A day in the life of Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere will almost always be spent creating opportunities. Some of these are economic, like the corporate relocations of Toyota North America and BRP, while others are educational, like the mayor’s recent work with Paul Quinn College. They have all contributed to Harry LaRosiliere’s favorite part of being the mayor of Plano: Impacting the lives of young people.
Mayor LaRosiliere knows well the value of opportunity. He was born in Haiti and grew up in Harlem. “The opportunities that exist in Plano are opportunities to thrive,” Mayor LaRosiliere said. “Look at where I grew up. The chances to be in a position to do well just didn’t exist. Or there were few of them available.”
“I think there’s an abundance of opportunity here. If you decide to work hard and apply yourself, to put in the time, and get yourself educated and knowledgeable about whatever it is that you want to do, then there are doors you can go through. What you do once you get through the door is up to you.”
“One of the areas of that is truly available for someone like myself is an initiative we’ve started with Paul Quinn College,” he said. “Paul Quinn College Plano is a college that is designed for kids in certain communities to get an education and work. Back in Harlem, this would have been an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Paul Quinn College is an historically black college that requires attending students to also have a job. Mayor LaRosiliere and the City of Plano worked with a number of Plano-based companies to provide paid internships for 15-20 hours per week while students pursue their studies.
“These are kids from all over the country – New York, Detroit, Oakland, Chicago – and they are going to get a job, business contacts and an education here in Plano. And they’ll graduate with less than 10 thousand dollars of college debt,” he said. “This is our first year with the initiative and we have 35 students. We’re trying to get up to 100 for next fall. It’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve taken since being mayor.”
Mayor LaRosiliere also implies that the economic prosperity of the city, which he has publicly championed, has contributed to a more diverse city. “Toyota, Fed-Ex, JP Morgan and Boeing are all hiring a talent pool that is varied across the cultural spectrum. By bringing in this talent, we are transforming Plano.”
The transformation isn’t just visible from the shiny new development projects, but in the lives improved by the city’s prosperity.
“My favorite part of being mayor is when a young person tells me I have made a difference in their lives,” he said. “I have a summer internship program that has had over 500 kids go through it. Rising juniors and seniors get eight weeks of internship in a Plano company. Forty percent of the students are first-generation college-bound.”
When these children go on to prosper, his work is given the highest honor. He beamed while offering an example: “At an airport one of the kids told me he was on the way to USC after interning with Children’s Hospital. He’s going to study medicine.”
Whether he’s winning over corporations or reading to kindergarten students, the mayor is vocal that his family – wife Tracy and daughters Brianna and Maya, his team at the City of Plano and co-workers at UBS Financial Services all work behind the scenes to make him shine.
“The joke is that it takes a village to support the mayor,” he laughed. “I like to tell people I’m Mick Jagger and they are The Rolling Stones.”
Mayor LaRosiliere is awake around 17 hours every day creating opportunities for progress and prosperity in Plano. While no two days are the same, here’s a look at what a typical day in his life might look like.
A Day in the Life of Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere
4 a.m. The mayor wakes up without the use of an alarm and meditates for about 20-30 minutes.
5 a.m. It’s workout time. Move over, Mark Wahlberg, we’ve got our own early-morning exerciser.
7 a.m. The mayor leaves his house and prepares for a full day of work.
7 30 a.m. The next hour is usually spent at a breakfast appointment with a business looking to bring a project to Plano.
9 a.m. Mayor LaRosiliere spends the morning taking care of business at his day job, where he’s senior vice president of wealth management at UBS.
11 30 a.m. It’s off to a city function. This may be a Chamber of Commerce luncheon or a new-business ribbon cutting.
1 p.m. This is when the mayor has a chance to speak with the city manager and deputy city manager about city projects.
2 p.m. Mayor LaRosiliere goes to a local elementary school to read to students.
3 p.m. Back at Legacy Tower, the mayor catches up on his important correspondences. Between his personal, work and city emails, he usually responds to around 150-200 emails daily.
6 p.m. The mayor will likely spend the evening at a community event or charity gala. These are ambassadorial events where he represents the City of Plano and gives pocket squares everywhere a good name.
8 30 p.m. Mayor LaRosiliere comes home and powers down for the night, knowing full well that the next day’s schedule will be just as eventful as the last.