The Darwin Parker Story

Darwin Parker Works as an HVAC TechnicianJuly 2015

 By Dan Tarkington:

As we near the retirement of Darwin Parker, we thought it might be useful to recap his illustrious career with FSE. I first met Darwin in 1987. Here's the rest of the story.

1987
Who's that Guy sitting on the bucket?

In 1987, Darwin was the lead Honeywell Pneumatic Controls installer at the CDC Roybal Campus Bldg 15 Level IV Laboratory. At that time, Darwin made a momentous decision that forever changed Darwin Parker and FSE: leave Honeywell and join FSE as an HVAC technician.

(Photo Caption: Darwin Parker is shown as the Honeywell Lead Pneumatic Control Service Technician.)




1988
HVAC Technician to Foreman


FSE really needed a fresh leadership change. The short answer: Darwin to the rescue!

Thank you Mark Hunter for recognizing Darwin's capabilities and character which have now stood the 29 year test of time.

A younger Darwin Parker is shown here in his early Days at CDC, circa 1988.

(Photo Caption: A younger Darwin Parker is shown here in his early Days at CDC, circa 1988.)

1993
Never Give Up!

Under Darwin's Supervision, FSE continued to prosper at CDC's Bldg 15 Virology Laboratory. Nevertheless, 1993 found FSE at its all-time low point. We only employed thirteen (13) people companywide and FSE's CPA advised FSE to close the doors.

However, Darwin Parker once again rode to the rescue. To quote Winston Churchill, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!"

1994
The Year of Enormous Growth

FSE grew from just one contract to six contracts. Revenue grew 800% in just one year. By 1996, FSE continued on in the growth mode.

This is a test. You may recognize the two FSE employees on the front row, L-R.

Atlanta Employees August 1996 CDC World Headquarters
(Photo Caption: Atlanta Employees August 1996 CDC World Headquarters)
That would be Dan Tarkington and Darwin Parker. How many other FSE Atlanta employees can you name from 20 years ago?


1995, 1996, 1997
Nominations and Wins
Under Darwin's Leadership, CDC nominated FSE for The Small Business Administration's Prestigious Outstanding Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year three years in a row. If you don't succeed at first, try, try again! FSE finally won in the Southwest Region in 1997. When FSE was compared with the other nine 1997 Small Business Regional Winners, FSE was named the 1998 SBA National Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year.

June 4, 1998: FSE was recognized by the SBA as the 1998 National Prime Contractor of the Year. Photo taken in the Office ofSenator Paul Coverdell (Washington, D.C.). From left: Darwin Parker, Senator Coverdell, Dan Tarkington, Dave Ruehlman
(Photo caption: June 4, 1998: FSE was recognized by the SBA as the 1998 National Prime Contractor of the Year. Photo taken in the Office of Senator Paul Coverdell (Washington, D.C.). From left: Darwin Parker, Senator Coverdell, Dan Tarkington, Dave Ruehlman)

Unprecedented CDC Growth
Under Darwin's leadership, FSE grew with CDC:

   - First, numerous buildings were added to FSE's contract at the Roybal campus.
   - Then came the Chamblee and Lawrenceville campuses.
   - Thereafter, additional new buildings were added at the Roybal, Chamblee and Lawrenceville campuses.

2016
Fast Forward to 2016

Today FSE's CDC stewardship responsibilities have grown under Darwin's leadership from 13 employees in 1993 in one building to now encompass:

   - 3.4 million square feet of office and laboratory space,
   - All three Atlanta-area campuses, and
   - 220 FSE employees.

The Day Has Come

Darwin's last official work day at CDC was June 30, 2016. However, Darwin continues to stay on in a reduced capacity through the end of 2016 and possibly on into 2017

Perhaps our CDC client, Ted Hyatt, provided the most on-target assessment:

Darwin,

Thanks for all you've done for CDC. Your cooperation and focus on what's best for CDC is exemplary and beyond any other government contractor I've ever worked with. I feel confident that you've trained Darren well and expect no hiccups in the transition, which is essentially in place now.

It has been a true pleasure. I hope your retirement is as successful as your 29 years here."

Ted Hyatt


In summary, no single FSE employee is more responsible for FSE's growth, culture and reputation than Darwin Parker.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dan Tarkington
30 June 2016