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Career Profiles
Todd "Parney" Parnell
Graduated: 1988
Major: Physical Education
General Manager, Altoona Curve

Parney Photo
Choosing a Major
Taking a step toward fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball and becoming a coach, Todd "Parney" Parnell declared a major in physical education. Progression in this field of study kindled an interest in the business aspect of sports, which prompted his decision to add a minor in business.

The Messiah Experience
When reflecting on Messiah College life, Parney sums it up with simplicity: “I loved my time there.” He took an active part in campus life by joining the basketball team and becoming the sports editor for The Swinging Bridge. He also greatly enjoyed the friendships he established with his schoolmates during his four years as an undergraduate. “The stability of the college experience at Messiah allowed me to be more grounded,” he concludes.

Career Center & Internship Center Experience
Impressed with the quality of services he received at both the Internship Center and the Career Center, Parney speaks highly of both offices. “Everyone was always helpful at Messiah no matter what,” he asserts, “That is the major difference between there and the ‘real world’…” Through the helpful guidance he received from the Internship Center, he obtained an invaluable internship at WHTM TV 27 in the sports department.

Parney photoTransferability
The skills developed while enrolled as a student at Messiah were not difficult for Parney to apply to his current occupation: “The combination of sports and business creates the need for a unique skills package,” he says, as he explains the strengths learned in the classroom, “It is a whole lot of people dealing, a whole lot of listening and making decisions based upon what people are telling you, and a whole bunch of putting your nose to the grindstone and working long hard hours.” There were lessons to be learned off-campus as well.  According to Parney, the experience at his internship was “a key bridge from college to a successful profession.”

What to Do Next
Parney’s next step after graduation was provided by his internship at WHTM TV 27. He seized an opportunity to join the ownership group of the Hershey Impact, a professional soccer team in the American Indoor Soccer Association, and served as the director of public relations for this organization.

Networking & Job Hunting
Throughout his educational experience, Parney has reaped the benefits of effective networking. The relationships he has forged proved invaluable as he embarked upon the job hunting process. At Messiah, his academic adviser provided guidance and timely advice, and they remain “close friends to this day.” Networking with the staff at the Internship Center at Messiah provided him with a position at WHTM TV 27, where he was able to establish the contacts that led to his first career opportunity after college. He indicates that “there were many others as well” who were there to nudge him gently in the right direction – toward the career of his dreams.


• "Get involved in an internship opportunity as soon as possible."
• "Surround yourself with people who genuinely enjoy their careers."
• "Find a job that you wake up to every day with a desire to hurry up and get to work."

Dynamic Process
Before obtaining his current position, Parney was employed by several different sports team franchises. He has served in Hershey with the Impact, as well as with minor league baseball teams the Reading Phillies (AGM) and the Kannapolis Intimidators.

A Typical Day
As a General Manager for the Altoona Curve, the AA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Parney supervises “the day-to-day operations of the franchise from all business details, ballpark operations, [and] basically anything to do with the Curve and Blair County Ballpark.”

A “Why” Moment
Parney admits that the beginning of baseball season is a markedly high-stress period that often leads him to question whether or not he made the right career decisions. “But when I look on ESPN and see players I have known from ten years ago playing in the big leagues…I know it is all good,” he says with confidence. “When the National Anthem is playing and the stands are full at Blair County Ballpark and I see the Little League players standing next to our players, I see lifetime memories being made for these youngsters and I know we are making a difference in people’s lives by what we do on a daily basis.”

Parney senses a deep commitment to the players he serves each day. “I have made a strong commitment to doing whatever I can to help our players deal with the stress of moving up the ladder or figuring out they will never make it,” he says. Baseball Chapel, a ministry that provides Christian chapel leaders to major and minor league basaeball teams, is another aspect of his current vocation that allows Parney to serve God and others through his place of employment. He feels that this is an important outlet through which the players are able to meet their spiritual needs in addition to their professional needs.

Dreams Still Dreaming
When asked about vocational goals, Parney expresses a desire to better exercise a time management structure that clearly reflects where his priorities lie. It is easy to allow his career in baseball to “overwhelm” other areas of his life, but he is constantly trying “to handle the very long hours with a solid family life.” In the future, he plans to better balance a career that he loves with his family life and personal life.


Profile by Brianna Davidson, Summer 2005


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