Mark B. Palmerino, PhD.
June 17, 1958 – February 7, 2015
With great sorrow, I share the news that our colleague, Mark Palmerino, PhD., Executive Vice President, Research Director, and co-owner of The Center for Strategy Research, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 7, 2015. While words cannot express how much Mark will be missed by all of us who knew, worked with, and loved him, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite memories of him.
Generous, kind and supportive, Mark was the perfect partner. From the day we met, he encouraged and welcomed any and all opportunities to work together to build stronger and better results than would be possible acting alone. His collaborative approach to solving problems succeeded in part because he was always able to see multiple facets of an issue and identify a range of possible approaches. A strategist by nature, Mark enjoyed—in fact, was dedicated to—going beyond the “what” people do, to truly understanding the “why” people do it. Focused on building long-term relationships, Mark was at his best when spending a day or evening with one or a few colleagues, clients, and friends, though he was a personable and accomplished presenter and speechmaker when the occasion arose, including at his church, where he served as an elder for many years.
Mark played many roles in our company, all of them meaningful and necessary. For the fun of it, he would often undertake difficult survey programming, just to keep his skills sharp. A grand master at conceptualization, he devised, built, and continued to improve the coding and warehousing technology that is one of CSR’s unique strengths. A calming and steady force, he would help others of us—the more emotional and mercurial parts of the team, and you likely know of whom I speak (!)—stay grounded and sensible. (For example, when we were on vacation in Scotland, he prevented me from taking the last ferry to the island of Iona, from which there was no return ferry that day, and tried valiantly to moderate my frustration at missing a round-trip island excursion by moments).
An accomplished private pilot (of a plane he affectionately dubbed “a Subaru with wings”), Mark could, and did, get obsessed with weather. He planned flights as if his life depended on it: because it did. (He and I, and our colleague Jennifer Lacy, flew the same flight path as John F. Kennedy Jr., in nearly the same make and model of plane, on the same day, two hours before Kennedy, his wife, and his sister-in-law were lost.) From 1997 to 2001 (after which it became more difficult to fly private planes) we logged countless miles on “Air Palmerino” from Boston to Baltimore, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Chicago. As Mark put it, the in-flight entertainment was pretty bad, but at least the schedules were flexible, and there were few luggage limitations.
A native of the Baltimore area, Mark loved seafood, oysters and crabs in particular, and an evening out wasn’t complete without at least a few Kumamotos being sacrificed to the gods of good living. Crab cakes, fish cheeks, sardines, batrakh, and ribeye steaks (au poivre if available) are delicacies I will always associate with him. Recalling his skills at growing, pickling, and preserving, I am glad that my refrigerator holds jars of Mark’s pickled peppers, homemade Luxardo-soaked cherries, handmade pesto, and hot peppers in oil.
Mark was not just the perfect colleague. A devoted, faithful, and caring husband and father, he is survived by his wife Bethanne, to whom he was married for over 27 years, his daughter Emily, an accomplished professional with a Masters degree, and son Timothy, who graduated from college last May and works at one of the state’s largest distributors.
I am a better person for having worked, played, traveled, presented, partied, vacationed, laughed, and cried, with my good friend and beloved partner, Dr. Mark Bernard Palmerino. May he take as good care of the angels he now regales with bad puns and silly jokes as he did me.
Mark, thank you for the best 20 years any partner could ask of another.