Ron Parker was a judge, statesman, businessman and civil servant for the Chickasaw people. His 26-year career with the Chickasaw Nation was marked by compassion and dedication to serving Chickasaws.
Parker, born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended the University of Oklahoma, and spent his early career in Texas and Oklahoma in the apparel business. He returned to Ardmore in 1984.
In 1991, he found his calling with the Chickasaw Nation, first being elected as a Chickasaw Nation Judge, and then a tribal legislator in 1992. Parker was reelected to the legislature in 1995, serving until 1997.
In 1997, Parker was appointed as the general manager of Touso Ishto Gaming Center in Thackerville, Oklahoma, the predecessor to WinStar World Casino & Resort. He then became a community advocate for the Ardmore area and later served as area director. During this time, he dedicated himself to assisting Chickasaws obtain benefits and services, day or night.
Parker was a leader in starting the Chickasaw Nation Reentry Program, a service designed to assist previously incarcerated Chickasaws in obtaining skills and employment to successfully transition back into the community. He faithfully led this program from 2007 to 2017.
In 2011, Parker was an AARP Indian Elder Honor Award recipient. He actively contributed to community organizations and boards in the Ardmore area, including C/Sara Foundation, The Grace Center, Boys and Girls Club of Wilson, American Red Cross, Destiny Recover Center and the Chickasaw Nation Juvenile Justice Board.