November 16, 2012
He’s not in Kansas anymore—and that’s the result of a series of somewhat unplanned circumstances in the career of Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living. After law school and a decade in practice, he began building and operating 10 assisted living facilities. He and wife Stacy “are business people, and the theme of our life has been elder care.”
He had been involved in state politics for years, first as a Republican in the Kansas House and Senate, then switching to the Democratic party as running mate to then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, whom he had come to know.
“We had just sold a major part of our company in 2006. I thought I was going to take six months off and think about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was contacted by her team and asked if I would run for lieutenant governor. But never with the intent of being governor, and never with the intent of serving in public life for a long period of time. I really viewed it as a four-year sort of timeout from our work in elder care.”