“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -- Robert A. Heinlein
M a r k A.
T e r l e s k y
Since 2008, Mark A. Terlesky has held lead roles in operations, litigations, HR, investigations, health & safety and other functions at a 2-office law firm in Silicon Valley which specializes mostly in plaintiff's side employment law, and he's helped its San Mateo, CA office serve clients in/ from California, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, India, Spain, France, Switzerland, the U.K., Columbia, and some other U.S. states and foreign countries.
Mark's peak moments, notable achievements, and high points the last dozen+ years include (not an exhaustive list):
- being an insider to nearly 100 Silicon Valley lawyered-up HR crises, involving many of Big Tech's iconic companies and their hired guns (all cunning and ruthless legal and HR minds), and, a few involving direct reports to Tim Cook, Larry Ellison, Eric Schmidt and Palmer Luckey, as well as to a member of Jeff Bezos' C-suite inner circle. Advocacy teams Mark's served on have helped individual plaintiff employees (including 3 public company CEOs, at least 7 private company CEOs, over 20 CFOs, COOs and SVPs, as well as scores of software engineers, scientists/ inventors, founders, salespeople, secretaries, manufacturing managers, attorneys, I.T. personnel, HR directors, administrative assistants, and others) assert their claims against some of the biggest names in:
- social media; pics/ videos sharing; short characters messaging; electric cars; VR; cell phones; biotech; vaping; enterprise software & cloud computing; multimedia, image editing & creativity software; networking equipment; on-line auctioning & e-commerce; on-line payments systems; medical devices; billionaire "family offices"; flash memory products; SaaS; semiconductors & microprocessors; VCs; games; telecommunications; space/ astronautical systems; web & mobile applications; search engines; consumer electronics; and others.
- 35x+ a senior member of legal teams providing consulting and advocacy services to companies (many cyclically as repeat/ regular clients) in regards to HR compliance, health & safety compliance, pre-litigation & litigated business disputes, California LLC registration and LLC manager(s)/ member(s) and ownership structuring, and related matters. The organizations served include:
- an art gallery; a pharmaceutical company; several game companies; a food distributor; the "family office" of a former oil company founder/ CEO; a motorcycle components company; a liquor store; a realtor firm; a promotional items/ "see before you buy" company; a law firm; a veterinary clinic; a beer brewery; a mortgage brokerage company; a medical billing service; a specialty foods company; an engineering firm; a soft drink/ beverage company; a VR company; a medical/ clinical statistical programming company; and others.
- coordinating nearly 50 stake-outs and related field operations with process servers and private investigators to skip trace and serve legal documents on businesses and individuals, including on some known confrontational/ belligerent persons.
- ghostwriting 1,000+ legal documents. including lawsuits/ complaints, law & motion briefs, propounding party and responding party discovery documents, settlement (and severance and separation) agreements, mediation briefs, employee handbooks, illness and injury prevention plans, and major email or letter (e.g., meet-and-confer, demand, etc.) correspondence.
Prior to 2008, Mark held senior/ team-leader positions/ roles in the San Francisco Bay Area, not only with other law firms (including one where he was 4x a team-member of jury & bench trials in civil courts) but also with a cable TV advertising company, a RDBMS/ SQL company, and a recruitment/ staffing firm. Mark's first career was as a news reporter. For example, Mark:
- joined one organization as its "Employee #1" during its first week being open for business, and then helped scale it with its founders from start-up to a 3-fold increase in personnel, clientele and office space over a 5-year period.
- 4x was a lead in guiding teams to start from scratch: 2 new branch offices to spearhead past employers' sales territory and market share expansions, and 2 new departments, including one in HR and another one specializing in private/ corporate security guards recruitment and placement.
- at 4 organizations, had oversight of and accountability for: I.T., facilities, accounting & billing, vendor relations, website/ social media, collections, knowledge management, telecommunications, budgeting, tax season returns filing with CPA firms, banking, marketing/ new business development, purchasing, bank accounts & wire transfers management, insurance/ risk monitoring, and landlord relations.
