Industry veteran Mark Lawrence founded Current Data LLC in 2019. Mark got his start in the marine industry at an early age, working for his father, Berdon Lawrence, during summers in high school and shortly after graduating college in 1994. Berdon was an industry titan and owned Hollywood Marine, Inc., where Mark served in a variety of roles, including sales and operations before the company was merged with Kirby Corporation in 1999. Berdon served as chairman and Mark was also offered an executive role at Kirby, where he worked until his departure in 2008 to pursue other interests. “When I reflect on the legacy that my father built, I’m grateful for the work ethic that he instilled in me. While many in the industry are aware of his financial success, not everyone knows that he is a self-made man. He started from scratch and he showed me that great things can come from humble beginnings,” says Mark.
In 2011, Mark and another industry veteran, Steve Valerius, acquired the majority interest in Bayou City Pump, Inc., a company that focused on building, repairing and servicing vertical turbine barge pumps for the industry. In 2013, Bayou City Pump acquired Engineered Pump Service, Inc., creating the largest American pump company focused on the inland tank barge market. Ultimately, the company was sold to The Gorman-Rupp Company in 2014.
While conducting research in the inland marine industry, Mark found that no up-to-date information regarding owners, operators and equipment operating in the United States existed. He originally began developing databases for inland tank barges and inland towboats out of interest and for personal use; however, as he continued to refine the data, he discovered that it yielded a compelling story and the idea to provide customers with reliable market intelligence was born. Today, that idea exists as Current Data.