Roshann Parris

Founder and CEO

Roshann Parris began her career in Washington, D.C. in 1978 as a researcher on U.S. Middle East policy for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, while traveling nationwide as national chairperson of the New York-based United Jewish Appeal Student Advisory Board.

In 1979 she joined the Capitol Hill staff of United States Senator Walter D. Huddleston (D-KY). During Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Roshann coordinated and accompanied the Senator on an official U.S. intelligence mission to the Middle East. In 1984, Roshann joined the advance staff of Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro on the Mondale-Ferraro presidential campaign. Following the election, she earned a Masters in Business Administration while working in an advocacy position for the University of Kansas.

In 1988, Roshann founded Parris Communications Inc., a Kansas City-based public relations and strategic communications firm specializing in strategic corporate communications, media relations, public affairs and crisis communications. Now in its 31st year, the firm has developed a reputation for corporate communications campaigns and crisis management efforts for clients nationwide, ranging from Fortune 50 companies to thriving small businesses.  With a vigorous focus on strategic communications partnerships and strong client relationships, the firm’s signature level of personal service has earned it a unique niche.

During the 1988 presidential campaign, Roshann continued her public sector involvement as Lead Advance for the Dukakis-Bentsen presidential ticket. She also served on the podium advance team for the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. In 1992, Roshann joined the Clinton/Gore Presidential Campaign, and subsequently served on the White House Transition Team following President Clinton’s election.

Throughout the entirety of the Clinton Administration, while managing her public relations firm, Roshann also served as Lead Advance on the White House Presidential Advance Team, accompanying President and Mrs. Clinton to over 50 countries on their travels worldwide.

She led White House teams throughout Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Russia, China and Africa, including historic visits to peacekeeping troops in Bosnia; to Greece for the Olympic Torch Lighting; to London for Princess Diana’s funeral, to Calcutta, India for the funeral of Mother Teresa and to both Belfast, Jerusalem and Gaza in support of diplomatic peace efforts.  In the last two years of the Administration, she coordinated visits of the President and First Lady in Uganda, China, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, North Africa and Vietnam.

In the summer of 2008, Roshann led a team to London to help coordinate then-Senator Barack Obama’s first overseas tour.  During their White House tenure, she led advance teams worldwide in support of President and Mrs. Obama’s visits to the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, France, to Moscow, Mumbai, South America, South Africa, London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the Asian Pacific Economic Conference, among others.  Most recently, she led Mrs. Obama’s London launch of her European book tour for Becoming.

Roshann has served (or serves) on numerous civic and philanthropic boards, including those of Children’s Mercy Hospital, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kansas City, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, University of Kansas Advancement Board, Starlight Theatre, University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees, Kansas City Women’s Employment Network, United Way of Greater Kansas City, Jewish Federation, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City Missouri Business Leadership Council, the Women’s Public Service Network, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, and the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care, which she co-founded.

Roshann is a 1999 recipient of the Kansas City Spirit Award, a 2000 recipient of the Central Exchange Firehouse Award, 2003 Kansas City Woman of the Year, 2004 Public Relations Professional of the Year, 2005 Athena Award honoree by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 2010 William Jewell College Distinguished Service honorary degree recipient, 2013 United Way Adele Hall Spirit of Caring Award honoree, 2014 MS Society Hope Award recipient, 2015 KU School of Business Distinguished Alumnus and 2017 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame honoree.

In 2013, Roshann became the fourth woman in 126 years to chair the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, among numerous other efforts she has chaired.

Her firm was named Kansas City Small Business Philanthropist of the Year for its longstanding pro bono service to the community.  Parris Communications has also been named a Small Business “Best Place to Work” in Greater Kansas City for the last 11 years.  Roshann is a frequent public speaker on both communications and public affairs issues.

Roshann is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Indiana University and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas. She and her husband have 5 children, 5 grandchildren, and 3 Golden retrievers who appropriately regard themselves as the de facto leaders of the household.