TopVet: Mark Maybury, Stanley Black & Decker Chief Technology Officer
Mark Maybury believes in the power within all of us. Ever since he was an Air Force ROTC Cadet nearly 40 years ago, his vision of the future has focused on new technologies and human potential. At its core, this vision is rooted in military principles that require one to think outside of yourself and beyond.
"There are just so many aspects to being a veteran. Even just going through basic training puts you in a selfless position," Maybury tells Veterans Advantage in an exclusive interview. "You are here to serve. It's bigger than you, get over yourself and you can be better."
Maybury is chief technology officer for Stanley Black & Decker, the iconic brand name for trusted tools and machinery for 176 years. He leads the $14.5 billion company's digital transformation efforts. He's working on the "factory of the future," enabling machine learning and predictive analytics for the company's manufacturing processes and products. The company is also investing and accelerating young up-and-coming companies who are also committed to a better future.
"My job is the orchestrator, facilitator, caretaker, instigator, the overall champion and cheerleader of this broad ecosystem. And my real responsibility is to make sure we can create that future for our customers," Maybury said.
He is also a grounded family man who demonstrates the same passions in his personal life as a youth hockey coach. This dual-role has helped him champion his two sons and a daughter to both on-ice and personal achievements. "Coach them whenever you can. Not only is it good for you, but it's also great for them."
High Achiever with a Middle-Class Background
Maybury grew up in a traditional middle-class family in the modest-sized town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, but achieved high honors as college valedictorian and with a Ph.D. from Cambridge. The team spirit of hockey energized Maybury as a youth, and his father's Vietnam-era service in the Army motivated he and his brother to join ROTC. Maybury and his brother served in the Air Force and Navy, respectively.
"The Air Force really inspired me. When I joined as a ROTC person and became a cadet commander, it just opened up my eyes," Maybury said. "It's critical to have officers in the military come from all walks of life, from those who are less well-off to those who are well-off, and those in the middle. All ethnic, gender, and religious backgrounds, because what you realize in the military is that it is a slice of America."
And although Maybury did not see combat while in the Air Force, he was asked to go to the infamously dangerous Iraq "green zone" early in the war as a civilian contractor. "I felt like I was getting my draft card...even though I was in the green zone, we would get mortar on a regular basis."
Throughout Maybury's civilian career, he continued to serve and share his technology expertise to protect our nation. In addition to his time in Iraq, he was Chief Scientist for the U.S. Air Force, a member of the executive committee for the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, a member of the U.S. Defense Science Board, and then director of the nation's first federally funded cybersecurity laboratory at Mitre Corp, prior to joining Stanley Black & Decker.
"I’ve been fortunate to be able to serve, both directly and support creating government systems for all the military branches in the federal government. But also being a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the Defense Science Board, those are really wonderful ways to bring your experience to bear to help the country,” says Maybury.
Stanley Black & Decker and The Power of Teams
Stanley Black & Decker has made tremendous strides with employee resource groups (ERGs) and diversity. Maybury participates in the company's Veterans Group and is also the executive sponsor of the Abilities Group, which handles visible and invisible disabilities. The company also has ERGs for women, developing professionals, LGTBQ+, African ancestry and more.
"We champion those diverse groups and integrate them into our business effectively. We have thousands of veterans in the company. Knowing they have a cohort, we are now making it acceptable for people to share their challenges and address them.
If you allow people to bring their whole selves to work, their unfettered self, you allow people to perform so much better,” he said.
Always looking forward, and with a keen eye on the power of technology, Maybury is unique because of his belief in the human dimension amid humanity's great tech trends. The military concept of humility, for instance, is one based on an awareness that you could always do better when you expose yourself to the collective knowledge of the team.
"The military people are taught humility, which is an essential ingredient to knowing someone knows more than me, or we don't have to do it alone. Let's do it as a team," he said. "Wherever you go, think of yourself as carrying an entourage."
"You could be a new you, and you are only limited by you. Once you learn and discover that, and don't let that crush you; once you celebrate that growth, it becomes addictive. It really is powerful,” emphasizes Maybury.
Maybury has been married for 35+ years and is a father of three. True to form, both sons studied computer science and are applying their learning today in the private sector. His daughter is a sophomore in college, studying neuroscience.