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Hester Parks
February 11, 2022

Berry-based Business Skills + Creative Flair Drive the Success of This Atlanta Entrepreneur

Twelve years ago, Berry alumna Hester Parks ’95 started channeling her creativity in a helpful way by planning friends’ weddings. In the process, she discovered her passion — event planning — and turned it into the business Park Avenue Events. Parks has collected her share of accolades, most recently the 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from the Berry Alumni Council. Now she’s having a great time managing the details of planning and staging everything from a couple’s big day to corporate events and fundraisers.

Parks says the combination of academics and experiences in Berry’s student work program played a crucial part in her professional development and ability to reach people: “It’s definitely the connection of being able to run my own business because of my accounting and finance background,” Park says. “But also what I’m finding out is the Berry name goes a long way in certain circles.”


Q. What was your major at Berry?

A. My major was accounting and finance. I thought I was going to be a CEO of some company, not knowing that it was going to be my own personal company. It really does play a helpful part in helping brides and event clients in general with their budgets and keeping them in line that way.

Q. What is your favorite thing about your career?

A. The thing that I love most about the event planning business is actually the wedding planning. Just the joy that you see from your brides after they’ve walked down the aisle and said their “I do's.” That just keeps you going—that fuels your passion even more when you see their facial expressions.

Q. Tell us one (or more!) of your favorite Berry memories.

A. Just the opportunity to go to school and work at the same time. [For example] as you declared your major and got upwards in your class, just being able to work in the Berry business office, the bookstore, things like that. [Having] access to business-related environments was very gratifying.

Q. Do you have any advice for current or future Berry students?

A. Definitely do the work-study. Do something at Berry in terms of the workforce. Even if it’s not in your career, engage yourself totally in Berry. Have fun! Have fun while you can! I think a lot of them just need to also take advantage of [their] contacts at Berry. Talk to people about their careers. I think Alumni was trying to do mentorship — take advantage of those opportunities.

Q. Tell us about a favorite career or life accomplishment!

A. Right now in my place in life, what I’m most proud of is my spiritual journey. Just connecting with God and knowing that he is all supreme at this point. I’m just at peace.

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