CLU alumnus has a spirit of continual giving

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






With dozens of different majors and thousands of different jobs, the opportunities are endless for CLU graduates.

When Keith Parks graduated in 1981 from what was then California Lutheran College with a degree in administration of justice, Parks had already begun his first career.

“When I started at CLU, I was already a deputy sheriff,” said Parks.

After a long outstanding career, Parks retired from the Ventura County sheriff’s department after 31 years of service, but his career didn’t end there.

In September, Parks was talking to a long-time friend Maria.

Prescott when she informed him of a job opening at the Hospice of the Conejo and suggested he apply. Parks, not ready to be retired, took Prescott’s advice.

Parks is a Thousand Oaks native who knows people in the community. He was selected as the perfect candidate to spread the word about Hospice. He was quickly hired to be the new executive director of Hospice of the Conejo.

Hospice of the Conejo is a small nonprofit organization that has been in business for over 35 years.

It has nearly 100 volunteers, as well as paid therapists to help with patient care.

“We have the ability to provide non-medical hospice services to anyone in the Conejo Valley free of charge,” said Parks. “We can help people with being able to live their last days with compassion and care.”

Assistant Director of Hospice of the Conejo Barbara Green spoke highly of Parks and the work he has done for his community.

“He is always willing to speak to other groups and is open to partnering with other organizations to get the word out about the hospice,” said Green. “He is very easy going and allows us a lot of flexibility. Keith said himself when he first got here that he is always here if you need him with help and support.”

In addition to being a retired deputy and working for Hospice of the Conejo, Parks is also a member of the Rotary Club, as are CLU President Chris Kimball and political science professor Herbert Gooch.

Gooch and Parks have known each other for about six years. As both are members of the Rotary Club, they have got to know each other through their common service.

“He is just a stand up guy,” said Gooch. “Not only was he the local police chief, but he is also a local and knows the area really well. He likes people and likes to be of use and have that sense of service. But I think what is really the most impressive thing is that he has taken up a job in retirement just to help people.”

Parks attributes a lot of his sense of community to his experience at CLU.

“In everything you learn when you go to college, CLU has given me a real sense of community because they have always stressed that,” said Parks. “The professors and administration were always involved in the community. CLU was always part of a bigger picture rather than its own world.”

Although Parks does not plan to retire again soon, he does have hopes to continue learning more about hospice and to be able to increase its visibility in and around the community.

“He is really just a genuine guy. What you see is what you get with him,” said Gooch.

 

Kristin Cameron
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 7, 2012