Trudy Parks grew up on a dairy farm in Oregon. She was introduced to hard work early in life and she was raised to be independent in her thinking and approach to life. She was also taught strong values that embraced others. As a result, she had remarkable people skills – she always took time to listen to people and she valued interpersonal connections.
In 1978, Trudy completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria. Shortly after graduating from UVic Trudy reconsidered her career options and decided to explore accountancy. She was hired by KPMG Accounting where she began working towards a Chartered Accountant designation. Trudy was required to complete several prerequisite courses which resulted in her attending Camosun where she took courses in math and economics. It was as an adult that she discovered that she loved math!
In the early 1980s, Trudy was part of a KPMG audit team who were hired by Camosun. When Trudy became aware of a junior accountant job opening at the college, she applied and started working at the college in the mid-1980s. In a relatively short time, she was promoted to a senior accounting position and, eventually, she became Vice President of Finance and Bursar.
Trudy came to the college at a time of transition. Previously, every financial entry was made manually and changed manually. Trudy brought very good computer skills to her job. She was adept at using spreadsheets which allowed changes to be made quickly and accurately.
Under her leadership, the Finance department was soon computerized resulting in quicker and more accurate data analysis. Trudy also worked to give staff confidence in the budget process, helping them understand and manage their own budgets.
Trudy worked at Camosun for 15 years. She loved her job and, in particular, the people with whom she worked. She was an excellent problem-solver, whether it involved parking issues, improving IT services, seeing new buildings constructed or making life better for the janitorial staff. For Trudy, it was always about the people.
Submitted by Faye Ferguson, CCARE Retiree
A special thanks to Trudy’s husband, Ray Parks, for his assistance with this article.