For a young reporter making the move from print to TV, Mark Haines was an intimidating figure. A grizzled veteran of the medium, he didn't suffer fools and took evident pleasure in putting both reporters and guests on the spot.
But he always had a twinkle in his eye, and the more time I spent on air with him, the more I realized how much he loved reporting on business news, and that his blunt questions made him one of the best in the business.
Nothing was a better sign that I'd done a good job with a story than if Haines paused, departed from script and reacted or asked me a question after I tossed back to him. When Erin Burnett called me laughing to share the secret nickname Haines had given me a nickname, which he shortened to an acronym, I knew I had earned his attention and respect.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of co-anchoring with him, not on 'Squawk on the Street,' but Power Lunch, where we were both filling in.
I had no idea what to expect as he walked in moments before the show began and hauled himself up onto the chairs piled high with pillows on the Power Lunch set.
He was the consummate professional, and I could tell by the way he deferred to me—to me!— if an interview was in my wheelhouse, that he had no ego, simply wanted to make the show the best it could be.
But nothing struck me more than his love for his family-- after the show ended he lingered to boast about his daughter, a dancer. We spoke for a bit about how her commitment to dance would serve her well throughout her life, far beyond the stage. I hope his children can this summer enjoy the tomatoes Mark so lovingly tended, and know that their father made sure that everyone he met knew just how much he loved and was proud of them.