Woman of the MonthSeptember 2016
Meet Kelly Parrish Walker
Vice President of Marketing at Parrish & Company/Parrish on Main
Personally, I strive to enjoy every moment with my family and friends and to raise three genuine, happy, productive people.
What do you do? All aspects of marketing, from managing advertising platforms to PR to event planning for our four locations spanning from Round Rock to the Rio Grande Valley.
Length of time at this job: 12.5 years.
What is it that you like best about your job? I enjoy being able to meet new people every day from all walks of life, but who have one commonality — that they want to love their home; I like the fast-paced building industry and the challenges that come with it and that no day is boring or alike; I appreciate being able to work with great people, especially my parents and brother.
Education/Major: Graduated from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in 2002 with a BA in marketing.
What career path led you to where you are today? Being born into a family business, you would think we were cultivated to work within it. Ironically, we were not. I was offered a job in marketing for a rental car company after graduating at A&M, but it just seemed silly to put my ideas and efforts into something that didn’t mean anything to me. My father required me to interview at our Round Rock location with that division manager (poor guy, but he was smart enough to hire the boss’ daughter, ha). So I figured after they put me through college, the least I could do is repay my parents and go to work for them.
Would you encourage your children to go into the same field? This business has afforded our family a great life, but it comes with stresses and responsibilities I could not possibly wish upon my 3-, 6- and 8-year-olds — at this time anyway. I will encourage them to do what they are passionate about, whether it is in this business or not.
Who were your mentors? I’d have to say my parents and brothers have been my greatest mentors. I am continually learning from my parents about how to handle all aspects of a business, and my brothers prepared me to be tough and confident. They are some of the greatest human beings I know.
What person do you most admire? My mother. I have a completely different respect for her now that I am a full-time working mom of three, just like she was. It is amazing what we women can do in a day — pay bills, conduct meetings and change diapers — almost all at once! My mom showed me you really can do it all while leading a happy life.
What do you enjoy on a day off? Nearly every free moment I have is spent with my wonderful husband, Beau (who is busy running his own homebuilding business), and three precious kiddos. If we are not at a sporting event, we are somewhere having fun together as a family.
What is your favorite vacation? My favorite vacation is wherever my family is — we have had equal fun in the snow or on the beach.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Spare time, what’s that? In the rare occasion I find a few minutes, my daughter and I will sneak off for pedicures, or my husband and I will just talk and catch up. That’s a novelty these days.
What’s the best movie you have seen in the last year? I’d like to say something really grown-up and interesting, but truthfully the most recent movie I have seen was Frozen, and I’ve watched it with my kids 100 times at least.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life personally and professionally?
Hands down, my husband. He inspires me to be a better person daily, and he happens to be a builder, so professionally he gives me insight as to things we can do to improve our business.
What do you like most about San Antonio? I love how diverse our city is becoming. You can live in the country if you want or in an urban loft downtown. And the restaurant and shopping scene is great! There are so many old favorites and new finds.
What community groups or not-for-profit groups are you involved with as a volunteer? As a company we are involved with supporting many local groups, such as the SA Stock Show & Rodeo, SA Food Bank and Returning Heroes Home. Personally, I’m a PTA mom.
How do you find balance in your life — career, community and home life? I am not sure that I do — guess you’d have to ask my family. But I think my kids and husband are pretty happy, so that must be a good sign.
What is your favorite relaxation strategy? Escaping for minivacations with my hubby.
What are your goals? My goal professionally is to continue to grow our business in a healthy manner that benefits our employees and customers, whom we see as part of our extended family. Personally, I strive to enjoy every moment with my family and friends and to raise three genuine, happy, productive people.
What is the best advice that you have ever received? My dad is continually telling us the one thing that always changes is that things never stay the same. Boy, have I learned that to be the truth, so you have to embrace change.
People would be surprised to know that I … wanted to live in NY and be in the fashion world until I learned what it would actually cost to live there. So thankful I stuck with Texas!