MY FATHER ALWAYS BELIEVED IN TREATING PEOPLE FAIRLY. I SHARE THIS SENTIMENT WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH ME, AND THE CUSTOMERS WE SERVE EACH AND EVERY DAY.
President & CEO
An entrepreneur to his core, Marc Brooks grew up in the food business alongside a father whom he describes as “a visionary with heart, who made every employee feel comfortable, valued and heard.” Besides his father’s management style, Marc also inherited a passion for quality and a commitment to moving ideas forward—whether it be on his own business’s behalf or to support his clients, partners or the greater urban community. “I’ve developed an ability to efficiently and effectively take a project from the ideation phase to implementation,” he says. “I attribute this to three key things: having a vision, working extremely hard and hiring exceptional people.”
Even considering his natural entrepreneurial skill set, Marc moved through the first 40 years of his life at breakneck speed. In his late twenties, he and a partner formed Urban Media Group, a wireless retail distributor for Ameritech Cellular, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless, which they organically grew to 27 retail stores in three states and later sold at a modest multiple. After the sale, Marc went to graduate school for his MBA and then joined his father’s company, Brooks Foods, where he worked to help build the company to $100 million in sales. In 2001–2007, Marc diversified his endeavors by investing in and working with business luminaries, entrepreneurs and corporations, including one of the nation’s largest publicly traded broadband companies, WOW! Internet Cable and Phone. During this period Marc was also instrumental in forming BTK Partners Private Placement Funds I, II and III. These limited partnership companies invested alongside middle-market private equity company Oak Hill Capital and Bob Johnson’s hotel-specific real estate investment trust company. In 2008, Marc co-founded MKMB Restaurants, a company he grew to 21 restaurants, $27 million in sales and more than 600 employees. These entrepreneurial ventures and alliances speak to Marc’s exceptional professional network.
In 2012, Marc started his latest venture, Hyde Park Hospitality. This company represents the culmination of Marc’s more than 20 years of experience as an enterpriser, drawing on his food background, business acumen and personal passions to deliver results while providing an exceptional client experience.
In addition to his entrepreneurial ventures, Marc has held key positions at a number of different organizations. This includes serving as vice president at Mesirow Financial; senior consultant at Bricker & Associates; senior account executive for the Chicago Bulls; and corporate accountant for The Northern Trust Bank.
Marc has an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in management and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Marc is deeply involved in Chicago’s civic community. In 2011 he was appointed by former mayor Richard M. Daley to the Navy Pier Board of Trustees, and in 2018 he was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Chicago’s Community Development Commission. Marc serves or has served on a number of other boards, including: The Museum of Contemporary Art, WOW! Internet Cable and Phone, XS Tennis and Education Foundation, Providence St. Mel School, De La Salle Institute, and the Common Ground Foundation.