Alumni Spotlight: Parker White
Nashville, Tennessee, native and College of Business Administration alumnus Parker White has traveled a long way in a short time. Today, White is based in Shanghai, China, as the national sustainability manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, a U.S.-based, NYSE listed (JLL), real estate finance and operations service company. White is working with a core team to launch the company's new Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) business line across Greater China (Hong Kong, China, Macau, and Taiwan). He also oversees the regional marketing activities of ESS across Asia Pacific.
Being a part of Jones Lang LaSalle— the second largest commercial real estate service provider in the world, the largest in Asia Pacific, and the industry leader in Greater China—has provided White the opportunity to work with many of the world’s tallest buildings, largest urban real estate developments, and most innovative Fortune 500 corporations. As the Greater China head of business development for ESS—a business line that delivers environmental, energy efficiency, and renewable energy solutions for the real estate portfolios of institutional investors, developers, and corporations—White is responsible for building strategic partnerships, acquiring new business, managing existing stakeholder relationships, and developing the business line's growth strategy for the country.
White has built his career with an eye on the future, which has meant learning fluent Mandarin and earning accreditation by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.
Asked why he first decided to move to China, White says, “I was lucky to have a mentor and professor at UT, Dr. Richard Reizenstein, who urged me to be aware of the global changes going on around me and particularly to prepare for a world with a rising China. I trusted what he taught me and heeded his advice. For me, that meant moving.”
After graduating with honors from UT in 2006, White moved to Shanghai to learn Chinese and build his international experience. He started his career in corporate real estate as a broker with the American firm Colliers International and later applied his sales experience to growing the non-profit Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), where he had the opportunity to work daily with the organization’s founder and Time magazine’s Environmental Hero, Peggy Liu.
On living and working in Asia, White says: “Aside from working in a very exciting city and field, living abroad has given me the chance to see things I had never previously imagined seeing. I have visited lost temples in Java, climbed active volcanoes on islands off the coast of Sumatra, hiked through ancient rainforests in Malaysia, explored coral reef off the coast of Borneo, drank yak tea with monks in the Himalayas, and been blessed to have shared countless other experiences with amazing friends.”