Full name: Brad T. Parks Sr.
Company: Advanced Retail Systems, L.L.C.
Hometown: Baton Rouge
Why do you do what you do?
This business allows me to interact with different types of people and businesses on a daily basis.
I enjoy getting to know people and their business so I can tailor fit a Point Of Sale software solution to their business. I also enjoy training people on the software and answering their questions when they need technical help. These days, everyone is thankful to have local support for their ongoing software questions.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Starting my own business at age 29 is my greatest accomplishment to date.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a lifeguard at the Country Club of Louisiana.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Cash is something to be kept.” My father picked that up from a professor at LSU and passed it on to me.
Who do you most admire in the local business community and why?
I will always admire Mr. Charlie Valluzzo. He has had great success in growing the local McDonald’s business and finding time to give back to our local community.
If you could have any job other than your own, what would it be?
I would like to move to the Florida Keys and open a dive shop.
What is the greatest personal or professional obstacle you’ve overcome?
When I first opened my business, it was difficult to find someone who would trust me with their business computer system at such a young age. Mr. Jerry Pearson was brave enough to allow me to install their new point of sale system and my business grew from there.
If you started over, what would you do differently?
I would probably not change anything. If we are the sum or our experiences, then I need all the good ones and the bad ones to be who I am today.
What is your prescription for life?
Work hard and play hard.
What book are you currently reading?
The 29% solution by Dr. Ivan Misner.
If you could have dinner with any three living people, who would they be? (Authors? Leaders?)
Bill Gates, George W. Bush and my grandfather.
Who would play you in a movie?
John Cusack would be my choice to play me in a movie.
What do you do to unwind?
I enjoy hunting, scuba diving and vacationing with my family.
What is the most expensive purchase you’ve made for yourself?
My most expensive purchase would be my car.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
On the weekends I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two children.
What’s your theme song?
Jimmy Buffet – “Changes in Latitude”
What’s your favorite spot in Baton Rouge?
I always enjoy the food and atmosphere at TJ Ribs.
How do you take your coffee/tea?
I don’t drink much of either coffee or tea, but I will take any Diet Coke you have, cold.
What is your favorite movie? TV show? Band?
Movie – Star Wars
TV Show – Lost
Band – Phil Collins
What is your favorite gadget?
I spend a lot of time on the phone helping customers with technical issues. My cell phone is probably my favorite gadget.
What is something that you can’t live without?
I could not live without the Palm Treo or my laptop.
If you could change one thing about Baton Rouge, what would it be?
I would like to see Baton Rouge improve the infrastructure of our city.
What is your greatest hope for Baton Rouge?
I hope that we find the resources to invest in our school system which will give the future generations the tools they need to succeed.
What is your greatest fear for Baton Rouge?
I fear that the local “politics as usual” will stop Governor Jindal and Mayor Holden from making the changes that we desperately need.