August 2007

Mark Poole 
Class of 1980

      Mark Poole entered Truett-McConnell College as a freshman in the fall of 1978, where he was followed three years later by his sister, Susan. Both siblings have gone into long and established careers in their chosen fields. Susan Poole Meadow is a nurse in the neonatal ICU unit of St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, GA. 

      After graduating with an associate’s degree from Truett-McConnell in 1980, Mark Poole entered Georgia Southern College (now Georgia Southern University), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in printing management. 

      His career in printing management led him to affiliate with the John H. Harland Company in October of 1987. This October he will celebrate 20 years of employment with the company, which is now called Harland Clarke. Mark began as an operations manager trainee in the Covington, GA, plant. He progressed to management of division operations “from front door to back,” including graphics, order processing, printing operations, call center and warehousing departments. 

      In 1993 Mark was asked to help build the marketing function of Harland’s corporate division and moved into a product manager’s role, responsible for all product specifications, promotions, pricing and delivery channels for business checks.

      Currently Mark is the Director of Business Products and Program Marketing for Harland Clarke. His team is responsible for management of all of the products and services that Harland Clarke provides to business retail stores, distributors and internet print providers.

      Ten years ago, Mark married Melinda Bankston, who is originally from Covington, GA. Mark’s family now includes stepson, Ryan, whom Mark describes as “18 years old and trying hard to figure out life” and daughter, Madison (called Maddie), who is seven years old and attends Young Americans Christian School in Conyers. 

      In 2005 Mark and Melinda acquired a small business of their own—Just Right Signs & Print. It is a full-service sign, screen printing, embroidery and promotional products provider located in Rutledge, GA. Earlier this year, they added a line of trophies, awards and gifts to their business. Mark reports that everything has gone much better than they had expected with their business, and they feel very blessed.

      The Pooles live in Social Circle, GA, and they are active in Eastridge Community Church in Covington. Melinda and Mark both serve on the special events team that coordinates the large program of outreach and congregational events that are held throughout the year in the church. In addition, Mark leads the church’s camping ministry, one of several “affinity” groups whose mission is to keep members in the large church (1500-1800 on Sunday mornings) connected with each other and to provide a comfortable setting for seekers from the community. 

      Mark’s hobby is fishing; actually, as he puts it, “Fishing is my passion.” Currently he serves as president of the Trout Unlimited chapter in Snellville, GA. He especially enjoys fly fishing, but he says that “anywhere there’s water, I’m likely to throw a hook in it.” During softball season, he also assists in coaching daughter Maddie’s softball team. And, in his spare time, he’s learning to play the mandolin…”bluegrass, of course!”

      Mark comments about his experience at Truett-McConnell: “Spiritually, academically and socially, I grew more when I was at Truett than at any other time in my life. It was there that I discovered who I was and the potential I had. I also was blessed with many eternal (literally) friendships. To this day, I can see or talk to a TMC classmate whom I’ve had no contact with for years, and immediately that connection is back. I’ve not experienced anything like that anywhere else. Such great memories….”
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