Todd Parnell is the retired President of Drury University, founding CEO of THE BANK in Springfield, Mo., civic leader, environmental advocate as co-founder of the Upper White River Basin Foundation and recently retired Chairman of the Missouri Clean Water Commission, and award-winning author inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame in 2012. He holds Masters degrees in Business Administration from Dartmouth University and History from Missouri State University, and an undergraduate degree from Drury University.
Parnell began writing non-fiction during his years as a banker and educator, including published works The Buffalo, Ben, and Me, Trails of the Heart: Along the Buffalo River, Mom at War, and Postcards from Branson. He tried his hand at fiction upon retiring from the Drury presidency and hasn’t stopped writing since, publishing the Ozarkian Folk Tales Trilogy (Skunk Creek, Swine Branch, and Donny Brook), with a second trilogy, Children of the Creek in production. Recently released are Pig Farm, the sweeping and rollicking historical tall tale set in the context of a real time environmental tragedy, and Privilege and Privation-A Love Story (2019), a tale of two young people from diverse economic backgrounds who fall in love and how the disparity affects their relationship and that of the people in their lives.
Parnell was born in Branson, Mo. and is an eighth-generation Ozarker. He resides with his wife of 42 years, Betty, in Springfield, Mo. and is blessed with four children and five grandchildren. The Parnells were inaugural co-chairs of the Every Child Promise initiative, and serve on its executive advisory board.