I’m excited to welcome Mark Werts, author of the book, America’s Simple Solutions, to Writestream Radio on Tuesday, September 27 at 1 PM Eastern. If you’re sick of politics, but interested in commonsense solutions to our country’s problems, be sure to tune in and call in with your questions and comments at (347) 945-7246:
In America’s Simple Solutions, author Mark Werts tackles education, healthcare, immigration, taxes, gun control, the environment, gender, equality, and many other issues, and offers Americans simple solutions free of partisan bias, based on how these challenges are handled around the world. Having lived, worked, and traveled across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, Werts has observed how people in other countries have approached the same dilemmas that we face in the United States. “I have come to understand what is practical and works. I have also seen what is impractical and doesn’t work. In our global world, why would America pursue an idea that has been proven again and again not to work in other places?” he writes. Werts also reflects on the views of our country’s Founding Fathers, and suggests that we have forgotten much of their considerable wisdom.
Throughout, Werts emphasizes the importance of expanded freedom, especially for entrepreneurs and business. He also stresses the critical roles played by education and political participation. “A good, solid education for all of our citizens is the ultimate answer to our many challenges . . . and to get the best teachers, we must offer the best salaries,” he says. And he laments low voter turnout, urging all eligible Americans not only to vote, but to get involved in local boards and commissions.
With freedom, education, and voting as an underlying theme, Werts believes that we are at a monumental juncture, and that the future of our individual freedom is at stake. In reading, America’s Simple Solutions will empower people to get involved, and make the choices that will fuel both growth and freedom.
To listen to the live show, click on this link to Writestream Tuesday: America’s Simple Solutions with Author Mark Werts on September 27 at 1 PM Eastern.
Mark Werts was born and raised in Hollywood, California, the third of six children in a large Catholic family. His father, C. Francis, was a family doctor who treated many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and who delivered more than two thousand babies. His mother, Virginia, was a schoolteacher. Mark is a graduate of Loyola High School in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University).
He began his professional career working for Price Waterhouse, and with his ear for languages, he soon found himself running the company’s offices in Geneva, Switzerland, and later Madrid, Spain. While in Spain, one of his clients, an influential jeans maker, introduced Mark to the world of fashion. A short time later, Mark trekked his way to Holland, where he founded his first vintage clothing store, Salty Dog, by begging, borrowing, and mortgaging his life insurance policy for the initial $21,000 investment. He soon had ten locations throughout the Netherlands, then two more stores in France.
While in Europe, Mark married and had two children, Julian and Zoey. But, after the relationship soured and his American wife took the kids and returned to the states, Mark married a Dutch woman, closed his shops, and also moved to the United States, to be closer to his children.
Mark launched his signature store, American Rag, in the Bay Area of California in 1984. Despite appearances, denim was never intended to be the store’s focus. He started out selling vintage clothing, as well as Paul Smith and several other good labels. As business grew, so did the Werts household. His third child, Mark Oliver (who now works as a vice president at American Rag), was born in 1985, and that same year Mark found himself looking for a new location. Circling back to his roots in Los Angeles, he discovered an oversized warehouse on La Brea Boulevard — miles from the hip fashion avenues of Beverly Hills and Sunset Plaza — and set out to re-invent California retailing without actually knowing he was doing so. Since then, American Rag has grown to several locations, does a brisk online business, and has in-store partnerships with Macy’s, Orta, Sazaby League and Levi Strauss, as well as a strong presence in many foreign countries.
Today Mark is married to fashion designer Amanda Shi, and has young twins, Chloe and Ignatius. He is also a mentor to new generations of would-be merchants. To that end, he can often be found strolling the campus at the University of Southern California where he is on the Board of Counselors. He often lectures there, and teaches a pilot class where he has made opening a store into an assignment.
Looking forward to “seeing” you on Tuesday!