A GAMEPLAN TO GIVE BACK
Marathon’s Paul Beier continues to make a positive impact in his adopted south Louisiana home
Of course folks in the River Parishes community look up to Paul Beier of Marathon Petroleum. They don’t really have a choice — he’s taller than everyone else.
Thanks to his height and athleticism (and a decent amount of hustle and desire), the Perrysburg, Ohio, native landed a basketball scholarship at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux from 1988-1992. As a sophomore, he topped the Colonels in rebounding, averaging 6.8 boards per contest. Almost three decades later, Beier’s name remains scattered throughout the team’s media guide as his accomplishments and contribution will be forever cemented in ink.
Now as an operator at the Marathon facility in Garyville – a position he’s held for 10 years – Beier continues to stand out from the crowd both literally and figuratively. Through various charitable and civic endeavors, Beier demonstrates that his work isn’t done when the whistle blows. Leaning on what he knows best, basketball and cooking for a crowd, Beier has been an active member of his adopted southern community.
“I met my wife in school and we settled in the River Parishes – first St. Charles and now the last 12 years we’ve been in St. James – so this became home,” Beier says. “My Mom and Dad really gave me the sense to make your place a better place. Growing up, seeing the things they did, they were involved with community events like athletics. So when I had kids, and (parents) looked around and asked, ‘Who wants to coach?’ I raised my hand.
“I’ve always been the kind of guy who is comfortable raising his hand to volunteer.”
For years, Beier has been a familiar face on the sidelines coaching youth rec leagues in St. James and grammar/middle school athletics. His immense presence alone demands respect from the youngsters, so he doesn’t raise his voice too much. His expectations are grounded – a fantastic blueprint for other little league coaches to emulate. Play hard. Play fair. Work as a team. Be a good sport. And lastly, give it everything you got.
“It’s been rewarding,” Beier says. “I’ve coached a lot of kids and hopefully I’ve been a good role model to a lot of kids….When I started I was probably a little intense as a coach, but over the years I’ve mellowed. It’s never been about winning and losing, though. All I ask is that if you’re out here, you’re going to give it your best, because I believe that carries out in life. When you go to school, when you get a job, when you get married, you got to give it 100 percent.”
Beier’s other passion – the culinary arts – has made him a fixture at charity cook-offs all around town for just about as long as he’s been a coach. Prior to joining Marathon, Beier worked as a chef. He was decent, too. In 2005, he was named one of the Top Chefs at the annual Frisco Fest at San Francisco Plantation, placing in the Top 3 of the Appetizer Category for his Caribbean Salad. With that background and expertise, Beier chairs the annual St. Michael’s cook-off, manages the kitchen at a couple local festivals, prepares fundraising and day-of-event meals for the Relay For Life and holds a benefit dinner to fight tuberous sclerosis.
“Cooking for a crowd is something I think I’m good at – 500 to 1,000 people,” Beier says. “Food brings people together. The smile you get when someone eats something you made just makes you feel good inside. And if you can do that and raise money for a good cause, then that’s even better.
“So you want to do a good job,” Beier continues. “You need a game plan and you need good help. Thankfully, I’ve had an OK game plan and just fantastic help at all these charity events. I can’t say enough about the people cooking the meals alongside me.”
Beier is meticulous when measuring portion size and determining groceries needed, ensuring the maximum profit for charity. After doing it for years, he’s got it down to a science, which is good, because he doesn’t intend to stop helping anytime soon.
“I feel like I’ve been blessed with good health and a good life and a great family, so it just seems natural to help other people,” Beier says. “I know when I was coming up, people helped me out. The time and sacrifices they made molded me into who I became. So all I’m really doing is paying it forward.”
By William Kalec