of Fame. I plan to carry on the traditions of leading and teaching pavement maintenance for some time and will continue even after I one day retire from Maintenance Inc.
Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can be reached through email@example.com