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Board member Paul Mock voted parade grand marshal
Mock’s work with community earns him special distinction
The White Bear Avenue Parade has been around for a long time. The Ramsey County Fair has been around even longer; 2014 will be the 101st fair to be exact.
Recently, Paul Mock, a White Bear Avenue Business Association board member, suggested that the two groups form a more official bond. The success of that idea has helped both events significantly.
Recently, it was decided by a unanimous vote that Mock, an advertising account executive at Lillie Suburban Newspapers, will serve as the grand marshal of the Wednesday, July 9 White Bear Avenue Parade in recognition of his hard work.
To the amusement of the other board members, Mock didn’t see it coming at all.
“I showed up to the board meeting last month, to find they took a secret ballot and elected me grand marshal for this effort,” Mock said. “It was very, very flattering and humbling to be elected.”
He hasn’t been briefed yet on what his responsibilities will be that night, but they generally involve leading the parade from the front. The person who will be giving him the details on exactly what he’ll be doing is Lisa Theis from the White Bear Avenue Business Association. She said she was anything but surprised to hear the board chose Mock to be the grand marshal.
“He’s done so much putting together sponsorships for the event,” Theis said. “He’s worked tirelessly for it, and it’s a great way to show our gratitude for all the hard work he’s put in.”
Chuck Repke, executive director of the St. Paul District 2 Community Council, had a say in the selection. To him, there wasn’t much deliberation, if any.
“Paul was the easy choice to be the grand marshal of the parade,” Repke said. “Since Paul joined the board he has been our No. 1 parade volunteer and for the last two years has been responsible for our fundraising effort to put on the parade.”
Mock grew up in Rosemount and attended Augsburg College, where he studied marketing and communications, with a minor in theater. He was also a member of the Augsburg wrestling team, which won the Division III national championship in 1993.
His athletic pursuits didn’t end in college. He is an avid runner and a two-time Boston Marathon qualifier.
While in college, Mock said he decided to start up a trucking company with his brother Eric. What started as a one-truck operation eventually grew, maxing out at six trucks.
With full support from his brother, Mock ultimately decided to leave the trucking business and take a position as a public relations strategist at General Mills.
He left General Mills to start a marketing firm, which he ran for six year, but eventually left to accept his first newspaper position at the Pioneer Press. After a couple years, he made his way to Lillie Suburban Newspapers in North St. Paul.
“I really wanted to get back to the roots and community,” he said. “There was an opportunity over here at the Review newspapers and I knew advertising sales manager Tony Fragnito, so I came over here.”
Fragnito said he was proud when he heard the news of Mock’s selection to be this year’s grand marshal.
“It’s an honor for us to have an employee who puts in the time and effort that Paul does, and to see him get rewarded for it,” Fragnito said. “He definitely earned this.”
Mock’s work with the media, and with the community earned him this honor, and now he’s being rewarded for it, and it shouldn’t come as a shock that the effort he put forth comes from a genuine interest in what he’s doing.
“I’m attracted to media in general in all facets, from content origination and editorial production to advertising, and really understanding the relationship between content development and revenue generation. I’m fascinated by it,” Mock said.
You can reach Tim Faklis at 651-748-7814, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.
If you go ...
The annual White Bear Avenue Parade begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 and travels north along White Bear Avenue from Ivy Avenue in St. Paul to the Ramsey County Fairgrounds in Maplewood.