Mark’s grandfather, Paul Skogen, opened the family’s first grocery store in Onalaska, Wisconsin, in 1946. Mark’s father Dave, along with his mother Barb, grew the small chain of Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) stores in the 70s and 80s and then introduced the family business to the large-store grocery format of Festival Foods in 1990.
Mark graduated from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and played professional basketball in Australia for a period of time after college before returning to Wisconsin to begin his career in the family business. Building off the foundation of servant leadership on which the company was founded, Mark’s dedication to operational excellence and passion for creating opportunities for others has allowed the company to experience incredible growth since he became CEO. Under Mark’s leadership, the company operates 32 retail grocery stores across the state and The Marq, a full-service banquet and catering facility in De Pere, Wisconsin.
The company has been recognized — both locally in the communities it services and on a national level in the industry — as a leader in innovation, culture, growth and ethics. Mark himself has been honored with numerous awards over the years, including the Wisconsin Grocers Association 2014 Grocer of the Year. He is always quick to point out that individual awards wouldn’t be possible without the entire Festival Foods team of associates working toward the common goal of providing an enjoyable shopping experience.
In addition to leading Festival Foods, Mark serves on several boards of directors, including the Green Bay Packers and the Food Marketing Institute. What sets Mark apart from others in the grocery industry is his true belief in giving back and enriching the lives of those in the communities served by Festival Foods.