Amy and Parker Douglass
Sometimes it’s academics that bring a young man to Blue Ridge School. Other times it’s his need to mature. With Parker Douglass ’98, he admits it was both. His parents knew he needed more than he was receiving in his Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, school. It was going to be Connecticut or Virginia. Parker chose Virginia. Even before he had set foot on the campus, the Blue Ridge Mountains sounded more pleasant to a kid from the midwest than winters in the northeast.
Once Parker arrived, he immediately felt at home. His parents had realized that the structure and attention that students receive at Blue Ridge would greatly benefit his maturation process and give him the skills he needed to succeed in both academics and life. They were right. “I flourished at Blue Ridge and attribute many positive outcomes in my life to the upbeat environment and caring I received from the faculty.”
Parker needed encouraging relationships and a whole bunch of guidance. He found both on campus. He also found himself a member of one of the most successful football squads to ever take the field at Blue Ridge. “Having been a member of the School’s first-ever undefeated football team is still very special to me.” Parker also appreciated aspects of Blue Ridge that many boys fail to notice while still a student. He thought the trees and surrounding mountains were majestic that very first fall. To this day, he considers Blue Ridge one of the most beautiful sights he has ever seen.
While it’s true that Parker had not found a great deal of success in his young life at the time he became a student at Blue Ridge, he took full advantage of all that the School had to offer. “Blue Ridge was definitely a successful chapter in the story of my teenage years.” This success included being named a captain on the varsity football as well as the varsity baseball team. It also included being voted senior class vice president.
Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, was Parker’s next stop. He played football for the Blue Jays, joined a fraternity and studied psychology. Parker wasn’t finished touring the United States as his first job out of college was as a retail investment broker at Grubb & Ellis in Los Angeles, California. He then took a three-year hiatus from real estate as he took on the very entertaining job of working for International Creative Management (ICM) in the Television Literary department in Beverly Hills, California. The next four years saw him back at Grubb & Ellis.
Parker would then leave Los Angeles at which time he began a Collegiate Licensed Apparel company. He successfully moved it back to Oklahoma City where he had a great run. He eventually sold that company to the largest apparel manufacturer in the country. He considers himself quite fortunate to now own XPG Distribution, a company that distributes health and fitness consumer products in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Another bit of good fortune came Parker’s way through the film industry. He was a co-executive producer for the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary titled “Brian and the Boz,” which aired on Halloween of 2014. This story of why Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth took a downward spiral as The Boz while in the NFL brought Parker an Emmy. Sports are obviously still a big part of Parker’s life with XPG Distribution and his frequent rounds of golf, but he has another hobby that others might find surprising.
“I collect eighteenth and nineteenth century business documents and artifacts. You might think I’m the only person in the world who would care to do that, but there is actually a very large group of nerds like myself who are into this. I find myself bartering online quite a bit.”
Parker is also fairly active in local Austin, Texas, politics, and he’s on the board of his 400-home neighborhood association. Family, though, takes priority over all of the above. His immediate family members still reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and they all gather together every July 4th in northern Michigan.
Just a few years ago, Parker added an important person to his family – Amy Mueller. As is typical of a Blue Ridge graduate, Parker out-kicked his coverage in convincing Amy to marry him. She is also finding great success in Austin, Texas, with her real estate acquisition company. They both make time to hang out with their beagle Shiloh, which Amy “treats like a human being.”
Many members of that 1998 Baron football team still stay in touch, and Parker is particularly close to Moe Evans and his BRS roommate Baird Quisenberry. He knows the friendships he formed while on campus will be with him forever. He also will never forget the guidance he received from the faculty and staff. “When I arrived at Blue Ridge, I had no focus and couldn’t see a path to success or even what success was for that matter. The adults around me on campus recognized that early on and taught me what to shoot for and how to achieve it.”
Parker is honored to have been asked to serve on the Alumni Leadership Council. Remaining involved with Blue Ridge gives him a chance to be a part of something bigger than himself, which means a lot to him. “I’m very proud of my alma mater - its past, current and future mission. It’s my privilege now to be a part of that mission. At Blue Ridge, I learned how to put a game plan together and then how to execute it. The Council will do the same for the betterment of current and future students.”