Roshann Parris

Founder and CEO

Roshann Parris maintains almost 35 years’ expertise in public relations and strategic corporate communications. She 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 United Jewish Appeal Student Advisory Board.

In 1979 she joined the Capitol Hill staff of United States Senator Walter D. Huddleston (D-Ky), for whom she worked for five years. During Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Parris coordinated and accompanied the senator on an official U.S. intelligence mission to the Middle East. In 1984, Parris 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 as a lobbyist for the University of Kansas.

In 1988, Parris founded Parris Communications Inc., a Kansas City-based public relations and marketing communications firm specializing in strategic corporate communications, media relations and crisis communications. Now in its 24th year, the firm has developed a reputation for corporate communications campaigns and crisis management efforts for clients nationwide.  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, Parris continued her national service as Lead Advanceperson for the Dukakis-Bentsen presidential ticket. She also served on the podium advance team for the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. In 1992, Parris 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, she also served as a Lead Advanceperson on the White House Presidential Advance Team, accompanying President and Mrs. Clinton to over 50 countries on their travels worldwide. She led teams on behalf of the President and First Lady 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, Parris led a team to Europe to coordinate then-Senator Barack Obama’s first overseas trip.  Since that time, she has served the White House in several capacities, including as Lead International Advance for the President and First Lady’s trips to the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, France, and Baden-Baden, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Mumbai, India; Santiago, Chile; Johannesburg, South Africa and most recently, to the Asian Pacific Economic Summit. 

Parris has served (or serves) on numerous civic and philanthropic boards, including those of Children’s Mercy Hospital, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (which she will chair in 2013), Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, University of Kansas Advancement Board, Starlight Theatre, Kansas City Women’s Employment Network, United Way of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City Missouri Business Leadership Council, the Central Agency for Jewish Education and the Women’s Public Service Network.

Parris is a recipient of the Kansas City Spirit Award, the Central Exchange Firehouse Award, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, the Girl Scouts Pearl Award, and was named Kansas City’s Woman of the Year and the Public Relations Professional of the Year.

Additionally, her firm was so proud to be named as the 2003 Kansas City Small Business Philanthropist of the Year for its longstanding and passionate pro bono service to the community.  Parris Communications has gratefully been named as a “Best Place to Work” in Greater Kansas City for the last five years, two of them as the #1 honoree.  Parris is a frequent public speaker on both communications and public affairs issues.

Parris is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from basketball’s own Indiana University and an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas. She and her family live in suburban Kansas City with their golden retrievers, “Ambassador” and “Governor,” who appropriately regard themselves as de facto leaders of the household.