MOUNT VERNON — John Ellis, president of United Precast, has been named the grand marshal for this year’s Christmas parade.
Ellis was born in Mount Vernon on June 6, 1941, to Floyd and Frances Ellis. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1959 and from The Ohio State University in 1963, with Bachelor of science degree in business administration. He also served six years in the Ohio Army National Guard.
Ellis has had a lifelong attachment to the Knox County area. After working for Ellis Brothers Concrete in Millersburg and Loudonville, he returned to Mount Vernon in 1970 and started United Precast Inc.
Ellis serves as president of United Precast Inc., CTS Inc., United Aggregates and D.H. Bowman & Sons. He is vice president of Ellis Brothers Concrete, Roundhouse Development and Convault of Ohio.
Even with all of this, he makes time in his life to give back to the community he loves.
“I love being in Mount Vernon,” Ellis said. “My dad lived here and I grew up here. I like a small community better than a large community. I really didn’t give it much thought, coming back here. I’m not much for notoriety. I get up and go to work every day, and do my work and provide a good place for people to work.
“I try to do a certain amount for the community. You know we have to be humanitarians as well as businessmen. We have to make a profit with our business, but we have to give back and be humanitarians and balance things out.”
Ellis’ contributions to the community are many, but he likes to keep a low profile. Nonetheless, he has stayed active and donated time and services to community projects.
“One of my most recent projects was on the old Odd Fellows Lodge building,” he said. “There I installed windows and fixed some of the facade and overhang up on the top of the building. I donated the time and the machine they went up on. And I donate to United Way and a lot of different organizations here in Knox County.”
The selection of Ellis as parade marshal is a good choice, as he fits in perfectly with the city’s past, present and future, according to Kay Culbertson, publisher of the Mount Vernon News, which organizes the parade.
“John Ellis has not only supported activities in downtown, but he has participated in those events, including the Christmas parade. He has been in the parade for many years, no matter if it’s raining, sleeting, snowing or sunny,” Culbertson said. “I’m glad he will be a part of spreading joy to all of the parade spectators.”
The Christmas Parade is aponsored by the HCA and coordinated by the Mount Vernon News. The parade will form at the old high school football field at the end of West Gambier Street. It then travels east along Gambier Street, then north on Main Street to Public Square. The procession leaves the staging area around 1:15 p.m. and should arrive at South Main Street at approximately 1:30 p.m.