Mark Axelrod, the president of Benchmark Recruiting Services, traces his origin in the staffing business to a most unlikely source…drug addiction…happily not his own. Shortly after completing graduate school where he learned to speak Chinese, Mark spent several years as a counselor in an inner-city narcotics rehabilitation program. His specific position was that of Vocational Specialist, enrolling recovering addicts in GED programs and training programs and placing them in jobs with for-profit, private-sector companies. Talk about tough placements…those were tough placements! That work was incredibly rewarding and planted the seed in Mark’s mind that would flower into his life’s work a few years later when he launched his own search and placement business. After his tenure at the rehabilitation program, Mark worked in retail management for several years until he opened the doors to his recruiting firm in 1988. Since then, his professional endeavors have been exclusively in the search and placement business. For twenty years Mark owned and operated a franchise with one of the oldest and largest recruiting firms in America. Since 2008 he has owned and operated an independent recruiting company. On the personal side, Mark was born and raised in NYC and has resided in northern New Jersey since his mid-teens. He is married to his childhood sweetheart; they have two children and two grandchildren. Singing has been his much-beloved avocational pursuit since he was seven years old. At various times he has participated in very large choruses, smaller ensembles and barbershop quartets…and he’s still at it.