Mark Fisher, owner of Merchant’s Fabrication in Auburn, a metal manufacturing facility, is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor in 2014.He was born in 1958 and grew up in Westfield, where he played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball in the summer and Suburban League basketball in winter then going on to play Varsity Basketball and Baseball. He graduated from Westfield High in 1976 and took a job as a Union member at Old Colony Envelope Company where he learned the value of earning a buck.

He financed his education with his salary from Old Colony and graduated from Hartford State Technical College (now Capital Community College) in 1979 with an A.S. degree in nuclear engineering technology. After a year working at a nuclear power plant in Virginia he returned to Massachusetts and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1983 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He spent the next 5 years at Raytheon, then began attending evening graduate classes at WPI, earning an M.S. in manufacturing and an M.B.A. Like many other Americans, Mark was unemployed several times in the past 20 years. He recalls that his children made more money from a lemonade stand than he did during a nine month period of unemployment. He vowed that he would keep a supply of dollar bills on-hand ready to give to people less fortunate, and he has kept that promise.

His final layoff was in 2008, and on the same day that he received his notice, he found a manufacturing business for sale and purchased the business he now owns. He financed the business with liens on his house and his mother’s home and a home equity line of credit. Within just four years he was able to satisfy the loan and put money away for his children’s college fund and retirement. He is especially proud of the improvements he made to the employee benefits program and a number of other benefits including reimbursement for deductibles and extending sick time. He is also proud of Merchant’s growth (24% in 2012). 

Married to his college sweetheart Margaret Mary O’Brien for the past 21 years, the couple has two children and resides in Shrewsbury where he plays in a 55-plus softball league (double header!) every Saturday. He strongly believes that the obstacles he overcame to get an education and build a business have taught him that in America, success comes with dedication and hard work. He promises to work hard to help provide the same opportunities to the hard-working people of The Commonwealth.

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