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2018 Men of the Year: Brad Parrish

Palmerton & Parrish Inc.

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Brad Parrish, president of Palmerton & Parrish Inc., believes in making investments – particularly in people. It’s a business model that’s carried his engineering firm for the past 29 years.

With help from business partner Fred Palmerton, the company started in 1989 primarily focused on geotechnical engineering and the operation of a construction materials testing lab. By 2003, the firm grew to 35 employees in Branson, Joplin and Springfield. That following year, Parrish became president of the firm.

After the 2014 retirement of Palmerton, Parrish says he reviewed the company’s future trajectory and made some business decisions for the company that was then boasting 60 employees and a new office in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I concluded it was my responsibility to chart a course for the next generation of the company,” he says.

This included fostering the company’s up-and-comers by creating a board of directors. Each member was gifted stock in the company and allowed to purchase discounted stock with a long-term commitment to the firm.

“This model has worked well with the company continuing to grow and prosper,” Parrish says.

The company’s board will manage a future transition of ownership when Parrish retires.

“All five of the board members have grown so much, both professionally and in their personal lives, while employed at PPI,” he says. “It has been a privilege to be one of their mentors during the past several years.”

Mentorship is high on Parrish’s radar, and he says he always makes a point to invest in young professionals.

“It is gratifying to see them grow into leadership positions,” he says. “It is even more gratifying to see those individuals make wise decisions about family, ethics, their integrity and their faith.”

Outside of the office, Parrish also gives back to numerous local churches, foundations and organizations. He served in several capacities with the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers from 1999 through 2006. In 1999 and 2000, he chaired the organization’s Statewide Registration Committee, which served to secure legislative items. He was awarded the Extra Mile Resolution Award at the MSPE Annual Convention. He later served as treasurer, vice president, president-elect and president, 2005-06.

Parrish also has served with local and national organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House and Special Olympics.

“As parents and grandparents, my wife and I care deeply about the well-being of local youth in the area,” Parrish says. “We have a special-needs granddaughter, who we spend a lot of time with including time at functions with other special-needs children.”

Commitment to family also shows in his business model.

“We purposely create a family-friendly atmosphere for our company employees,” he says, “so that the family must not sacrifice for our employees to earn a living.”

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