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Introducing James F. Parker of Southwest Airlines as the Opening Keynote Speaker for NAHC’s Annual Meeting

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016 2:08 PM

Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC, announced that James F. Parker, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines will be the Opening Keynote Speaker at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Homecare and Hospice to be held at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

"Jim Parker is the best there is in crisis management. He was at the helm during 9/11, which ranks high on the list of dark days for America. The fact that terrorists had used airplanes as bombs to accomplish their purpose made it all the worse. All businesses in America suffered but none more than the airlines. People were afraid to fly. It took a while to reopen the airports, all of which were in lock down. But winning back public confidence was a more difficult matter. With a steady hand and unerring good judgment Parker guided Southwest through the crisis and back to prosperity -- all without having to fire a single employee. His advice and counsel will be very helpful to the homecare and hospice community, many of whom share the belief that they have been under attack," said Halamandaris.

Under Parker’s direction, Southwest Airlines became the largest domestic airline in the United States. “The key was our people,” Parker explains in his book Do the Right Thing. “They were dedicated. They were spirited. They worked hard. They understood the mission of our company and believed in it. They made flying fun for our customers, and they had fun themselves. This was their company, and they were determined that it would succeed.”

Parker began his journey with Southwest Airlines in the legal department. He eventually became the general counsel of the company for 16 years, where this led him to take over as CEO in 2001. Parker revealed an uncommon vision, which mirrors the views of the Southwest founders.

“Leaders who can create a sense of ownership and pride will have accomplished most of what they need to do as leaders,” says Parker. “They will have unleashed the pride, passion, and creativity of their employees. The rest will be easy.”

Parker is an author, a teacher and has served at prestigious institutions. He will also sign his book "Do the Right Thing,” which describes Parker’s lessons in life and business.

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