"We've worked for our children all of our lives," Parker said. "Our goal was to have a good quality of life for our children."
As C & B prospered, Parker moved to Howell and launched Allen Parker Investments in 1989, Howell Investments in 1993 and Rockford Service & Support in Rockford, Illinois, in 1999. He started Howell Land Development in 2005.
C & B now ships the machines to India, Mexico, Canada, Europe and other parts of the world. The accounting firm Ernst & Young gave Parker its Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2008 in the Central Great Lakes region.
The Heart of Howell opened for business in 2011 and 2FOG's in 2015.
"I have an incredible amount of respect for Joe Parker and his family for all of the investment they have done and Livingston County," said Pam McConeghy, president and CEO of the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce. "They truly are remarkable, and I am extremely happy to have the new investment of C & B Machinery in Brighton.
"It is a great addition to our business community," she added. "We at the chamber of commerce wish them the very best with all endeavors."
His family ties
Parker's oldest, Courtney Tarara, manages Heart of Howell projects and is involved with other family businesses.
"I think what he has done with his life is amazing," Tarara said. "He came from absolutely nothing and got where he is with basically blood, sweat, tears (and) his guts.
"He's very loyal and passionate and hard working. Nothing was handed to him," she added.
Parker's youngest, Brooke Sredzinski, runs Allen Parker Investments and Howell Land Development.
Sredzinski also keeps the accounting books for C & B and 2FOG's Pub.
Howell Land Development has purchased a number of properties in Howell since launching in 2005, including the buildings that Parker converted into the Heart of Howell, which was filled to capacity earlier this year.
"I'm proud of him," Sredzinski said. "I'm proud he's my dad. He's a hard worker. He's dedicated. When he sets his mind to do something, he gives it his all, that's for sure.
"One of his admirable qualities is that he's a straight shooter, he's always honest," she added. "I think that's hard to find nowadays."
Parker plans on staying in Howell for the long term for several reasons. One, his daughters and their families live down the block. Two, he can see deer in his back yard. Three, he has a short commute to work, and Livingston has a rich talent pool of employees.
He credits his wife for his success. The Parkers have been married for 44 years.
"My wife, Becky, was the best thing I ever did," he said. "Being married to a quality person and having children, that was my first stroke of luck."
-Livingston Daily business reporter Noe Hernandez
Link to article: http://www.livingstondaily.com/story/news/2016/10/31/joe-parker-thriving-howell/92452518/