Jeffrey A. Parker, '80/'81
Alumnus of the Year
Mr. Parker began his professional career with General Foods Corporation, and he quickly advanced through the corporation's ranks. By the age of 28, he became division general manager for Armour Frozen Foods in ConAgra headquarters. At 31, he became president of Sweet Sue Kitchens for Sara Lee Corporation and successfully turned the business around. He was then named president of Bryan Grocery Products. After leading both companies into financial success, Mr. Parker held a senior management position with Foster Farms and then became president/CEO of Crider Foods.
At the age of 40, after achieving enormous success in the world of business, Mr. Parker retired and came to teach at JSU as the Executive in Residence for the College of Commerce and Business Administration (CCBA). Primarily, Mr. Parker teaches un-dergraduate and graduate Business Policy and Strategy as well as undergraduate Mar-keting courses. Since joining the CCBA, he has won the Outstanding Teaching Award twice.
Mr. Parker's students say that while they know upon entering his classes that they are in for a challenge, the hard work is well worth it. As one student said of Mr. Parker, not only do his students leave with real-world problem-solving skills but also with an ally in the post-graduation environment.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Parker serves as CEO of the not-for-profit Sarrell Dental and Eye Centers. Since its inception four years ago, the practice for underprivileged children has grown to become the largest dental practice of any kind in Alabama.
Also, the scholarship Mr. Parker established with the JSU Foundation Board has helped to send more than 50 CCBA students to JSU over the last 11 years. He has also served as president of the Foundation Board in the past and has been a member of the board for 14 years.
He and his wife, Diana Lopez Parker, '05; reside in Anniston.
For the past two years, Mr. Parker has been the largest employer of JSU business and MBA graduates-- further evidence that he, the 2008 Alumnus of the Year, continues to use his personal business success to help JSU students triumph.
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