William H. Parker Jr., 1976
B.A., Denison University
Entrepreneur and Businessman
District of Columbia
Citation awarded June, 2001
Bill Parker is a prominent entrepreneur who combines business acumen with civic leadership in the Washington, D.C. area. In this combination, he is a model for the Denison graduate par excellence.
In the years following graduation from Denison in 1976, Bill earned an M.B.A. from Southeastern University, and he worked for several companies in the areas of customer service and sales. But he was soon to strike out on his own in the business world. In the early 1980’s, Bill started attending the Washington, D.C. City Council meetings as an advocate for bringing cable TV services into the community. During those meetings, he began to develop his entrepreneurial plan, based on his vision of the coming burgeoning of the cable market.
In 1984, Bill and his wife Beverly launched their company, Washington Cable Supply, Inc., from their Maryland living room. Over the years they have transformed the business into a multi-million dollar inventory control, materials management and logistics company that provides telecommunica¬tions and utility products to businesses and utilities. Their clients include Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Bell South, Verizon, and Lucent. In 1999, Washington Cable Supply was named in USA Today as the 7th largest of the nation’s Top 100 African American-owned businesses. The company also was listed in the June 2000 issue of Electrical Wholesaling as the 27th largest among U.S. electrical distributors.
Bill and Beverly share their success not only with their employees, but also with others. They enjoy planning and carrying out college tours for low-income high school juniors. A major commit¬ment for Bill is his service as Chair of the Board of Capital Commitment, Inc., a Washington organization that provides classroom and lab instruction in telephone services to disadvantaged inner city residents, single mothers, at-risk youth and those in need of job training. Bill also serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. He has said about his life and his success, “It’s not about money. It never was. It’s about building something and giving deserving men and women opportunities.”