Liberty Bank CEO Mark Braegelman is proud to say he's lived in the city limits of St. Cloud his entire life.  Mark grew up on the north side of St. Cloud with an older sister.  His father worked at Franklin Manufacturing, which was later known as Electrolux, for 40 to 45 years.  His mother was a dental assistant for a dentist which was located above Dan Marsh Drug downtown.  Mark's interests as a kid included playing baseball, going swimming at the Municipal pool and hanging out with friends.  He says St. Cloud was a great place to grow up.

Mark Braegelman (photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman)
Mark Braegelman (photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman)
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Braegelman enjoyed music at an early age and joined a band as a guitarist while in high school.  He says his band played a lot of places and it was really good money for kid his age.  Braegelman was a 9th grader when Apollo High School opened.  He was one of the first graduating classes at Apollo and indicates he really enjoyed his experience at Apollo.  Mark in 2023 was awarded the District 742 Distinguished Alumni Award.  He was the first to win that award.

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After high school Mark decided he was done playing music and pursued a job.  He had a connection with Liberty Bank and he was hired working with car loans.  Braegelman says he spent a lot of his first 3 years at Liberty collecting from people and repossessing cars.  He says he learned to deal with each situation in a humane way and wanted to work with people to resolve their issues the best he could.  Braegelman explains he was promoted to Vice President of Liberty Bank at the age of 23.  Mark and his wife, Cindy have 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.  Mark credits his wife for being very understanding and supportive of all of his efforts doing the things he's done for the community and at Liberty.

Photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman
Photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman
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While at Liberty Mark engaged in many community based causes.  He says it started out as a desire to help the Liberty brand and the community at the same time.  Braegelman joined the Wheels, Wings and Water Festival committee.  He says as the festival grew it became his turn to be President of the festival.  Braegelman explained it was challenging because the festival was alcohol free.  Due to this he needed to get financial contributions from community businesses.  He says the event thrived for many years.  An event Braegelman was really proud of is when they moved the home show to the civic center and he created the "Prime Time TV Living Room".  He says they were able to bring Eddie Munster, Ellie Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan and Mary Ann from Gilligans Island and Klinger from MASH.  He says the first couple years of doing this they had 10,000-11,000 people attend.

photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman
photo courtesy of Mark Braegelman
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Other charitable boards Braegelman was apart of in St. Cloud include the Salvation Army and he was a founding director of the Downtown Council.  Braegelman and Liberty Bank have been offering the community the block party for the past 36 years.  He says the event continues to be an alcohol free event and many of the performers really appreciate it.  Braegelman indicates this event has tended to be for a more mature audience and they've brought in bands that will cater to them.  Braegelman enjoys his time in St. Cloud and has no intention to leave.  He says he does also enjoy his cabin on Lake Mille Lacs.

If you'd like to listen to my 4-part conversation with Mark Braegelman it is available below.

 

 

 

 

 

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