Mark Patranella exemplifies the role which the Texas A&M Agricultural Economics Department plays in launching new graduates to become industry and community leaders. Mark’s career began in 1982 as a Purchasing Agent for Blue Bell Creameries. At that time, the purchasing department consisted of only Mark and his boss, the Purchasing Manager. Blue Bell only sold its ice cream within the State of Texas.
Today Mark is the Manager of Purchasing and Receiving for Blue Bell. His department consists of 44 employees and is responsible for procuring all the inputs and associated materials for the manufacturing and the distribution of Blue Bell products. This involves supporting four ice cream manufacturing facilities and fifty-four distribution centers. Mark’s department purchases all of the company’s raw materials such as dairy products, sweeteners, fruits, nuts, and packaging. Mark’s department is also responsible for the receiving and storage of all non-temperature sensitive raw materials for the two Brenham manufacturing plants.
Mark supervises a fleet purchasing group responsible for helping keep the Blue Bell fleet of 1,000 refrigerated bobtail delivery trucks, 100 tractors, and 200 refrigerated trailers operational. He also supervises the plant-purchasing group, which is responsible for all the equipment and parts required for manufacturing at all four plants. Lastly, Mark’s department is also charged with discovering new and more efficient products and processes.
Mark’s business-community leadership roles include his being the current Secretary and Chairman-elect of the Dairy Products Institute of Texas. He is a Board Member of the Dixie Dairy Products Association. Mark has also been the Secretary of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Blue Blazers and a Board member of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
Mark’s civic leadership activities include, or have included, being President of the Washington County Little League; Coach of local youth baseball, basketball and soccer teams; President of the Brenham Gun and Rod Club; and several times serving as the President, Brenham Noon Lions Club.
While attending Texas A&M, Mark was an officer of the Agricultural Economics Club, he participated in the California Field Study Tour and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Following graduation, Mark has made significant contributions to his university. He and his family and Blue Bell Creameries have endowed the Mary Ruth Patranella classroom in the new AGLS Building. Mark’s mother, Mary Ruth, worked for Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from 1939 to 2011.
Mark has been a Brenham Muster Chairman. In addition, he has been the President of the Washington County A&M Club. He has also been a frequent Professor for a Day in several classes at Texas A&M. Mark has hosted several A&M coaches on their visits to Blue Bell; most recently, Men’s basketball Coach Billy Kennedy. Furthermore, Mark has provided Blue Bell Ice Cream to several A&M athletic teams – helping Aggies Win!
Mark and his wife Debbie have one son, Mason Patranella, an Industrial Distribution major, Class of 2011.