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Georgia Trend Honors Parker’s Founder and CEO Greg Parker as a Legacy Leader

from Georgia Trend

This month Georgia Trend celebrates 35 years as the statewide magazine dedicated to business, politics and economic development. To mark this milestone, we wanted to recognize people from around the state who have contributed for many years to making Georgia No.1 for business – as well as a great place to live, work and raise a family.

We asked you, our readers, for suggestions of unsung leaders, people we don’t feature regularly in the pages of our magazine who are having an outsized impact on their communities. And you delivered. From political leaders to developers on the cutting edge to a woman working to solve teen pregnancy issues, we offer profiles of 15 legacy leaders: Georgians who have devoted their lives to improving the lives of residents and visitors alike.

It’s our way of saying thank you to our readers and our leaders for three-and-a-half extraordinary decades. As we continue to report on statewide successes and solutions, we look forward to spotlighting the leaders of tomorrow – people who may even have been mentored or inspired by the individuals featured in these pages.

Legacy leader profiles were written by Anna Bentley, Betty Darby, Patty Rasmussen, K.K. Snyder and Haisten Willis. – Karen Kirkpatrick


Greg Parker is first to say he didn’t know what he was doing back in 1976 when he started his gas station convenience store empire – Parker’s – in Midway, GA. He was helping out his dad, trying to figure out how to make the business profitable. And he did, the old-fashioned way – working every day for three years, including Christmas – with a healthy dose of new-fangled metrics.

“I knew early on that your scorecard is your report card,” he says. “I hijacked all the things I was learning in an E.K. Williams management course and figured out how to put everything I needed to operate a store on one page.”

Eventually, one store turned into more than 64 throughout Georgia and South Carolina. The brand is synonymous with clean, friendly, profitable and philanthropic.

“With success comes a responsibility to give back, and we’ve been doing it for years,” Parker says. “Education and healthcare are our two big philanthropic buckets and where we’ll keep our focus.”

Parker donated a record $5-million gift to Georgia Southern University in 2018; made a $1-million endowment to the emergency and trauma center at Savannah’s Memorial University Hospital; and has donated more than $200,000 annually since 2011 to 430 area schools through the company’s fueling the community rewards program.

Parker credits his “remarkable team” for his success. “My hope is that the brand will continue long after I’m gone to create opportunity for the people who got me here,” he says. – PR

To view the Legacy Leaders list in its entirety, visit


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