Introducing Travis Mack
Travis Mack, Adjunct Instructor for the Academy and the owner of MFP Design, LLC, is as talented as he is hardworking. Mack, originally from St. Charles, MO, displayed his talent at young age in school, causing him having to decline college admissions offers in the 7th grade so he could focus on just being a normal kid. His hard work is most clearly seen in its results—students at the Academy have praised his teaching and his firm has provided drawings and contract drawings for contractors, engineers, architects and developers across the world, including Guam, China, Mexico, Ireland, Grand Caymans, Grand Bahamas, and Canada.
Mack is an appreciated asset of the Academy and credit to the industry. Yet, like many, his route to design work was unforeseen. He admits that he, “tripped and fell into the industry”. As his high school days were coming to a close, he was unsure of the path ahead. With his stepmother’s help, Mack secured an interview with Engineered Fire Protection, Incorporated in Fenton, MO. Mack began working at Engineered Fire Protection three days after high school graduation. Ever the learner, he would later pay his own way through college at the University of Missouri—St. Louis. He has since taken coursework in fire protection engineering to grow his knowledge base.
Now, nearing 30 years in the industry, Mack has a great deal of know-how and advice to offer up-and-comers. When contacted by Academy President, Cecil Bilbo, to serve as an Adjunct Instructor, during 2016, Mack enthusiastically accepted. He explains, “I love teaching and was honored to be asked”. He, however, is no novice when it comes to teaching, having taught martial arts and serving as a tutor for challenging subjects such as in organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, as well as college algebra and trigonometry.
Mack, who calls himself “the math nerd of the Academy”, has a strong sense of duty to not only teach design well, but also to take part in and grow the industry mainstays of generation-to-generation instruction and mentorship. He says: “I had some amazing mentors...who provided me with a great foundation in this industry. I still keep in touch with them to this day. I truly view this [teaching] as a way to pay it forward and to honor those guys such as Ken Decker, Tom Rich, Denny Webb and Bruce Morris. I would say these guys had the greatest impact on my career. I just want to...help out the next generation in this industry.”
Calling the industry, “...a blessing to me and my family”, Mack is poised to be the same for students of the Academy. His eagerness to be so is, sometimes humorously, palatable. “I have had a few tell me they need a few shots of espresso to hang on for days that I am teaching - especially the calculation days.” But take it from Mack, his enthusiasm is deep and genuine—“I just hope my energy and passion gets passed on to the students in class”.