Economics and Decision Sciences

Featured Alumnus 2000

Mark Zobel

Mark Zobel is Vice President and Portfolio Officer with Bank of America's Asset Based Lending Services Division. Mark joined Bank of America in November 1997 and is currently managing an asset based loan portfolio of $300 million. Loans are primarily to manufacturers and distributors with annual sales less than $500 million.

Before Mark joined Bank of America, he had accumulated 10 years of banking experience. He held positions in lending, credit administration, and retail banking at several community banks in the Chicago area.

Mark graduated from Romeoville High School in Illinois. He transferred to Western Illinois University from Joliet Junior College and completed his Bachelors Degree in Economics in May 1987. His academic honors included the Dean's List, President's Roll of Honor, and Outstanding College Students of America.

After graduation, he entered the Master of Arts in Economics program at WIU. Mark was awarded a Graduate Assistantship and tutored students in the Economics Lab. He graduated in July 1988.

Mark played football at WIU during the tenure of Coach Bruce Craddock. During the past year, he has developed a web page for fans of Leatherneck football.

In Fall 1999, Mark was a member of the Alumni Panel at the 20th Annual Economics Conference. The theme of the panel was "What Students Really Need to Know." It was extremely informative for the students and we noticed a substantial increase in student interest in our Career Development and Skills Portfolio materials.

Message from Mark:

It seems a little strange to me now, but I selected Western Illinois University primarily for its football program. At the time, smaller schools were recruiting me but I really wanted the opportunity to play for a school that had a significant program. I have great memories of playing for Coach Craddock. However, I ended up only participating in football my first year at Western. Looking back, the most valuable thing about my involvement in athletics as a young person was that it led me to discover the rest of the University and, most importantly, the Department of Economics.

I think it's important for alumni to go beyond making their annual donation and somehow try to stay connected to the University. About a year ago I developed a fan web page for the football team which not only is a lot of fun, but has also been a great learning experience. From the e-mails I have gotten it seems the page has been very well received and appreciated. Also, I try to get back to Macomb a couple of times a year to attend athletic events or the Annual Economics Conference. This year I plan to see a show at Hainline Theater. I currently live in downtown Chicago, so it really is nice to get back and enjoy the tranquil town of Macomb.