Alumni Stories

Mark Lacek '79

Don't spend a lot of time worrying about how you are going to pay back your student loans or find a job, spend your time living your life; life is short, live a life that matters. - Mark Lacek, 1979, Economics

How did UW-River Falls prepare you for your current job?

UW-River Falls gave me a strong foundation in business concepts and global economics. During my time there, I participated in the Quarter Abroad program and spent three months in Europe and was based out of Austria. I did an analysis of the 1976 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, and traveled from Scandinavia to the tip of Spain. It was an amazing and enlightening experience.

What is something that surprised you about UW-River Falls?

I was surprised by the quality of the teachers, and specifically, the College of Business and Economics.

How have you used your experience at UW-River Falls to make a difference in the world?

Hopefully, the number of companies I have been involved in starting have created hundreds of jobs and experiences for people here and abroad. Many of my professors served as mentors to me, especially Professor Potts. So I am trying to "pay it forward" by spending a considerable amount of my time mentoring new entrepreneurs.

What was your favorite class at UWRF and why?

There were two; the first was a photography class that taught me how to see the world through a camera lens. The second was an investment class where we were given $10,000 in pretend money to invest in the market. I went from second-to-last in a class of 60 to third in a matter of two weeks by learning how to short stocks.  If I had another week, I'm confident I would have been number one!

What were you involved in at UW-River Falls? 

I lettered in track and field while running the high hurdles and also skied on the downhill racing team. I was an economics tutor and worked in the cafeteria. I also played intramural basketball, flag football and softball.  

UWRF Alumnus Mark LacekCEO of Famdoo (

Education After UWRF:

M.B.A. business and marketing at University of St. Thomas

Favorite Book:

"Oh the Places You Will Go" by Dr. Seuss

Favorite Place to Study:

If there was a big test, I would take a sleeping bag and sneak in and study and sleep in the room the test was to be held in. I surprised many janitors over the years, but I always did my best on tests when I did this.

Favorite Newspaper:

New York Times

Favorite Cities:

New York



Puerto Vallarta

San Francisco


Favorite Food:


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