Melissa Hoffbeck ’10 M.B.A. was crowned the 2013 Aurora, Queen of the Snows of the St. Paul Winter Carnival last week. For Hoffbeck, 35, a senior financial analyst at Best Buy, the recognition was the realization of a longtime dream, says Molly Guthrey in the Pioneer Press.

Her dream began in 1996, while she was serving as a South St. Paul festival princess.

“We spent so much time with the St. Paul Winter Carnival royal family,” Hoffbeck said. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to do that someday.’ ” …

She also was steeped in St. Paul culture.

“My stepdad was a St. Paul guy,” she said. “I grew up touring the city.”

And attending the Winter Carnival, of course.

“The ice palace, the ice sculptures, it was all a big deal,” she said. “When I was growing up, you just got out there and did this.”

After finishing the lower grades at Lincoln Center Elementary in South St. Paul, Hoffbeck went on to attend South St. Paul Secondary, graduating in 1996. She is a 2000 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and a 2010 graduate of the University of St Thomas with a master’s of business administration in finance.

Her previous employers include Piper Jaffray, MoneyGram and General Mills, “where I supported Hamburger Helper.”

Now, she’s “supporting the Geek Squad” at Best Buy. She fits in.

“I am a little bit of a geek,” she admitted. “I love building Excel spreadsheets.”

Can a geek also be regal? Apparently, yes.

Read the entire article in the Pioneer Press.