Leon W. Parma
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Retired Trustee

September 17, 1981 through June 2019

Leon W. Parma is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Genesis Financial Services Fund, LLC. He has an extensive career in several business disciplines that includes banking, real estate, manufacturing, broadcasting, distribution, baseball and government.

He was a founder and Chairman of the Board of La Jolla Bank and Trust Co. for 20 years, and he negotiated the merger of the bank with Security Pacific, which in turn was acquired by Bank of America. Mr. Parma has owned and managed La Jolla Capital, Inc., holding company for Coast Distributing Co., a distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. He was also an owner and board chairman of Par Broadcasting Co., Inc., an operator of several San Diego radio stations; PAR Tower Communications Co.; Lyon Technologies, Inc.; Parma Management Co., Inc.; Parma Property Co., Inc.; PFT Storage, Inc., operator of SD Storage; and, Pacific Capital Trading Co., Inc. with offices in the San Francisco Bay area, Taiwan and China.

His early career included executive positions with Teledyne, Inc., Solar Aircraft Co., California State Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Parma has also been co-owner of the San Diego Padres Baseball Club from 1990 to 1995. He served in Washington, D.C. as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bob Wilson (1958-1962); and was a member of the transition team for President Gerald R. Ford from Vice President to President. Mr. Parma was a close personal friend of President Ford and golf partner for five decades. He was an Honorary Pallbearer at President Ford’s State Funeral.

Mr. Parma received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from San Diego State University, where he also played football for 3 years as varsity quarterback. He and his wife Barbara have four children, 13 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Read Oral History Interview with Leon Parma

(L-R) Leon Parma, Barbara Parma, First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald R. Ford in the Oval Office following the Swearing-in of President Ford as the 38th President of the United States. (Photo Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library)

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