SS '17 Lookbook

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HonourMarkˈänər·mark / 

1. A confluence of adventure, purpose, and trust. 

2. An approach and conviction to continuous achievement. 

3. Man...in the best sense of the word.

These men impress us with their accomplishments and inspire us with how they are making their mark for the better. Know somebody like them we should feature? Email a brief description to character@honourmark.com


David Mendez

Partner - Capital A Partners
Board Member, Clemson's Spiro Institute of Entrepreneurship
Charleston, South Carolina

What does your Monday to Friday look like?

No day or week is the same. Being a venture capitalist means bouncing between managing a portfolio, researching opportunities, endless meetings with very interesting people, and raising dollars into our funds. Never a dull moment!!!!

Which groups or organizations are you involved with that are making their mark on the world for the better?

I have the pleasure of working with several educational and entrepreneurial organizations, including the Entrepreneurship center at Clemson and The Harbor Entrepreneurship Center in Charleston. They are making a huge impact by educating and preparing the millennial generation for the future.

Name the things/moments of which you are the most proud.

The acquisition of our company was the most impactful moment of my career. Not because of the financial impact, but because for everyone involved in the company, it provided them with a sense of success and validation. Most of the people are now leaders and successful entrepreneurs in their own right. That is the most meaningful result for me.

What challenges have you had to overcome that have made you stronger/wiser/built character?

As a serial entrepreneur and investor, facing adversity and competition in the business world is a daily challenge. I will only win in a very small percentage of those battles. I have learned to accept these realities and continue to push forward with confidence, grace, and a smile. Never burning a bridge or creating an enemy is the life lesson learned.

How do you define purpose?

Purpose is something others define for you, not something that is easily defined for ourselves. I don’t think anyone truly knows what their “purpose” is or how they define reaching that purpose. For me, “being happy” means I’ve reached that purpose, whatever it is at that moment of time.

Which books, media or experiences have had the most impact on your life or career?

I’m a movie buff, and through my life, the stories brought out in the movies I watch have always inspired me. The unsung hero, the person who stands up for what they believe in at any cost, and the person that says “No” to something big in order to fulfill something small but meaningful is what inspires me. Actions speak louder than words.

What do you look for when buying a piece of outerwear?

A good fit, versatile, easy to maintain.





Charles Belle

Director of Policy, Disconnect.me
Founder, Startup Policy Lab
San Francisco, CA

What does your Monday to Friday look like?

In no particular order:
Research. Writing. Coffee. Emails (lots of emails). Planning: projects and work. Coffee. Swimming. Soccer: watching and playing. Twitter: reading & tweeting. Time with Mika: dinner and working at night together. Coffee: I just like coffee. Research: fun related. Writing: fun related.

Which groups or organizations are you involved with that are making their mark on the world for the better?

I work for a startup called Disconnect. Our goal is to empower individuals to be in control of their personal information on the Internet. This is incredibly important as we learn how little we are able to protect our privacy and security or just engage with the Internet on our terms. Our company is very mission oriented; Disconnect is a certified B Corporation, of which there are only about 1000 globally. Outside of my work I am the Founder of the Startup Policy Lab –our mission is to connect the startup community with policymakers. Our activities focus on building a bridge for small entrepreneurs in the for-profit, nonprofit, and civic spaces and policymakers to engage; the organization’s mantra is educate to inform to empower.

Name the things/moments of which you are the most proud.

Having earned the unfailing support of family and friends. In terms of my career, I am most proud of having received grant funding for my research and work, such as the Kauffman Foundation and Sunlight Foundation. It’s very gratifying to receive financial support for your ideas.

What challenges have you had to overcome that have made you stronger/wiser/built character?

Betting on myself and taking the risk people didn’t expect. Such as leaving the safety of a job to pursue my own work, especially when I was offered more money to stay! Taking that risk was incredibly difficult. I also learned to focus on the core essentials in life; essentials that are cumulative and relate to life and work. And as I mentioned earlier, learning how much support I have from friends and family made me really think about the person I want to be.

How do you define purpose?

At the moment, and perhaps it’s the phase I am in, I would say it’s being the man (or person) I want to be. And living that everyday. In this context, purpose is my vision of the person I aspire to be and giving substance to that vision. Pursuing the vision requires self-driven action and taking the initiative. Living the vision means making decisions and being decisive everyday.

Which books, media or experiences have had the most impact on your life or career?

There are too many to mention, but some fun mentions are The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The aficionados will understand.

As for experiences, I traveled around Europe for a year with a focus on three things: historical battlefields, football (soccer) fields, and distilleries. Off the normal tourist path, I was struck by how different communities manifest the exact same issues in similar, if locally nuanced ways. Humanity is more similar than not. We share the same terrifying issues and unlimited potential. I also have over 20 football scarves from going to football games. And today I can talk about the socio-economics of various nations and cities using football as the paradigm of analysis. It’s always surprising how many people from the around the world I can strike up a conversation chatting about football (soccer).

What do you look for when buying a piece of outerwear?

I look for objects that are unique, of high quality, and with presence. I want others to notice the piece not because it’s flashy, but because of the cut of the silhouette, the lines in its construction, the attention to quality, and fun use of fabric. I like when others are drawn to the piece because it’s out of the ordinary, but in a subtle way that conveys character. When people ask to touch the piece, I like that too. It means the person is drawn to the craftsmanship, not the brand or price. I also don’t want to see others in it. Limited edition or bespoke is best.





