Instructor Biography

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Lori N. Parrish

Coming from a working class background, young Lori Nance Parrish moved to Broward County from the Midwest with her family when she was eight years old in 1956.

Lori worked as a bookkeeper, a plant store owner, and a painting and landscape contractor while raising and supporting her two young children. She volunteered her time to several civic and community groups, including the Davie/Cooper City Chamber of Commerce, PTA, HRS, Red Cross, and the Library Advisory Board, while balancing the demands of home and work.

In 1984, motivated by the desire to improve educational standards in Broward County public schools, Lori ran and was elected to a four-year term on the Broward County School Board after defeating her opposition in primary and general elections. She served as Vice Chair and Chair.

Lori's common sense approach to government appealed to Broward's diverse voters in 1988 when she ran and was elected to the Broward County Commission. Her straight-talking, "tell-it-like-it-is" style was one of the refreshing changes she brought to County government.

Lori has championed such causes as fiscal restraint, less bureaucracy, environmental issues, the rights of domestic violence victims, public safety, economic development, mass transit and improved health services, including the need for a pediatric pathologist. Dedicated to the equal treatment of all citizens, she has won praise for her efforts to open opportunities for women and minorities, and was inducted into the Broward County Women's Hall of Fame on March 15, 1997. She was elected Vice Chair of the County Commission in 1989 and 1996 and Chair in 1990,1997 and 2001 and was re-elected to four-year terms in 1992, 1996 and 2000, without opposition.

In 2004, Lori left the County Commission to run for Broward County Property Appraiser. Running on a promise to ensure a fair shake for all taxpayers, Lori was overwhelmingly elected with 61% of the vote. Her current term as Property Appraiser runs until January 2009.

As a County Commissioner, Lori served on the Board of Directors of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority ( f/k/a Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority, or "Tri-Rail"); Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization; Value Adjustment Board; Broward County Planning Council; was a founding member of the Regional Transportation Organization, renamed the Regional Transit Organization Board of which Lori is a Past Chair. She was a member of CHPA-District 10 for three years. Lori also served on the Resource Recovery Board; Broward Cultural Council and the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Counties for 13 years. She formerly served on the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida; Co-Chair of Save Our Everglades; and was named Environmental Legislator of the Year for 1993. In November 1999, she was appointed by the Governor as a member of the Governor's Commission for the Everglades. Recently, Lori was the recipient of the Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies Commissioner Leadership Award. Lori was the recipient of the Smithsonian Computerworld Honors Laureate Award for visionary use of Information Technology in the Broward Information Network Project.

Lori resides in Davie and has lived in Southwest Broward for over 40 years. Lori is married to Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen. She has two children: Gary and Brandi. Gary, a lawyer, is a graduate of Florida State University and Nova Southeastern Law School. He is married to Yvonne; they have a three year old daughter, Kaylee Yvonna. Brandi is a Flagler College graduate and former English teacher. She is married to Kevin Schmidt. They have two daughters: Kasey Michele, eight years old; and Kourtney Nicole born February 1, 1999, who became an angel on December 2, 1999.