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Local Celebrity Spotlight

Meet Paul Ramey

Paul Ramey is the Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Natural History Museum. He started his career with the museum in
1999. You will often find him interacting with the visitors or working on a new exhibit or event.

 

Where are you from?

I was born in Gainesville, Florida, and grew up here. I attended Kirby Smith, Lincoln and GHS.

Where did you go to school?

I graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Journal-ism with a Business Minor. I’m a Gator!

Are you from Gainesville?

Yes, but I moved to Alaska because a former professor from UF, Hugh Cunningham, was hired as the editor of The Anchorage Times, and he hired a bunch of his former students to come work at the paper. I worked on the copy desk, and did a number of jobs, from state and national/international wire editor, to cut-room floor editor (in the days before pagination), and was the weekend slot editor after we switched over to a full pagination system using QuarkXPress on Macs—we were one of the first small or mid-size papers in the country to make that switch. Those were fun times. After the paper closed I went into PR and worked in the Public Affairs Office for the Anchorage School District. We moved back to Gainesville from Alaska in 1997 after our kids were born. My wife basically said, “We don’t’ have to move back to Gainesville, but we need to move somewhere that we can drive to Gainesville.” lol

How do you relax?

I grew up hunting and fishing and those are still my favorite things to do. I most enjoy being in the woods or on the water.

What do you listen to in your car?

If I’m not listening to sports talk radio, ESPN 98.1 FM, then it’s usually country (Bobby Bones Show in the morning on 103.7 The Gator) or 102.3 FM, the crossroads of country and rock.

What was your first job, what did you learn from it and how much was your first pay check?

My first job was as a business writer for The Daily Commercial in Leesburg, Florida, which at the time was part of the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. I learned the importance of building professional contacts and relationships. I believe my starting annual salary was less than $17,000.

What is in your fridge right now?

The usual I think…fruit, yogurt, vegetables, some leftovers, milk, juice, Gatorade, half and half for coffee, etc. I recently had a frozen free-tailed bat in the freezer for a while, but it’s since been added to the Florida Museum of Natural History mammal collection. (But that’s not the norm) Usually the freezer has plenty of wild game (deer and hog) and fish. The bat died in the lobby of our church, Northwest Baptist Church in Gainesville. I was keeping it in the freezer until I could bring it to the Museum. We had some bats entering the church through an air intake for the AC system, and I performed an exclusion before maternity season earlier this year.

What is your favorite thing to snack on?

Homemade jerky, definitely! Also trail mix, which is less expensive and much easier to obtain.

If you had $5,000 to invest, what would you do with it?

I’d have to think about that some more, but I would probably use it for part of a down payment on some land.

Do you have a favorite quote?

It’s tough to name only one, but Henry Ford has some great ones. I especially like these two: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right,” and “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Who inspired you as a child?

Probably mostly my father. He was extremely patient, a great improviser and problem solver, and could repair most anything.

What was the best advice your parents ever gave you?

From my father: A man is only as good as his word.

What is your favorite thing to do locally?

The One Love Café in Magnolia Park is a favorite place, especially when Crooked Counsel is playing.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Another tough question to select just one…I’ll say ”Stand By Me.” A great movie about boys growing up. I also had to watch it about 30 times in college for a film class project, to analyze the scene sequence and timing pattern.

What is your favorite meal?

Smoked venison or pork, with steak a close second.

What have you always wanted to do but never done?

There are many places I’d like to visit, including Australia.

What gadget or app, do you love and why?

I really like the Gaia GPS app. It’s really accurate and useful when hunting and fishing.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

What is the one bit of luxury you can’t live without?

I guess that depends on the definition of luxury. Air conditioning is pretty high on the list.

What is your favorite TV show and why?

I don’t really have an ongoing show, other than “The Walking Dead,” I guess. “Breaking Bad” was a favorite when it was still on.

Where do you donate unwanted things to?

Usually the Salvation Army.

Do you wear a regular watch or an Apple Watch and why?

A “regular” watch. But it’s a waterproof Citizen Eco-Drive. I like to keep it simple and just want the time and sometimes the date.

What was your first car, what do you drive now, and what would be your dream car?

The first vehicle I had was a 1970 Chevy pickup, a three-speed on the column. It was a white, stepside. The one with the spare tire mounted behind the driver’s side door with a cutout wheel well to make room for it. I haven’t had another Chevy until just this year, and now have a 2019 Silverado. But I still miss my Ford F-150, and one day will
hopefully have an F-250.

Dog or cat person?

Definitely dog! We have two dogs, Lilly, a 14-yearold yellow lab-border collie-chow mix, and Bella, a 5-year-old Staffordshire terrier-retriever mix.