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 Montpelier Magazine

Shop til you drop

Misty Parsons ('94) promotes mall makeover

The next time you have an urge to go shopping, head over to Charlottesville's Fashion Square Mall, which has recently undergone an $8 million renovation and is being promoted by marketing director Misty Parsons ('94).

Parsons, a marketing major, was promoted to that position in 1997 after being hired as the marketing assistant at Fashion Square immediately after her December graduation. As marketing director, she is responsible for promotions and events, advertising, public relations, community relations and tenant relations. Other responsibilities include the mall's marketing budget, the marketing business plan and the mall's gift certificate program. Now that the 22-year-old mall's renovation is complete, Parsons' job will not change a great deal, except that she is now promoting its "new and fabulous" makeover.

Parsons finds the planning and preparation for events such as the Grand Re-Opening Celebration rewarding, especially since she can attend the events and gauge their success from customer and merchant reactions. In the future, she hopes to work for a larger shopping center or to be a regional marketing director, because, she says, "I love the field of marketing … I have really enjoyed the mall marketing field."

Parsons lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Shane Parsons ('94), and their two miniature longhaired dachshunds, Rupert and Miles, which "basically run our lives," she admits. Parsons loves spending time with her family, exercising, photography and traveling. Parsons and her husband often come to JMU for football games, to visit with friends in the area and "to go to one of our favorite pizza joints around - Luigi's."

Reminiscing about her time at JMU, Parsons says, "One class in particular that I loved was Market Research. … A big part of this job is determining who our customer is and what [their] needs are, what stores they like, where they like to shop, how much they're spending and their overall spending habits. The Market Research course really prepared me for this aspect of my job as well as putting together the center's marketing business plan." But what she remembers most about college, other than meeting her husband, is the "great people, wonderful professors and overall just great times at James Madison."

- Story by Allison Mall ('04)