Lighting the Way: Demske makes his mark

Posted on Dec 11 2022 in Noble REMC
Mark Demske

Noble REMC wouldn’t be successful without our employees and directors. To highlight the work that they do, we’ve established Lighting the Way to place a spotlight on those who help the co-op thrive.

Director Mark Demske’s day starts at 3:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until he puts his kids to bed around 9 p.m. And in between? It’s go, go, go, as he oversees his Biggby Coffee franchises and gives back to the community he grew up in — including serving on Noble REMC’s board of directors.

Though he jokes he “looks tired all the time,” it’s because he ensures he makes the most out of each day, even making time to sit down and answer a few questions for the co-op.

Why did you want to run for the REMC Board?

“I guess the real reason was Bob Marshall. He and I were on the EDC (Noble County Economic Development Corporation) board together for 10 years, and he was coming off this board. I called him and was like, ‘Hey, is it a good board to be on?’ Because not all boards are built the same. He told me it’s one of the best boards he’d been on -— so, it’s Bob’s fault.”

Was there anything specific to the co-op that attracted you to the position?

“I’ve been on for-profit boards and nonprofit boards but never a not-for-profit board. It takes a while to understand the whole economics behind it, so from that aspect, it was a new challenge.”

What’s been your favorite part about serving our members?

“Oh, I think getting to know everybody on the board. You know, I only knew Andy (Strack) prior to being on the board. So just getting to know their past and how they’ve come to be on the board and their experiences.”

Are you originally from here? 

“I grew up in Avilla, and other than going away to college in the ’90s, I’ve been around here. I worked for Community State Bank for 14 years, had a house in Fort Wayne, and then one popped up that we liked at Noble Hawk there, so we moved this way.”

Does that mean you’re a big golfer?

“Before kids, I got out a lot more. Now that I’ve got two kids, I don’t get out like I used to, so, no. I mean, they’re six and 10 now. I used to play like three to four times a week, but now, yeah, not as much.” 

Since you own three Biggby Coffees, what’s your go-to coffee order? 

“I’m kind of basic. I mean, black coffee, Americano or, you know, black iced coffee. I don’t need all of the sugar.”

Do you have a favorite movie? 

“In the last 10 years? Not so much. Whatever the kids are watching pretty much. When they come in, they change things to what they want to watch, and some of the stuff I want to watch, they shouldn’t be watching.”

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

“St. James. We live just down the street from there, so it’s somewhere we’ve always gone, and then I worked there as a bartender for about eight, 10 years. We’ve just known everybody for years.”