By Dan Yount 

The Cincinnati Herald

Victoria Parks. Photo provided

Victoria Parks, former chief of staff to retired Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune has been named by the Hamilton County Democratic Party Central Committee as his temporary “placeholder’’ or successor. Parks, who has been Portune’s chief of staff since 2016, was recommended by Portune as his temporary replacement 

As a placeholder, she has agreed to step down after the March 17 primary, in which three Democrats are running for Portune’s seat. The winner of that primary would replace Parks as an incumbent county commissioner and run for a full term in the fall. The seat is sought by three Democrats in the March 17, 2020, primary. They are Alicia Reece, Kelly Prather and Connie Pillich. The Republican who filed for the seat is Andy Black.       

Portune has endorsed Pillich in the three way primary.  

Parks said she never had any intention of filing to run for the seat.  

As Parks joins the commissionit is the first time all three commissioners are women, and the first time two of the three are African American. 

IN her duties as Portune’s chief of staff, Parks represented the commissioner on several boards, including Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Transportation Agency, Oral Health Commission, Transportation Improvement District, SORTA and The Port Authority. 

Victoria Parks, former chief of staff to retired Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, was approved by the Hamilton County Democratic Party Saturday to temporarily replace Portune. Photo taken at Portune’s retirement party in December by Michael Mitchell

Prior to her work with the County Commission, Parks served as Major Gifts Officer at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center where she fundraised and wrote grants to support its world class exhibits and programs. From 2011-2015 Parks served as the development director at the Women’s Crisis Center, where she led award winning community outreach and fundraising campaigns to support its domestic violence and sexual assault shelters and programs in 13 counties of Northern Kentucky and Buffalo Trace. 

Parks started her non-profit and government community outreach representative career as for Congressman Steve Driehaus from 2010-2011, having worked in the corporate world for 30 years in customer service and marketing at United Parcel Service, Mitsubishi Electric Manufacturing and Cognis Corporation. Parks is an enlisted United States Air Force Veteran having served honorably from 1976 -1980 where she earned E-4 ranking, was trained and served as personnel specialist. She is awarded the Air Force Longevity Service Award and Air Force Good Conduct Medal. 

An avid community volunteer, Parks currently serves as board president, AMOS Project, past Parish Council member at St. Joseph Catholic Church, The Women’s Fund Advocacy Committee, past board member of The Archdiocese of Cincinnati Communication Commission, former Association of Fundraising Professionals Scholarship director and Airport Greeter Committee, World Choir Games. 

A life-long Cincinnatian, Parks grew up in West College Hill, attended Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools, St. Richard of Chichester and Our Lady of Angels, and graduated from Aiken High School in 1976. Parks received an Associate Degree from Southern Ohio College in Computer Programing in 1981. 

She resides in College Hill and enjoys travel, reading, cooking and gardening, loves football, and spending time with her daughter, grandchildren, extended family and friends.

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