Alan White

Co-Founder, Kisensum
Mentor, SkyDeck Incubator, UC Berkeley
San Francisco, CA

What does your Monday to Friday look like?

About 2 days a week, I’m off to Berkeley and involved with some start-ups there. For the other 2 days, I generally work at home, enabling me to get the kids where they need to go… getting them to school, making their meals, and bringing them to their sporting and cultural events, be it soccer, equestrian activities, and music lessons/orchestra. And as the kids learn more music, it’s always great to break out a guitar or other instrument and jam with them, always puts a smile on my face.

Which groups or organizations are you involved with that are making their mark on the world for the better?

I’m an Adviser/Mentor to one of the UC-Berkeley incubators, and work with a few companies there. It’s rewarding, and working on other start-up challenges helps inform decisions for my own businesses.
I enjoy tutoring the kids in our school on different subjects and their independent projects. Fascinating to see how they develop over a school year.

Name the things/moments of which you are the most proud.

I’m proud to be a dad every day, with the moments in-between I value the most… where my kids are able to just be themselves and I get a small window to look into their true personalities, which usually happens after some adversity they’re going through. I also enjoy being part of their school’s parent community, and have coached and continue to be part of my son’s soccer leagues and my daughter’s ‘horsin’ around at her barn.
On the work side, there’s nothing better than being part of a team where you are accountable and can execute with and support your colleagues. Being in new industries, there’s all that many more challenges as the entire business ramps up; we need to be diligent as the dynamics change constantly. I’ve been very fortunate to experience the thrill of the process and the by-product of success.

What challenges have you had to overcome that have made you stronger/wiser/built character?

We all go through family challenges, whether taking care of an elderly parent with siblings, ensuring domestic life is running on all cylinders, and making sure you are there for your friends. You also have the smaller challenges, such as athletic endeavors which don’t always go to plan. It’s always a challenge to balance work, family, and your own personal interests, and it’s a rare, but gratifying, day when it all goes to plan. With adversity, the best way to approach it is to solve the problem quickly and move on - life is too short to dwell. I’m still working at that!

How do you define purpose?

Purpose comprises the core anchors in your life that you can reference clearly to ensure focus, professionally and personally.

Which books, media or experiences have had the most impact on your life or career?

Any work of fiction that can open your eyes into how a system or culture really works is always fascinating. Michael Lewis always does a fabulous job on the documentary side, while John Irving, Nick Hornby and Ethan Canin have wonderful, subtle touches which resonate for me in the fiction they write. Classic Winston Churchill writings and Mark Twain always have a place on my bookshelves as well.

What do you look for when buying a piece of outerwear?

I like to have a core set of multi-functional outerwear that is my ‘go-to’ for any climate or occasion, where each garment has a few purposes such that I have solid but quick choices I can make depending on occasion, climate, and need.





Matthew Coan

Principal & Co-Founder, Presidio Benefits
Board member, Olympic Club Foundation
San Francisco, CA

What does your Monday to Friday look like?

A blur until I can spend some quality time with my family on the weekends. Long days make for a fast week. Early mornings, business in downtown San Francisco, family dinners.

Which groups or organizations are you involved with that are making their mark on the world for the better?

I’m involved in the CFF program Sunday mornings at St. Patrick’s in Larkspur, a community that has been wonderful for my family. I’m also on the Board of The Olympic Club Foundation, which financially supports youth sports programs for thousands of Bay Area disadvantaged kids.  My family also supports the Pete Frates # 3 Fund. Originally from Beverly MA, the Coans have known the Frates family for 50+ years, and Pete is an absolute inspiration in his courageous fight against ALS. If you haven’t taken the Ice Bucket Challenge, do it today, support a great cause, and challenge someone else to do the same!

Name the things/moments of which you are the most proud.

Establishing a now 8 year old company with a fantastic business partner, great employees and wonderful clients. Having a business here has enabled my wife and I to raise our family in an amazing place, and it feels good to do that.

What challenges have you had to overcome that have made you stronger/wiser/built character?

Not quitting a high school football team in the midst of a disappointing, injury-riddled senior year was big. Thankfully I listened to some clear guidance from my parents, one of the many pieces of advice they shared that was invaluable. Sticking with it led to a great college acceptance, where incredible friendships, learning and downstream growth opportunities were waiting. It has always stuck with me that not quitting set my life on a different path, and changed everything for the better.

How do you define purpose?

For me it’s a roadmap that provides clarity (and reminders) about what’s important. Some have purpose through a personal mission statement, and one that I particularly admire is Merlin Olsen’s:

  • The focus of my life begins at home with family, loved ones and friends. I want to use my resources to create a secure environment that fosters love, learning, laughter and mutual success.
  • I will protect and value integrity.
  • I will admit and quickly correct my mistakes.
  • I will be a self-starter.
  • I will be a caring person.
  • I will be a good listener with an open mind.
  • I will continue to grow and learn.
  • I will facilitate and celebrate the success of others.

Which books, media or experiences have had the most impact on your life or career?

Dr. Steve Aldana’s The Culprit and the Cure is one of my favorite books. In very clear terms it outlines the criticality of living a healthy lifestyle. Meeting my wife was an absolute stroke of good fortune and has had the biggest impact on my life. Eleven years and three children later, our journey has been incredible and we have many, many miles yet to go!

What do you look for when buying a piece of outerwear?

I like outerwear that is versatile, something that looks just as good on Friday at the office as it does on Friday evening at dinner.