When Ron Pinchok retired in 2010 after 35 years with Hallmark Cards, he planned to spend his days relaxing ‒ playing tennis, traveling and spending time with family. He followed through with that plan for a year before his priorities shifted to public service.
When he learned that the town of Farragut had purchased property to expand McFee Park, he wanted to get involved. He and his wife, Debbie, enjoy being active and spending time in Farragut parks. Pinchok’s neighbor, Jeff Elliott, was serving on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at the time, and he encouraged Pinchok to apply to serve on the Parks & Athletics Council. After serving on the council for a year, he was appointed chair.
Because of his background in business, Pinchok decided to apply to serve on the Economic Development Advisory Council. After a year, he was appointed chair of that council, too.
Then, Elliott told Pinchok that he was planning to step down from Board of Mayor and Alderman. He suggested that Pinchok run for his seat.
“I said, ‘No way.’” Pinchok laughs.
After speaking with Mayor Ralph McGill, he changed his mind, and he was elected Ward 2 alderman in 2014. The board appointed him vice mayor in 2016, and after McGill stepped down in June of 2018, Pinchok served briefly as mayor. Since there were still things he wanted to accomplish, he ran for alderman again (unopposed) in 2018.
Pinchok, who was term limited, participated in his final board meeting on Thursday, July 29. He was recognized with a reception before the meeting.
“Ron has been great to work with. He cares tremendously for Farragut,” says Town Administrator David Smoak. “He’s somebody who puts public service first, and I hope he’ll continue to volunteer in our community.”
Pinchok says the people he’s worked with ‒ fellow board members, town staff and the community ‒ made his years on the board enjoyable.
“The people here made the difference,” he says. “I’ve been happy.”
One of the things he learned during his tenure is that, compared to the business world, government is slow to get things done. At the same time, he recognizes that the board accomplished several big projects over the past eight years. He’s especially proud of recent improvements to McFee Park, and he’s happy that plans are in place to add a dog park, a bike trail and two more tennis courts in the coming years.
The addition of the Farragut Community Center was another major achievement. The partnership with the West Knox County Senior Center helped make it happen, he says. He’s also proud of the completion of Mayor Ralph McGill Plaza at the Campbell Station Inn, the addition of the Visit Farragut program, the start of the Town Center at Biddle Farms and several major road projects.
After “retiring” for a second time, he plans to continue playing tennis twice a week, traveling and spending time with family. His granddaughter, Ella, a senior at Farragut High School, is teaching him to paint, he says.
However he spends his time, he and Debbie will continue to call Farragut home. And what’s the best thing about Farragut? The people, he says.
Town of Farragut communications manager Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.