Father of the Year nominee balances family, career

news@enquirerherald.comJune 16, 2013 

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— Mark Pringle managed to balance work and family while he and his wife, Barb, were raising their children. He coached sports teams, was involved in church and enjoyed camping, hiking and horseback riding with the kids during his 30-year career in the energy industry.

Pringle, 53, a York area resident and vice president of Charlotte energy hub Siemens Energy, is now blending his focus on fatherhood with his interest in community service.

Pringle – whose family owns a 45-acre horse and beef cattle ranch off Tirzah Road near York – is one of four 2013 Carolinas Fathers of the Year who were chosen earlier this year by the National Father’s Day Council, which honors fathers for their commitment to their children and the values of fatherhood.

As Father’s Day approaches on Sunday, Pringle and other dads will be honored at Charlotte’s 13th annual National Father of the Year Awards fundraiser on June 14, an event that benefits the American Diabetes Association. During the event, Pringle and the other dads will help raise at least $365,000 to fight diabetes.

“I think it’s kind of humbling,” said Pringle, the father of three children: Brian, 25; Amanda, 24; and Kevin, 22. “I’m sure I’m not any better than all the other dads out there. But I truly embrace the process that they’re using this for. This is fundraising for a very good cause.”

Pringle and his wife, Barb, said no one in their family has diabetes, but they have known many people who do. “We’ve had friends throughout the years who have struggled with diabetes,” said Barb Pringle. “It’s definitely a worthwhile cause and there’s no reason not to combine that with supporting fatherhood.”

The three other dads who are being honored are Mark F. Copeland, managing partner of Ernst & Young, Ballantyne; Rob Engel, managing director and co-head of investment banking and capital markets with Wells Fargo Securities, Myers Park; and Jim Kelligrew, executive vice president and head of high-grade fixed income with US Bancorp, SouthPark.

‘Highlight of my life’

Pringle said he and other dads who are being honored provide the diabetes association with a list of contact names. The association asks those individuals for contributions in any form.

Barb Pringle said her husband did a lot of activities their children when they were growing up, despite the demands of his career. The couple raised their children in Fort Mill for the past decade, before moving to the York area about a year ago, and all three attended Clemson University.

“He loves spending time with the kids,” Barb Pringle said. “He loves to camp, be outdoors and ride horses. At one point, we had three horses and the five of us could fit on three horses.”

Pringle said even when Siemens purchased Westinghouse and his work required him to make trips to a site in Germany, he was always able to be home with his family on weekends.

Pringle said his greatest fatherhood challenge was watching his children learn life lessons. “You can’t fix life’s problems. Being there to help them, but understanding you can’t solve every problem for them,” he said.

He said the couple’s three children have been “the highlight of my life. And we’ve really enjoyed raising them to be adults. To do something that focuses on that really resonated with me.”

The Pringles’ oldest son, Brian, is a mechanical engineer who is employed as a gas turbine design engineer for Siemens. Daughter Amanda has been teaching fourth grade near Clemson, and she recently got a job with the Fort Mill school district. Their youngest son, Kevin, who lives at home, graduated with a marketing degree and is working as a contractor for Siemens.

Pringle said the family always owned horses and enjoyed trailing riding, but he wanted a place where they could keep their own horses. The family ranch, called Bar-Mar, has four horses as well as 10 black angus beef cattle and half a dozen chickens.

He said they’re now learning how to run the operation.

“I’m fulfilling one of my life’s dreams,” Pringle said of the ranch. “So we decided to get some cows and chickens and really get into it. We have eggs coming out of our ears now. We have six chickens and they lay every day.”

Pringle said his children would probably say that he’s easygoing and likes to have fun, and he hopes they think of him as a good influence. And he said his children have taught him to relax and “not take things too seriously.”

For more information on or tickets to the June 14 American Diabetes Association benefit in Charlotte, call 704-373-9111, ext. 3261. For details about the association, visit www.diabetes.org.

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