Walsworth Yearbooks Area Sales Manager Mark Sigman was struck with hardship when his son, Payne, experienced a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident. While he and his family navigated through his son’s recovery, Mark could count on his Walsworth family to support them.
Starting in sales in Southwest Ohio, Mark has been with Walsworth for nearly 35 years and has been the Great Lakes Sales Manager for 25 of those. He services a number of schools, ensuring the sales reps in his area have the tools and resources they need to be successful. It’s a job that helped him be able to raise a family in a community he loves.
Play 4 Payne
Payne Sigman got in a car accident on Jan. 19, 2014, on his way to church, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury and 13 days in a coma. Mark and his family received the news that his son’s life would never be the same.
“The neurosurgeon came in the day of his accident and said ‘Hey, we don’t know if he will walk, talk or even make it through the day.’ He didn’t break a bone in his body. Not one.” Mark said.
Despite these challenges and several months spent in the hospital, Payne recovered and worked toward a sense of normalcy through physical therapy, countless doctor visits and the support of his family. The road to recovery took a long time, but improvements in Payne’s condition became visible over time.
The Sigmans found few resources for traumatic brain injuries individuals and families, and they struggled to understand the nature of Payne’s injuries and how to move forward. They decided to do something about it by creating the Play 4 Payne Foundation. According to the Dayton Daily News, Play 4 Payne “provides social and emotional support for survivors of traumatic brain injuries and the families, along with providing survivors and their families informational care packages and, in some instances, financial assistance.”
The nonprofit started with community members who donated towards Payne’s recovery expenses but quickly grew and enabled them to help other families going through similar experiences. Play 4 Payne connected with The Dayton Foundation in 2021, which helps communities and individuals reach their charitable goals. The partnership built upon and developed an interest in funding brain health initiatives.
As a result, The Dayton Foundation recently provided a $450,000 grant to University of Dayton’s Brain Health Collaboratory which will be used for continued research, educational funding and community outreach to help treat, prevent and rehabilitate traumatic brain injuries.
The Walsworth Way
As an employee of Walsworth, Mark felt the support and flexibility needed to navigate Payne’s complicated health crisis. He appreciated and expressed gratitude for his Walsworth family.
“Walsworth was very cooperative and very supportive to help me do my job while at the same giving me time to be with my family.” Mark said.
At the 2015 Walsworth National Sales Meeting, Payne spoke to Mark and his peers. He did a ten minute talk, focusing on his experience and how Walsworth made a positive impact.
“He talked about what we had been through and he thanked Walsworth for providing me the opportunity to make a career for myself.”