Roland Parrish, the previous Hammond Excessive Faculty and Purdue College observe and discipline star, hasn’t let the practically 1,300 miles from his Dallas house cease him from contributing to boost the standard of life the place he grew up in Indiana.
Parrish, a 61-year-old Hammond native, moved to Texas after receiving bachelor and grasp levels from Purdue College West Lafayette. Regardless of being tied to the Dallas space by way of his possession of 25 native space McDonalds, Parrish retains shut contact with each Hammond and Purdue.
“I like my hometown,” says the president, CEO and proprietor of 24 Parrish McDonald’s Eating places Ltd. in north Dallas “I like the city and the neighborhood.”
Parrish graduated from Hammond Excessive Faculty in 1971, the 12 months he was the state champion within the 880-yard sprint and a member of the Nationwide Honor Society. He was MVP of the college’s observe and discipline workforce in 1973 and 1974 and was named to the Hammond, Indiana Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 1993.
His highschool accomplishments earned him a scholarship to Purdue College West Layette, the place he made the Dean’s Checklist seven of his eight semesters and acquired a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Administration diploma from the college in 1978.
He has displayed his affection for his alma mater in numerous methods, most not too long ago by donating $2 million Purdue’s Library Renovation Challenge. To honor his donation the previous Administration and Economics Library reopened in April 2012 because the Roland G. Parrish Library of Administration and Economics.
Parrish has additionally acquired Krannert’s Enterprise Management Award, which is the very best honor given by the enterprise faculty and a recipient of the Purdue’s Pinnacle Award, the very best honor given to an alumni.
The previous All-American highschool athlete credit his journey from native Hammond boy to restaurant business mogul to the onerous work, dedication, monetary self-discipline realized from his late father, Rev. John H. Parrish in addition to his personal tenacity.
“My dad labored within the metal mills (U.S. Metal Gary Works) for 30 years,” Parrish says. “The factor I keep in mind about his work ethic is after a obtained an award for good attendance, he replied that he labored 10 years and he didn’t miss a day.
“He was an amazing position mannequin, and all the lads within the church I grew up in all labored within the mills and to church on weekends,” Parrish says. “I had good robust males as position fashions.”
After receiving his undergraduate diploma from Purdue, Parrish did an internship with Exxon Corp., after which returned to the college to earn an MBA, whereas instructing finance and likelihood and statistics to fund his schooling.
“After getting my MBA, I checked out my choices and most have been within the South,” Parrish says. “Exxon’s U.S. headquarters are in Houston and I ended up there in 1984. I used to be on the final administration tract and did stints in numerous departments: engineering, monetary capital budgeting, provide, distribution, and direct retail and innovation.”
He stayed with the corporate for 13 years, surviving three downsizing that included huge layoffs throughout his tenure.
“I went by way of two and was promoted,” Parrish says. “Within the third (in 1988) I stayed at a lateral place and that’s after I determined I wanted develop into an unbiased enterprise particular person. I at all times had a dream to develop into unbiased CPA sooner or later, to have a small accounting observe.”
However destiny intervened. Parrish walked right into a fellow Exxon worker’s workplace and noticed an Eight-page utility on his desk for McDonald’s administration coaching program. He known as the fast-food chain’s company workplace for an utility the identical day and instantly stuffed it out.
“Two weeks later I obtained a rejection letter,” Parrish says. “It stated they’d quite a lot of mid-managers. They weren’t impressed with my levels from Purdue. They didn’t really feel I used to be a very good match. I used to be devastated. I assumed I used to be a winner and McDonald’s would love me and when that didn’t occur I couldn’t consider it. However I wouldn’t stop.”
He started calling McDonald’s company workplace thrice per week in an try to succeed in Ruth Anderson, its licensing supervisor. It took six weeks earlier than she got here to the telephone.
She saved rejecting his credentials till he started telling her about his customer support work.
“I talked about customer support and the way I had labored in service stations in Memphis, and a small city in Arkansas, then to Jackson, Mississippi to run 15 service stations,” Parrish says. “Then I began to inform her about how in the course of the oil embargo — quite a lot of buyer complaints at the moment – wiping windshields, uniforms, and I may inform she was listening. And I talked about what I had realized.”
By that telephone dialogue Parrish lastly obtained a “inexperienced gentle” nevertheless it was only for an interview to get into McDonald’s franchisee coaching program.
He aced that interview, however as soon as he was accepted into this system, he labored 50 hours per week on his Exxon job, commuted 10 hours per week to coach on the McDonald unpaid place for an extra 25 hours per week.
“I did that for 2 years,” Parrish says. “I graduated from Hamburger College with honors and made the Dean’s Checklist. They have been onerous on me, which I appreciated. I usually take the tougher path, and I feel that made me a greater particular person.”
Parrish bought his first McDonalds with $180,000 he had saved whereas working at Exxon. He at present owns 24 McDonald’s Eating places in North Texas with gross sales of greater than $60 million yearly.
“My fundamental philosophy is to run lean and imply, preserve overhead down and attempt to construct a company of gifted folks: establish them, practice them, develop them, promote them after which reward them financially,” Parrish says. “As a result of I’ve a robust monetary background with monetary self-discipline to save cash I’ve been capable of proceed to purchase areas from the corporate.”
His enterprise has been acknowledged by “Black Enterprise Journal’s BE 100,” as one of many Prime Black-Owned Companies within the nation based mostly on gross sales quantity. And Parrish at present is serving his third time period as chairman and chief working officer of the Nationwide Black McDonald’s Operator’s Affiliation.
He and his spouse, Jewel, reside in DeSoto, Texas. They’ve three youngsters: Jade, who graduated from Purdue in 2012; Roland, who works for Sports activities 120 in Chicago, and his son, Wesley, who graduated from the Artwork Institute of Chicago and works for a neighborhood promoting agency.
Parrish, who has a condominium in Chicago’s Loop, is a frequent customer to the Area and his household contains Maurice Parrish, a Hammond minister and Gary Parrish, a retired Gary police officer. He yearly funds a scholarship for highschool seniors within the identify of Maurice Parrish and his spouse, Joan, and contributes to the Hammond Basis.