One-Page Bio

Who is Renee’ Parsons?

Renee’ Parsons was born in Ironton, Ohio, was raised in South Portsmouth, Kentucky, and has been married for 28 years, resulting in two daughters, one ward, three dogs, and several diverse skill sets. She has served in nonprofit and Christian ministry arenas around the United States for over 25 years with her husband, Dr. Robert Parsons. Renee’’s expertise is in business development, community engagement, and career counseling. She believes that all people have purpose. If they are motivated and given proper understanding, the right opportunities, and appropriate training, they can tap into that potential!

Renee’ Parsons’ credentials, degrees, and certifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Religious Education, Andersonville Baptist Seminary—Camilla, Georgia
  • Grantsmanship certified grant proposal writer, TGCI—Los Angeles, California
  • Jobs for Life certified soft-skills trainer and conference leader, JFL—Raleigh, North Carolina
  • US Chung Do Kwan black belt and associate instructor—Lakeland, Florida
  • ISSA personal trainer certification, International Sports Science Association—Phoenix, Arizona
  • Creation therapy certified assessor, National Christian Counselor Training, Andersonville Baptist Seminary—Camilla, Georgia

Renee’ Parsons’ work history

  • Founder/co-director, Central Jobbank and Opportunity Center—Ashland, Kentucky
  • Vice president of community engagement, Sage Holdings / Sage Technology Center—Owingsville, Kentucky
  • Chair, National Opioids Crisis Committee, NDASA—Washington, DC
  • Board member, Pathways Foundation Inc.—Ashland, Kentucky
  • Board member, chair, Real Estate Development Committee; member, Governance Committee, Frontier Housing, Inc.—Morehead, Kentucky
  • President/founder, Practical Homeschool Design, Inc.—Rush, Kentucky
  • Non-clergy director, homeless shelter, Salvation Army—Ashland, Kentucky
  • Operations, The Neighborhood—Ashland, Kentucky

Renee’ Parsons’ aha! Moment

I worked in operations at The Neighborhood, which is like a mall of charitable organizations, including a community kitchen, food pantry, clothing pantry, and housing assistance. I functioned in a capacity where I worked with both administration and clients. I began to see “regular” clients who came at standard intervals for basic goods. These repetitive clients would burn through their housing assistance and still be homeless in a month. They would eat daily in the kitchen, gain copious amounts of free clothing, and solicit money from unwitting volunteers on a regular basis and still be in desperate need the very next week. Furthermore, I also noticed the problematic processes and regulations that were not making this situation any better. On top of that, I was privy to financial information that showed that the model being utilized, although seemingly altruistic, was essentially an economic “black hole” that wasn’t really improving anyone’s life on either side. Clients were becoming more entitled and needy while administration was becoming more jaded and less compassionate. There was no way to bridge the gap. In 2018, The Bellefonte Foundation, connected to a local hospital, provided an introduction to Bridges Out of Poverty, with a call for individuals who would like to gain certification. After the initial “lunch and learn,” I was hooked! I could see how everything I was experiencing, along with my own helplessness to fix it, all culminated into this material. There was hope! I applied with 200 other applicants, went through a series of interviews, and was chosen as one of five applicants in our region to complete the lifetime trainer certification provided by The Bellefonte Foundation, United Way, and The Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities Coalition.

Renee’ Parsons’ passions

My passions include growing spiritually and serving my community. I am working on my degree in Hebrew and biblical history, with a desire to work on an archaeological dig in the Holy Land someday! I am passionate about community economic development. So often, in plans for city revitalization, the charitable organizations and those who utilize them are left out of the equation. It is my goal to have government organizations and private companies pay attention to and hear these companies when making plans for their cities.

 Renee’ Parsons’ best training

My best training is with charitable organizations, nonprofits, churches, government entities, economic policy makers, private businesses, and the people living in poverty themselves!

What does Renee’ Parsons do for fun?

I love helping people who are creating new businesses work their plan! To that end, I am constantly doing different kinds of “in the trenches” activities where I am employed in their companies to help them see what onboarding looks like or where customer service training is needed. I have done work in everything from gyms to food service. As I mentioned, I am becoming more skilled in ancient Hebrew and am currently in school working on my advanced degree. I also play trumpet and perform with the Portsmouth Wind Symphony on occasion. I play guitar and drums. In my down time, I love a good British murder mystery, I am an avid reader and logic puzzler, and I like a good crafty DIY!