I’ve never been accused of being a “girly girl.” In fact, I take great pride in the fact that I know more about NBA Playoff stats (where Lebron has proven in recent weeks that he will never match Mike – bwahahahaha) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s on-going football team woes, than I do about shoe brands and clothing trends.
Given the above, it is no surprise my radio dial is more often turned to the AM dial, where sports talk radio rules the airwaves.
Almost two years ago, I was stunned to turn on my regular afternoon drive sports talk radio show – Gambo and Ash – and hear that the twosome was no more. While Gambo – full name John Gambadoro – would remain on the station in another role, Ash – full name Mark Asher – had parted ways with the show and station completely.
I was even more stunned, however, when in 2012 I learned that our wealth management client would be naming its regional planning “Rookie of the Year,” and it was none other than Mark Asher…the same Mark Asher. In the months since helping our client make this announcement, I’ve been thrilled to get to know Ash a little better – he’s a Lumberjack, focused on community giving, very serious about his new industry, and still on the air here and there. So Scottsdale Magazine even profiled his new success in its most recent issue. Click here to take a look.
I thought it might be fun to give him a moment to let folks know what he has been up to – as well as where his former listeners can still catch him on the radio from time to time.
To say the past two years of my life were quite a change is a dramatic understatement. In July 2011, I was in my 15th year in radio; most of which was spent hosting the Gambo and Ash Show with John Gambadoro. That month, “the powers that be” decided it was time to break up the longest-running sports show in the history of Arizona – us. Within hours, I was the odd man out, and for the first time in my life I was at a complete impasse. That moment gave me clarity that it was time for a new challenge in my life.
I wanted to move into a field that I could take ownership in (and not have my fate decided by “powers that be” ever again). I also wanted to help people.
One of my very close friends, John Arnold (who I trusted to handle all of my personal investments), reached out to me about a month after the show ended with an interesting idea – he wanted me to join his team in the wealth management field! At first I told him he was crazy, but after some soul searching and persuasion, I decided this was the new challenge I was looking for.
From the start, I really felt comfortable in this new industry and realized a lot of it is all about relationships – something I had been doing for two decades in my radio career. By 2012, I learned that I would be named “Rookie of the Year” for the Southwest Branch of AXA Advisors, which includes Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
A 38-year-old rookie of the year (???) – Definitely NOT something I was used to coming from the sports industry, where rookies are most often still in their teens! I was also proud when it was announced that I had finished in the AXA Advisors Top 10 for the entire country.
Armed with a great new partner in John – and the support of our AXA family – we started our own firm under the overarching AXA umbrella this year, Southwest Wealth Strategies. Using AXA as our platform, we now have an ownership stake in the company.
I had a great run in radio and look back fondly at the memories, but this new career is now what drives me (as well as my new fiancé!).
I want to be the best, just like Gambo and Ash was.
PS – I would be remiss without mentioning I am still focused on finding new ways to give back to the community. As such, I’ve just joined on to help Weekend Jetaway, a culinary casino classic focused on raising funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and Pat Tillman Foundation, respectively. We are currently accepting donations of both live and silent auction items as well as looking for a beverage partner to help us in providing sampling of wines, spirits and mixed drinks as well as cocktails for our high-end guests. For more info and to see how you can help, click here.
If you want to connect either about this great event or just to catch up, fans and friends can reach me many different ways:
Facebook: Mark Asher