Don Parkinson’s professional career in marketing and advertising and his philanthropic work on behalf of the Arts serves the Commonwealth of Kentucky well in his role as Secretary of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet. Parkinson was named to that post by Kentucky Governor Matthew G. Bevin in December 2015.
Secretary Parkinson comes to public service after a successful business and marketing career at two Fortune 500 companies. Parkinson provided leadership to KFC franchisees all over the United States in his role as Senior Vice President of KFC and YUM! Brands. Prior to joining KFC in 1980, Parkinson was the Advertising Manager of the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors.
In addition to his corporate duties, Parkinson twice served as the Interim President of the Kentucky Center for the Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University and a Master of Science degree from Stanford University.
As Secretary of the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, Parkinson oversees 17 agencies which includes the Kentucky State Parks System, Fish & Wildlife, the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Arts Council.
Parkinson lives in Louisville with his wife, Libby.