Random Rochesterite: Alex Proell
One resident, numerous anecdotes
Name: Alex Proell
Occupation: Senior product specialist at Subaru
Where we found him: Subaru of Rochester
How long have you worked at Subaru?
Just about four years. I love it. It’s cool to help people get into a car they’ve been wanting, to see their excitement. And I’ve made a lot of good friendships with people I’ve met there. It’s opened a lot of doors for me.
What’s the best part of your job?
My favorite part is when we get involved in the community and I see how it affects people, how we can impact the community. We have this Share the Love event, where we donate $350 to the charity of a customer’s choice.
Are you originally from Rochester?
I was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but I moved to Rochester when I was three. My dad got a job through Merck Pharmaceuticals that ran through Mayo Clinic. I graduated from Mayo High School in 2013.
Favorite teacher at Mayo?
Mr. Parker—Danny Parker. He was an English teacher, and he just connected with us as students. He was really nice and made everything fun.
Best high school memory?
Playing football. I have a lot of good memories from that.
Is there a game that stands out?
The one game I think about was Homecoming against Mankato my senior year. That game was insane. They were undefeated. We had only lost one game so far in the season. It was a highly anticipated game, and it was really close. People said they thought we were going to lose and we beat them.
Tell me about your family?
I’m engaged, and my fiancée’s name is Kelcie. We’ve been together for 6-1/2 years. We have a beautiful daughter, Isla, who’s two years old. And we’ve got two dogs, both rescues—Ghost and Baelor.
Have you set a wedding date?
We did have things close, but then COVID happened. So we decided to wait. I’d love to marry her tomorrow if I could, but we’re not in a huge rush. We plan to get married in the next couple of years. We’ll do something small with family.
How did you meet? I actually met her mom before I met her, and then we got introduced. Her mom and stepdad had a camper/cabin two down from my parents’ place in Wabasha. Kelcie was living in Seattle at the time, and was visiting her mom over the Fourth of July. It was one of those “you find what you’re looking for when it’s least expected” stories. We met, talked for a month or so, did long-distance for five months, and then I moved to South Carolina to be closer to her. Her dad got a job in South Carolina, so she had moved with him and I had the flexibility to move there. I was only 21 and didn’t have anything holding me back—I was working for my parents at Val-U-Blinds at the time—so I thought, “What do I have to lose?” I lived there for six months, and then we moved back here together.
How do you think Kelcie would describe you?
I think she’d say I’m kind. She’d say I’m a good dad. I try to be a good dad. I try to be the best person I can be, and try to do the best I can every day. That I’m easy to talk to—I’m not standoffish in any way, shape, or form. And that I love sports. That’s one thing I’m always watching, talking about or doing, with the fantasy leagues.
What might I be surprised to learn about you?
I don’t look like your typical videogamer, but I love playing videogames. I play a lot with my friends. Family time is first and foremost—I love hanging out with my family. Then, once my daughter goes to bed, I’ll sneak away and play some videogames a couple times a week.
Other favorite pastimes?
I love to travel. I take two to three trips a year with my family. I’m planning the next one before the trip I’m on is over. And I’m a huge foodie. I love cooking. I like to make Asian cuisine, a lot of Thai food. And I’m really good at grilling steak. My fiancée does a lot of the cooking, but when it comes to anything meat related, I do that stuff.
Barcelona, Spain. One of my buddies in high school, Marc, was a foreign exchange student. We became best friends and stayed close. About five years ago, I visited him for two weeks. I saw his hometown in Spain and then we went to Barcelona. It was amazing—the buildings, the food, the nightlife. And the people were really nice.
Advice you wish you would’ve taken?
To take some things in my younger years more seriously. I feel like I could’ve tried harder in high school. And I dropped out of college after two years.
Advice you’re glad you took?
“Take things one day at a time.” I would worry about things too far ahead in life—which is not always a bad thing—but my dad would tell me, “Take things one day at a time.” It’s the most cliché thing ever, but it’s something I stand by. When I get too busy or overwhelmed, or I’m thinking too far ahead, I take it one day, one deal, one hour at a time. That’s the biggest thing that’s resonated with me as I grow older. Do one thing at a time, and give 100% in everything I do.