Volume 94, Issue 96

Thursday, March 22, 2001


Report takes schools to task

Mixed reviews for club caravan

FTAA hits home: Local activists joing forces

Mark Serre bids Western adieu

"Foxy" Western students make it big in the entrepreneurial world


Planet Me

Mark Serre bids Western adieu

By Rebecca Morier
Gazette Staff

Mark Serre, the University Students' Council manager of bars and restaurants, and the man responsible for turning around the Wave, is vacating his position at the end of the school year, but not without mixed feelings.

"Western's where I've always been since I graduated in 1984," Serre said. "The Spoke is my baby – after being here for 10 years, it's difficult to leave."

Serre is departing from Western to take over the helm at GT's, a bar and nightclub in downtown London, but leaves behind an impressive managerial track record. Notably, his programming has seen revenue increases for the Spoke and a dramatic reduction in The Wave's significant debt load within the last two years.

Serre's plan to have The Wave break even was similar to a program implemented in the past. "When I first came to the Spoke, it was losing $60,000 a year and the plan was to break even rather than make money," Serre said. Serre also said the success of The Spoke has been solidified, noting it is unlikely to face financial difficulty anytime soon.

"The Spoke is The Spoke; it's a tradition here," Serre said. "Nothing can hurt it." Despite his confidence in The Spoke, Serre acknowledged the effort involved in improving The Wave.

"My new challenge was The Wave – it took two years to take it to the next level, but it's moving in the right direction," he said.

In terms of the criticism The Wave has received for its events, Serre said the restaurant alone could not be blamed for the difficulties.

"The Wave is just the venue; it's the fault of the show and the booking agents," he said, concerning failed events like the Love Inc. and Ice-T shows.

With the upswing in profits, largely being the result of his efforts, Serre said he felt the time was right to leave. "The Spoke and The Wave are doing well now and the offer downtown is a good opportunity for me," he said.

Mark Sellars, USC general manager, also saw Serre's new post as a better opportunity for him, although he was sad to see him go. "I think he's going to a place with more freedom – it doesn't tie his hands, especially with [the USC], which is part-service and part-profit."

Although Sellars took on his role in the USC just this past January, he said Serre's achievements were very apparent. "From my reviews of the financial history and the turnaround of The Wave, it's clear his wonderful contributions are a result of his commitment," he said.

USC president Dave Braun shared Sellars' sentiment about Serre's departure. "It's sad to lose a great employee and friend. He laid a solid foundation for the next person to help our bars continue to grow."

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