Kris Parker is an Extension Educator in the area of Economic and Community Development at the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service in Porter County. Prior to joining Extension in 2005, Kris held several posts in the nonprofit sector in Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. She managed a family shelter and emergency assistance program with Catholic Community Services. She worked to train international peacebuilders working in post-conflict communities with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and the CONTACT Summer Institute. Kris and her husband, Craig, spent a 5-month stint as volunteers in a remote village in the Dominican Republic doing community development work with The Nature Conservancy.
Kris has an M.A. in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from the School for International Training in Vermont and a B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
Through her work with Extension, Kris provides training on various topics of leadership and civic engagement, diversity, small business development, and nonprofit and organizational development. She actively partners with organizations in Porter County and Northwest Indiana to advance economic and community development.
Kris started a local foods network for Northwest Indiana beginning with a Local Foods Forum in 2006. She led the team that planned the Local Foods Expos in Northwest Indiana and Elkhart County in 2007. Her monthly e-newsletter South Shore Local Foods Connections continues to serve as a regional resource for local foods information. She is also a Purdue New Ventures Team member.
Kris serves on the board of the United Way of Porter County and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. She was previously a board member of Leadership LaPorte County. She is a member of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council and serves as co-chair of the Emerging Leaders’ Society (United Way of Porter County) and the Valpo Chamber’s Leadership Academy.
As an Extension Educator, Kris enjoys her work best when she knows that she is making a positive difference in people’s lives. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work in an organization that encourages her to wake up every morning and ask herself, “What can I do for my community today?”
Kris can be contacted by phone at 219-465-3555, Ext 27 or by email.