- helped develop relational databases to facilitate bringing order from chaos, and signals from noise, within what were usually 50K to 1M+ page document populations produced during the discovery phase of litigations.
- led and co-led multiple robust project-based HR business partnering and related consulting in regards to expedited scale-ups for clients (e.g., the mass hires of seasonal warehouse workers for an e-commerce company, claims processors for a large insurance carrier's regional center temporarily jammed with an anomalous spike in claims, and seasonal and holiday movers/ stockers for large San Francisco Bay Area mall department stores).
- teamed up with customers and their chosen video production teams to script and produce 30-second commercial spots from scratch, or adopt/ re-tool their previously produced spots, to run "on the air" with a local cable TV provider.
- published 50+ articles/ news stories in 4 news outlets. including one in Washington DC, and during the course of his news reporting career Mark had the privilege to interview hundreds of people from all walks of life, including scientists, politicians, community organizers, labor union reps, CEOs, a famous actress, authors, university professors and administrators, law enforcement officers, and, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman (perhaps the most renowned former director of the National Security Agency, or NSA).
Whether pre- or post-2008, Mark's greatest acumen and natural instincts in small business operations lie in the areas of workplace security and safety, emergency preparedness, and risk management. He knows such well not just from book knowledge, but from tough experience too, as Mark has lived and breathed:
- being at work in a San Francisco high-rise office building during an active shooter incident (in which 8 people were killed and 6 others wounded on one floor of a co-tenant's office), and helping barricade his worksite (several floors up from the violence) as a precaution.
- escaping a 4-story apartment building fire.
- being stranded in the San Francisco Financial District during/ after the 6.9 Richter Scale Loma Prieta earthquake.
- helping investigate and later taking to jury and bench trials several premises liability, property damage and personal injury matters occurring on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway system (consisting of 120+ track miles, 45+ stations and 650+ cars).
- crisis management of potential serious workplace violence, including a firearms-concealing male client making multiple rape threats against a female employee, and requiring the assistance of a private investigator, law enforcement, and ultimately the filing of and obtaining a TRO (temporary restraining order).
- most recently COVID-19, in which he and his team helped their workplace and client workplaces achieve, within days (and sometimes within hours) of government health & safety or sheltering orders, water-tight HR and health & safety compliances, as well as providing to clients related "sherpa'ing" to tap all available government rescue loans such as PPP, and other emergency aid due to the pandemic.
Alongside being a California Business & Professions Code Section 6450(c)(3) credentialed legal professional, Mark holds a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California -- Berkeley (for more, click here). He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from the University of California -- Santa Barbara, where he primarily studied the Latin language, the collected works of William Shakespeare, and East European history, of which for the latter Mark was privileged to have been mentored for a time by a visiting professor, Géza Jeszenszky, who later became Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the U.S. Mark also spent two years at the University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities, where he studied calculus, astronomy, Italian, logic, Soviet Union politics, and the usual big university "101's".
Mark's travels have included 30+ U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Italy.
Mark's 23andMe results reveal him as genetically 99.3% European, with the bulk of his ancestors hailing from Poland, Ukraine and Switzerland. Others too from Hungary and Romania. His Slavic ancestors and Germanic ancestors emigrated to the U.S., the former ultimately settling in Cleveland, OH, and the latter in Columbus, OH.
Mark was born and raised in Springdale, OH and then Wyoming, OH, two suburbs less than a 30-minute drive north from downtown Cincinnati. Growing up, he also spent a lot of time visiting family in Springboro, OH and Centerville, OH, two semi-rural communities outside of Dayton.
Mark presently resides in San Bruno, CA, a suburb about 10 miles south of San Francisco. In his spare time, he enjoys rucking, pressing/ pulling/ swinging kettlebells, and red wines from the Balkans, Lebanon, and the Caucasus.
Mark is a monthly donor to the Pipe Hitter Foundation, Stronghold Rescue & Relief, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.