Marks’ journey

February 20, 2018

Q&A with Mark Shulman – Professional footy, to Penfolds Wines, to PDQ

Our resident Hospitality, Entertainment & Leisure BDM Mark Shulman has been part of the PDQ family for the last 17 years. Mark’s knowledge of the construction industry, as well as his exciting days as a rugby league player make for a fascinating tale – one we would like to share!

We sat down with Mark recently to have a chat about everything from rugby league, pubs, clubs, his beautiful grandkids and everything in between. Mark has a resume that current NRL players can only dream about!

What team did you play for in the NSW Rugby League (now commonly known as the NRL)?
I played for St George Rugby League Football Club which these days is now known as St George Illawarra Dragons. My first season with the Club was 1970 and played half back in 3rd Grade. After 170 games for the Club I had to retire due to injury during season 1978. At that stage I was Captain of the 1st Grade team.

I hear that your claim to fame was being the shortest, lightest and quickest player in the league, is that true?
Yes, all of the above. Quickest over 30m.

What did you do when you left footy?
I spent the next decade coaching football. I spent 2 years coaching Wollongong Rugby League Football Club then back to St George to coach Reserve grade for 3 years. Spent a year on the board at St George then was approached by Cronulla (now the Sharks) to coach their Reserve Grade. I spent 4 seasons there. I was then asked by my employer, Penfolds Wines to relocate to Queensland with my family where I took over the role of General Manager. I spent 24 years in total with Penfolds before the decision was made to join the Paynter Dixon Qld team in 2001 as a Business Development Manager. This came at a time when PDQ’s background was certainly more positioned towards clubs and wanted to build on their Hotel (Pub) experience.

From this point Mark has had a hand in over 40 hotel projects with PDQ. Everything ranging from a designated outdoor smoking area through to multi-million dollar renovations.

What are the highlights, both on the field and off?
One thing that stands out the most for me was being picked in the NSW school boys team and playing the curtain raiser to the Australian v Great Britain Ashes in 1966. Playing in front of a crowd with 70,000 people watching us was unbelievable. The following year I was again selected for the team and we toured PNG, just unreal, it was like playing in a jungle in a Hollywood movie. The field was full of rocks and the PNG players were playing barefoot!!! The fans over there are just so passionate. Whole towns would come to watch the game, people everywhere, kids hanging in trees, trying to get a spot. Obviously winning the premiership in 1977 was a big highlight as well as captaining the team in 1978.

Mark is currently working a variety of projects throughout the hotel & club sectors and we look forward to showcasing these as the year progresses!