Parsons legacy at CSU is one of large projects, connections

As Amy Parsons steps away from a collective 16 years at Colorado State University and the CSU System, she leaves a legacy as a respected leader and colleague responsible for landmark projects and strong community connections forged.

Parsons is leaving her post as Executive Vice Chancellor of the CSU System to become the first CEO of Mozzafiato LLC, an American company that represents a collection of selected Italian heritage beauty brands coming to the U.S. market.

“Amy is an amazing colleague, and we couldn’t be happier for her as she takes this next step. The CSU System is where it is today in no small part because of Amy and her willingness to lean into massive and complicated projects and make them happen. She leaves a great legacy, and will be a great CEO,” said Tony Frank, chancellor of the CSU System.

Amy Parsons, former executive vice chancellor for the CSU System.

Massive projects — not only in scope — often in size. Parsons helped lead some of the System’s most high-profile projects, including planning and construction of the Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, the creation of the CSU Todos Santos Center campus in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the development of the new CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center in Denver.

“It will be hard to overstate Amy’s contribution to Colorado State University’s growth in Denver. As the Spur campus comes off the page to reality, CSU will be bigger and known much more widely than ever before. To me, Amy Parsons in a nutshell is this: She thinks big and cares about people. It comes through in all her work and she leaves a legacy of a strong team in place. CSU will miss Amy but benefit from her contributions for many years,” said Henry Sobanet, CFO for the System office.

Her built environment legacy is one thing, but her belief in people is perhaps what will be most remembered by those who worked with Parsons.

“Amy’s steadfast advocacy for the CSU Todos Santos Center over the years has empowered our stakeholders — students, faculty, staff, and community members — to explore global perspectives,” said Kim Kita, director of the CSU Todos Santos Center. “Amy’s belief in the Center and commitment to the Baja California Sur community helped lay the groundwork for transformative experiential learning opportunities for learners of all ages from the U.S. and from Mexico. We will remember this impact and always welcome her back to the Center and to Todos Santos.”

The local Todos Santos Center team added: “¡Felicidades Amy! Te deseamos lo mejor en tu nuevo trabajo. ¡Nos vemos pronto!” (Congratulations Amy! We wish you the best in your new job. See you soon!)

Rick Miranda, professor of Mathematics and Chief Academic Officer of the CSU System, worked with Parsons in her role as executive vice chancellor, as well as her previous CSU Fort Collins roles of vice president for university operations and deputy general counsel.

“We went on several trips together establishing international partnerships as part of our China Programs strategy, and with the development of our Todos Santos campus, and of course worked on many initiatives together on our Fort Collins campus, as well. She always came prepared, was a great contributor and leader, super articulate, a fantastic representative for all things CSU, and a delight to work with. Spero che ci divertiremo incontrandoci a Roma in futuro! (I hope we will meet in Rome in the future!),” said Miranda.

Parsons’ reputation for delivering thoughtful and quality outcomes internally, is matched by her positive reputation in Denver and her time to engage and connect with external groups on behalf of the CSU System.

In 2017, Denver Business Journal named her one of its 12 Outstanding Women in Business, honoring her innovation, entrepreneurship, professional accomplishment, and community leadership.

In her executive role with the System, Parsons was active in the Denver community, including service on boards such as Metro Denver Economic Development CorporationBoys and Girls Clubs of Metro DenverBig Green, and the National Western Center Authority Board. Also, as a volunteer with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Parsons participated as one of the Denver stars in the 2018 Dancing with the Denver Stars, and returned in 2019 as an Alumni Dancer.

CSU System executive vice chancellor Amy Parsons performs routine with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance coach Cedric Hall at the Dancing with the Denver Stars fundraiser, Aug. 25, 2018.

Parsons performs routine with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance coach Cedric Hall at the Dancing with the Denver Stars fundraiser, Aug. 25, 2018.

“Amy played an integral role establishing and growing the partnership between CSU and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver,” said Erin Porteous, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. “While Amy is a strong advocate for higher education, she also understands the imperative role of sharing the ‘college experience’ with middle and high school students — particularly those who are first-generation college bound. Through her collaborative efforts, many Boys & Girls Club teens were able to walk the CSU campus, view classes and get a glimpse of the ‘college life.’ These field trips over the years provided hope and excitement for many Club members who otherwise considered college out of reach. We are grateful to Amy for her leadership in the community and her commitment to philanthropic partnership — especially for our next generation of future leaders.”

Parsons said she loved every moment of representing CSU and the CSU System, and said she’ll never be far away.

“I’m grateful for all the opportunities and wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years as part of the CSU System,” she said. “And as a proud CSU alumna, I’ll always be an ambassador for our campuses no matter where my work life takes me.”