Hartford Is the Right Place and Space for Entrepreneur Mark Nisbett
Located at 225 Asylum Street in Hartford, People, Places & Spaces (PPS) is a Preferred Haworth Commercial Furniture Dealership. PPS President and CEO Mark Nisbett spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about how and why his business is a part of Hartford.
NAN PRICE: When and why did you form the company?
MARK NISBETT: My introduction to corporate America was working as a messenger at a law firm in New York City. Eventually, I was promoted to supervisor in facilities where I learned about corporate real estate and facilities management. From then on, I took a keen interest in corporate real estate with the ultimate goal of owning my own company in that arena—but I had no idea if or when that would be possible.
I relocated from New York to Connecticut in 2002 and held great corporate real estate executive positions at Webster Bank and Cigna Healthcare. Each step of the way, I continued learning more about the industry and embraced any opportunity to learn as much as I could. During my journey, I joined several corporate real estate industry associations but took a vested interest in CoreNet Global to connect with corporate real estate leaders and local community resources with the intent to grow my network.
I’ve always been passionate about the workplace, design, furniture, and creating experiences to remember while staying connected with the industry. However, finding the “right seat” in my career was paramount. In search of identifying where I could provide the most value, I decided that I needed to create my own seat. That was when I began an exciting entrepreneurial path to start my own company. In 2018, I harnessed my 25+ years of corporate real estate and facilities experience with a client-side perspective to form People, Places & Spaces as a workplace solutions company. Our focus was to help re-imagine workplace experiences and finding the right partners to make it possible.
NAN: Why Hartford?
MARK: Working in Connecticut for many years has enabled me to learn Hartford and the Connecticut real estate market. Over the years, I’ve heard so much about Hartford and everything the city was doing to revitalize downtown. I believe Hartford is moving in the right direction with a lot of committed people, organizations, and corporations involved. I would like to be a part of that experience and see where I could assist not only on the business side but on the community side as well.
NAN: Tell us about People Places & Spaces and your company goals.
MARK: People Places & Spaces is a workplace solutions company and preferred Haworth commercial furniture dealership. PPS provides commercial furniture, de-mountable glass wall partitions, and raised access flooring. Our design solutions support’s corporate office spaces, hospitality, amenity spaces, collaboration spaces, multi-generational experiences, work from home, and more. Our coverage spans the entire state of Connecticut and nationally with operations in Boston and Rhode Island with our affiliate partners. We’re also a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and proud member of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council.
Our goals are to re-imagine the workplace experience, enhance the service delivery models, and simplify the execution experience for our customers. Having over 25+ years of experience on the client/end user side for major corporations and leading the capital furniture procurement programs allows PPS to proactively circumvent challenges while streamlining solutions. This also allows customers to focus on their business.
Also, as a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) supplier, our goal is to partner with corporations assisting them with their diversity and enterprise initiatives achieving diverse spend in various categories such as commercial furniture.
NAN: Tell us about your involvement in the Hartford community and the impact you’re making here.
MARK: At a community level, PPS plans to partner with local organizations through charitable giving and volunteer opportunities. I grew up in the inner city and took advantage of a lot of programs offered to inner city youth. At the time, I never understood where the funding and opportunities came from. I then learned more about how companies’ contributions matter and assist with supporting communities.
Part of my mission is to identify a few organizations that are making an impact in the community and allocate time in my quest to pay it forward. I currently serve as a Board Member at Junior Achievement of Southwest New England and volunteered in the classroom for several years. I’m an Ambassador at The Village for Families & Children, which provides community services and resources for at-risk families and children. I also volunteer at United Way and mentored at Pathways Academy of Technology and Design.
NAN: How do you see the future in our post-pandemic environment?
MARK: The COIVD-19 situation has and will change what we all called “normal.” It will take some time before we really know what comes out of this experience. The silver lining is that the experience has further opened our minds up to the digital, virtual, and the distant experience lenses we could not imagine and more. From a business standpoint, I’ve learned to be more flexible, nimble, and plan to pivot unexpectedly because anything is possible.