By: Adam Cohen Issue: Education & Workforce Development Section: Advisory Board
Program Manager, John J. Sullivan Endowed Chair for Free Enterprise Regis University
Contact Beth Ann Parish:
3333 Regis Blvd. Denver, CO 80221
Eleven years ago, Beth Parish was a new mother, living on the east coast, working 60 hours a week in marketing for a large cosmetics multi-national when her husband had a new job opportunity in telecom; the hitch was that the new job was in Colorado. Never having visited the state, or really never having spent time west of New York, Parish said sure, she would leave everything she knew to move to the Wild West.
The move, which ended up transplanting her family to Boulder, Colorado, turned out to be a changing point in Beth Parish’s life. Having been committed to corporate America, with marketing skills honed at Procter and Gamble and The KAO Corporation, Parish took a look at her career and decided, to use her expertise to teach undergraduate marketing courses at Regis University, a Jesuit School committed to educating men and women of all ages to take leadership roles and to make a positive impact in a changing society. Working with students, faculty and the administration, Parish helped re-work the marketing curriculum to incorporate workplace needs with student engaging activities that integrated course learning objectives with ethics and a commitment to the Regis mission. While teaching at Regis, Parish has been twice honored with the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award.
Four years ago, Parish was named Program Manager of the John J. Sullivan Endowed Chair for Free Enterprise at Regis University. The mission of the Sullivan Program is to forge multi-sector partnerships that use Free Enterprise solutions to address social needs. In the last year, the Sullivan Program has helped students, community associations, business, not-for-profit organizations, governmental representatives and faculty partners to develop Free Enterprise solutions to local, regional and national business and social dilemmas. Over the last four years, the Sullivan program has also collaborated with local, regional and national organization to bring speakers to the Denver area who can talk to students, faculty and the community about the impact of Free Enterprise on Social Issues.
One driving principle of the Sullivan Program is that true, sustainable change is going to come from partnerships and collaborations that marry the talents and resources of the for profit, not for profit, governmental and academic communities; often not for profit organizations are seen as “all good” while for profit businesses are seen as “all evil”. Numerous examples have shown that true change and positive impact comes from relationships that leverage the strengths of each sector of our community.
In her role as Program Manager, Parish worked with a collaborative team of committed organizations to bring Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to Denver in March of 2008. The Social Business and Microeconomic Opportunities for Youth Conference brought over 600 individuals together in Denver to begin on the path to creating change and addressing global poverty. The experience of meeting Dr. Yunus and of working with a team of talented individuals and organizations to address global poverty has moved Parish to commit her efforts to forging partnerships with impact.