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    Mark Price


    There’s a new voice in San Diego radio, and it belongs to Mark Price, a native San Diegan with an optimistic outlook on everyday problems.

    Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:32 p.m., listeners to the Roger Hedgecock Show (KOGO, am 600) hear a 2-minute commentary by Mark about accepting personal responsibility for our own lives.

    “The goal is to get across that wherever we are..whatever our resources, we can affect things in a positive manner,” Mark explains. “If we do a positive action, there will be a positive reaction.”

    “All of us have dreams. We should follow those which inspire us, because really worthy dreams begin with God, who scours the world to find the man or woman who has the talent and ability to achieve them. That’s been true for me.”

    Born in Mercy Hospital, Mark Price grew up in Spring Valley with the guidance of parents Wayne and Mary Anne Price. “They taught me it’s not what you take out of life, it’s what you put back into it. Their anchor values are mine also: God, family and country.”

    At Mt. Miguel High, Mark lettered in swimming, water polo and played freshman basketball, but really found himself in drama and speech, helping his school win numerous speech competitions.

    After graduating high school, Mark took his love of speech and drama to New York and Los Angeles to become a stand-up comedian! He worked at pioneering comedy clubs like Catch a Rising Star and The Improvisation.

    He fondly recalls working with young unknowns like Jay Leno, Jimmie (J.J.) Walker, Steve Landesberg (later a co-star of Barney Miller), but most of all the late Freddie Prinze, before his TV stardom with Chico and the Man. “We were really good friends,” Mark remembers, “and we had a lot of fun together.”

    His fellow comics told Mark they liked his material (the stories and jokes he wrote), and they asked him to write for them. Shifting first to comedy writing, Mark later joined an ad agency where his creative ideas quickly won attention.

    In 1977, Mark started his own firm, Mark Price and Associates, helping Chrysler and Ford Motor Company enter a new field of marketing. Called “the tent sale,” this enterprise puts hundreds of vehicles in a stadium parking lot, shopping center or other venue at discount prices. The firm is headquartered in Alpine.

    Lee Iacocca calls the “tent sale” idea one of the key factors in Chrysler’s survival, selling 80,000 to 90,000 extra vehicles during the critical 1979-81 time period when the firm’s survival was in doubt.

    To this day, Mark orchestrates “tent sales” in San Diego, Boston, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis and many more cities.

    Life wasn’t all work for Mark, however, who founded the “Lay Pastor Society” in 1980 to assist pastors and priests overwhelmed by the size of their congregations. A lay pastor is responsible for regularly checking in with 20 church members, asking if they need help or guidance.

    “Robert Schuller heard about this idea after I graduated from his International School of Christian Communications. He incorporated some of our concepts into a pilot program in his own church with positive results.”

    Mark has since been invited back to the Crystal Cathedral for leadership meetings. He is a member of Queen of Angels parish in Alpine, where he lives with his wife Pattie (also an outstanding advertising executive).

    Over the past four months, Mark has told symbolic stories about widely varying topics:

    • The Dog and the Rabbit (sharing your vision with others).
    • Map of the World (mend the world by mending the family).
    • Ragged Old Flag (our obligation to American generations past).
    • Starfish (don’t let the size of the worlds problems keep you from helping your neighbor).
    • Independence (the Founding Fathers needed inspiration, too).

    What is Mark Price trying to say with these radio parables?

    “These are stories about helping those around you, seeing a troubling situation turn around. The world will be a better place when each of us realizes it’s up to us and no one else will do it. As Dr. Schuller says, ‘If it’s gonna be, it’s up to me.'”

    James Sills, Jr., a native San Diegan, is a political and research consultant. He was chief aide to County Supervisor Paul Fordem and City Councilman Bruce Henderson.

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