Iowa State University


John Parks, (515) 233-4399
Russ Cross, President, Norwest Bank, Ames, (515) 268-6820
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6136


AMES, Iowa -- Ames businessman John Parks today (Aug. 18) was named president and chief executive officer of the ISU Research Park.

Parks' appointment, recommended unanimously by the research park board of directors, culminates a six-month search, said Russ Cross, president of Norwest Bank in Ames and chairperson of the research park board.

"We are especially pleased to have a businessperson with extensive knowledge of financing and building new business ventures," Cross said. "The key to the research park's success is its ability to foster and nurture fledgling companies in its incubator. Parks' broad entrepreneurial background will be extremely helpful to new and expanding companies at the park."

Parks is vice president of Dasher Management Corp., where he directs 400 employees in seven central Iowa McDonald's restaurants. In this position, he is responsible for operations, site development and construction, marketing, and business planning. In the past 13 years, Parks has worked on the creation or expansion of numerous companies, and he has experience in financing, municipal regulations, zoning, business and strategic planning, venture and seed capital, and public-private partnerships.

In addition to his professional work, Parks is active in the Ames community and is a member of the Ames City Council. He also is on the Iowa Seed Capital Corporation board of directors and is the board's past chair.

Other finalists for the position were Glenn Mitchell, a business development specialist with Westaim Corp., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and David Roederer, coordinator of economic development activities at ISU and interim director of the ISU Research Park. Roederer will return full-time to his position as ISU's coordinator of economic development.

"On behalf of the ISU Research Park board of directors, I want to express our appreciation for the time and talent provided by David Roederer during the eight-month interim period," Cross said.

Currently, 30 businesses with more than 900 full- and part-time employees are located in the research park's 60-acre Phase I development. The 80-acre Phase II development is under construction.

Parks, who will begin his new position Sept. 1, earned a B.B.A. degree in finance (1990) and an M.B.A. (1995) from ISU.


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