By Carla Short
2017-09-192017-09-19https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Brad Parrish knew he wanted to be an Industrial Engineer when he was seven years old. His father (see his profile at https://wvuieleaders.com/profiles/ron-parrish) was a manager with the Lamp Division of Westinghouse, and Brad had spent time in light bulb plants as he was growing up. His father would often share with him stories from work, and they would discuss management approaches.
Given his family background, it may seem surprising that he has had a career in the service sector of the economy. “I discovered that I didn’t like manufacturing that much,” Brad says. He decided to interview with UPS for interview practice and as fate would have it, his first job was with UPS, where he stayed for five years.
Brad moved from UPS to RPS where he was a Regional Operations Engineering Manager. RPS was acquired by FedEx and Brad made the transition to new roles within the FedEx organization. When asked about what it’s like to go through a corporate change, Brad comments: “It was a definite challenge, but if you have a track record of performance, you’ll find success.”
Brad’s career at FedEx has involved a series of career moves going from technical assignments to operations assignments. While that’s an unusual career path, Brad has found it to be one that has given him unique insights. “In a technical assignment, you are making recommendations for new practices. When you have an operations job, you gain a better sense of what works and doesn’t work. In a sense, you are your own improvement recommendations.”
Currently, Brad is Vice President of Operations for the Consumer and Industrial Logistics team at FedEx Supply Chain. Having a background in industrial engineering and experience in operations will be instrumental in this new role.
As with many successful senior executives, Brad has moved a number of times in his career. “We’ve moved seven times,” Brad says. “You need a very supportive family to make this many moves. What we have always tried to do is become involved in the community when we relocate. That makes the transition go smoother.”
One of the lessons Brad learned from his WVU IE education is an appreciation of giving to those in need. This is something that is also strongly supported by FedEx. One volunteer activity that has been especially rewarding to Brad is being a horse leader and trainer for therapeutic horsemanship. “We train horses to support children with therapeutic needs. It’s very fulfilling to see a child who is wheelchair-bound riding a horse.”
Brad Parrish joined FedEx Supply Chain in 2017 as the Vice President of Operations, where he is responsible for various operations across the United States and Canada. Prior to joining FedEx Supply Chain he worked for FedEx Office where he was the Managing Director of Transportation Operations, with responsibilities that included; all Transportation Operations, Dispatch Operations, and the successful growth of FedEx SameDay City Operations, serving the E-Commerce segment as well as several other verticals. Before joining FedEx Office, he served in multiple roles at FedEx Ground, where his career comprised of both Engineering and Field Operations assignments. He was responsible for the formation of the FedEx Ground Negotiations department, managed multiple field engineering groups and served as the Senior Manager of Operations for Huntsville, Alabama and Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Before his career at FedEx he worked for both RPS (Roadway Package System) and UPS (United Parcel Service) in roles that included Regional Operations Engineering Manager, Hub Industrial Engineer, Time Study Analyst, Dispatcher, and Delivery Driver.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree from West Virginia University and a Masters in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. He is the past Chairman of the WVU IMSE Visiting Committee and was inducted into the WVU Academy of Industrial Engineers in 2005 and later served as Academy President from 2013 – 2015.
Brad has been a lifetime member of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE), since 1986 in both Student and Senior Member roles. He served as IISE Industry Advisory Board Chairman (2014/2015), was a National conference presenter in 2011 and 2012, VoLT Speaker in 2012 and 2013 and continues to participate at the Senior Member level.
Other Community Involvement
Brad has served as; a former Pennsylvania State Park Volunteer and river guide, committee member on the March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction, volunteered on the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, served as a Board Member for the Seneca Valley Youth Football Association and coached youth football for 10 years in Alabama and Pennsylvania. He recently served on the local High School STEM council, and served as a volunteer horse leader and trainer at Manegait Therapeutic Horse Ranch in McKinney, Texas where he worked with riders with special needs.