Prior to joining the Lions, Parkinson served as the senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, reporting to MEDC President Michael Finney and Governor Rick Snyder. The MEDC serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth.
In her role at the MEDC, she directed all business and consumer marketing and communications, which included oversight of Travel Michigan, media relations, advertising, events, web development and graphics. She had direct oversight of the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign.
Before joining the MEDC, Parkinson served as director of marketing and public relations for Ann Arbor SPARK, developing and implementing the organization’s integrated marketing and public relations effort. Through aggressive public outreach and targeted advertising, along with the development of digital and social media tools, SPARK was recognized nationally under her leadership.
Parkinson also worked at Edelman Public Relations in Chicago, serving as executive vice president of the Creative Solutions group. She developed, coordinated and executed several creative campaigns for multi-national clients, including: Microsoft, Kraft, KFC, Pizza Hut, FTD, Case IH, Allstate, Abbott, Pfizer, Fuji Film, Mexico Ministry of Tourism, Illinois Board of Tourism, Bacardi, Underwriters Laboratories and Whirlpool.
As a graduate from Alma College, Parkinson holds a bachelor of arts degree in marketing and accounting from Alma College. She and her husband, Frank, have four children, Madeline, Isabella, Carmen and Frank. Parkinson has held numerous board positions including the Michigan Travel Commission, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Washtenaw Economic Club and the Arts Alliance.
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