The CEO Dinner series is one of the Club's longest standing institutions. Each month our Professional Members have the opportunity to join the CEO of a local company for a private dinner. These events are intentionally limited to 12 people so everyone has an opportunity to share in a robust and inclusive discussion. Attendees can make connections not only with the CEO, but also with the other driven young professionals in attendance. The CEOs represent a wide range of companies and industries and whether big or small, public or private, well-known or niche, good conversation is had by all.
Rear Admiral Michael N. Parks, United States Coast Guard, Retired, assumed the responsibilities in April 2015 as Regional Executive of the Northeast Ohio Region of the American Red Cross. In this capacity he oversees five American Red Cross Chapters covering 22 Northeast Ohio counties serving 4.5 million people.
From 2010 to 2013, Parks was based in Cleveland and served as Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, responsible for leading and directing all Coast Guard operations throughout the eight-state Great Lakes region, including the 1,500-mile international border with Canada. In that capacity he led more than 6,000 active, reserve, civilian and auxiliary (volunteer) personnel at 75 operational units.
During his 35-year Coast Guard career, Parks was deployed in 2010 in support of the U.S. Southern Command to help direct emergency response following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, working directly with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, providing port security, search and rescue, and support for recovery operations.
Other significant assignments over the past decade included Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs; Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Virginia; and Chief of Staff/Chief of Operations Response, Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland. Parks also completed tours of duty on six different Coast Guard cutters, commanding four of them.
Parks is a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. He later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University and was selected and attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and Policy.
He and his wife Cynthia have two daughters and live in Bay Village.