1983: While I was traveling the country being 25, Grace & Zeke Bogossian (my mom & dad) got Castle Computers off the ground to incorporation (June 1982). They agreed to take me in which was just the boost I needed to start my career and lifelong love for Apple Mac computers. On Monday, 1/3/1983, I distinctly recall the unusual act of putting on a tie and heading off to my first day to work at Castle Computers of Latham NY.  From moving inventory boxes and answering phones, I applied "Mark-smarts" to quickly become a valuable member of the team, learning software, hardware, sales, and customer relations. Thankfully, my father Zeke saw value in my "young buck", progressive approach, which within 5 years, allowed me to take the lead at Castle and let my parents begin the retirement phase of life.

 

1990s: Early on, there was tremendous competition with 20+ PC distributors in the Capital Region yet we remained unique - small and independent, with a determined focus on and expertise in Apple sales & service. While all others were selling on price, I emphasized Castle's service as we developed a reputation for Apple specialization.

 

One of many bold ad campaigns we employed with great success emphasized "Our prices are 10% higher and that’s why you should buy from Castle Computers".  Our strategy of offering real value worked, as we rode into the mid-90s on a real high. We created a culture that recognized and rewarded long term relationships with our clients and our employees that transcended to every sale we made.

 

Then came outside threats that required us to pivot and remake ourselves to adapt to the market.  For many industries the ability to shop by "mail order" became the new competition, soon followed by internet sales. It was nearly impossible to compete as customer perceptions of PCs changed from a specialty purchase to a commodity based on price with little regard for service and support.  I have to say, it was no longer the Castle Computers that had won my heart. Yet, a true feather-in-our-cap was soon to come our way.  Recognizing our high quality sales and service operations and the strong Apple community we had built, Apple selected Castle Computers as one of four “Worldwide Best Stores in the U.S.” an honor that I was proud of then, and still am to this day.

 

2007 - 2021: After 25 years in the retail “wars”, I realized it was time for a change personally and professionally.  The sales side of Castle Computers was becoming more of a daily challenge from on-line ordering while our service business continued to grow and grow.  Recognizing we had a strong client base that needed the hands-on personalized level of attention and service that only Castle was able to provide, I reinvented Castle Computers and created Castle MAC Service, which soon became the only source for warranty service within 100 miles of the Capital Region besides the impersonal Apple Store in the mall.  With a “down-sized” business model, I was able to focus on the service and support many of my regular and new clients came to desire and expect from the Castle brand.  These relationships became even stronger as I could offer each customer the outstanding, individualized attention and service they required.
 

2011: Thanks to a Castle customer, I was introduced to the love of my life!  I've now been with Susan for over 10 years and she brings me joy and completeness to the extent I can truly say that Castle contributed to all aspects of my life, both professionally and personally!

 

I'm proud of my entrepreneurial spirit and the incredible success of Castle Computers and the Castle name over its 38-year run as the Castle brand grew to become the consistent leader in Apple Macintosh sales and support in upstate New York. Castle Computers was the first Apple Dealership in Albany and I'm proud to say we withstood every competitor to be the last and strongest Mac entity in the Capital Region. 

 

Over the years, it's the people that matter most - my family, customers, employees, and all who took interest in the company. Without you, we would not have reached the high points that made Castle so rewarding.

 

1983-2021:  Stepping back today, I'm able to sit and laugh with hundreds and hundreds of clients about working with them literally for the last 20-30 years - an accomplishment that brings me unlimited pride an joy!  This all may sound a little "corny" but those of you the know me personally know I'm a little corny sometimes...

THANK YOU for helping me build Castle and all it has represented over these years.  I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have served you and to have built so many amazing relationships along the way!