Mentorship in Motion

by Mark Hogan, President and CEO, MANA

I simply wish that my mentor, Jeff Witt (May 30, 1945 – March 9, 2024), could witness my inaugural words as president and CEO of MANA. His recent passing weighs heavily on my heart. Jeff epitomized the quintessential manufacturers’ representative: thoughtful, diligent, knowledgeable, and ethical. Jeff set an exemplary standard as he assisted this young engineer 18 years ago.

We collaborated on several projects but then lost touch for about a decade. When I embarked on establishing my own rep firm in 2016, Jeff was the first person I called. His introduction to the Manufacturers Agents of Cincinnati (MAC), a regional group of reps formed in 1971, proved pivotal. It is undeniable that I owed my career as a rep to Jeff›s simple yet profound gesture of introduction. I first heard of MANA at this regional meeting of reps and it’s also where I met my business partner.

In 2017, John Davis, former MANA chairperson of the board, attended a MAC luncheon searching for a business partner. We discovered that my engineering and sales background aligned with his needs for selling technical motion control automation products. My tenure as a sub-rep during those years proved fruitful and enjoyable.

Serving on the MAC Board and subsequently being elected president in 2021 provided the experience I need to run an effective association. I am fascinated by the extensive histories of both MANA and MAC. While I may not have had the privilege of knowing past MANA executives like Lionel Diaz and Joe Miller, I have had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Charles Cohon over the past few years. Cohon and the team have admirably maintained MANA’s relevance and utility to its members, and I am honored to serve in this leadership role.

As I step into this new role, I carry with me the profound lessons and values instilled by my mentor, Jeff Witt. His legacy of integrity, dedication, and mentorship will continue to guide me as I endeavor to lead MANA with the same passion and commitment.

Do you have a mentorship story to share? Email me at

Mark Hogan is president and CEO of MANA. Holding a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, Hogan formalized his entrepreneurial journey by serving as a manufacturers’ rep for nearly a decade. During the mid-90s, Hogan shared his creativity as a published advice columnist for a newspaper with a readership of 500,000. Over the course of two decades, he honed his skills in product and process development for major corporations, and made an appearance on U.S. national television. Complementing his experience, Hogan has acquired notable certifications in sales methodology (CSP), project management (PMP), and Lean Six Sigma. Residing in Cincinnati, Hogan actively contributes to his local rep community as a volunteer president for a regional association of independent manufacturers’ representatives.

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