Houston Marketing Moguls: Recognizing Dan Parsons


At Cox Media Group Houston, we believe in the power of relationships. We also believe in the potential of connecting with individuals and businesses with synergistic goals to succeed – especially those who make a career out of making Houston better. And that is precisely why we couldn’t be more honored to have a friend in Dan Parsons – President at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Metropolitan Houston and South Texas.

Dan’s team at the BBB and the rest of Houston’s city leaders are on a perpetual mission to ensure the growth and vitality of Houston’s business community and economic health. And it turns out – folks like Dan happen to be really good at it. But don’t take our word for it – take Forbes’.


Meet Dan Parsons – President

Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Metropolitan Houston and South Texas.

Maintains 32+ years of experience in media and business.

CMG: How did you decide upon your current career path? What were some motivating factors that led you to where you are today?

DP: It kind of found me. I was planning to be a Band Director…as I have a great passion for music. But in college, before one could be a “DJ”, he had to cut his teeth in news. And voila! I got the media bug. In 1983, I faced a forced move to either Washington D.C. or New York.  At that point in my radio career, I also found out the BBB wanted somebody to “chase” people originally in the Witness Protection, now relocated here running scams for credit repair…timeshare scams, etc….and that was that!  From chasing politicos to con artists! [And sometimes they are pretty close in comparison!]

CMG: What are the most important lessons you would share with other business owners on how to grow and maintain a viable business in today’s economy? 

DP: Very simple….everybody wants growth.  But with it comes responsibility. So does “growing” customer service along with [increased] marketing, sales and market penetration. Failure to do that is 95% of what generates our complaints. That and basic communication.

CMG: Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?

DP: My first BBB mentor, then-President, Dick McClain. He hired me in 1983 and showed me the beauty and purity of the self-regulatory world.

CMG: Which of your marketing or business experiences are you most proud of?

DP: Leading new generations of BBB leaders and therefore new generations of informed customers and reliable businesses.

CMG: Where do you come up with your most creative or strategic ideas?  

DP: I have a never ending flow of ideas as I am always thinking of our model and what the best, next innovation will be. [I’m] always keeping in mind our core mission and avoiding sudden, violent turns of the tiller…that is what kills organizations!

CMG: What is one word that describes you?

DP: Passionate.

CMG: In the Houston business world – what do you want to be remembered for?

DP: What the Houston Press coined on me in 2001 – “The Most Honest Man in Houston”.   Note – it did not say smartest, richest, or nicest.  But the truth is purity unto itself and of that I am constantly focused on.

CMG: What is one hard lesson you’ve learned about marketing or business in general?

DP: There are always two sides to a story, and sometimes three or four or more and one must strive to find the right one…

CMG: What is your secret weapon?

DP: Mentoring future generations by setting a role model of ethics and having those new leaders as my allies.

CMG: Describe Houston’s business landscape 10 years from now. 

DP: Wow – what I HOPE?  Increased business diversity (as the current downturn will test us) and maturing to be a city that is proud of what it IS…not what some self-appointed “elitists” would have us be. Also, comfort in our skin, even if it is a little rough at times – and remembering we are all Americans and not at war with the rest of the country, just because it is way to blow off anger.