About Parry Aftab Personally
Parry Aftab is a great cook, loves to entertain and has been working on a novel for the last twelve years. (She calls it her never-ending novel!) She enjoys traveling (except on business). Her huge cat looks more like a Golden Retriever and plays fetch. "Aftab" is her maiden name and her mother and father selected "Parry" together. It was the first and last thing they ever agreed upon. Parry loves empowering others and fights for the underdogs every day of her life. She is passionate about kids and turns to them for advice on ways to improve things online.. Some people love Parry. Some people don't. But all agree that she is a tireless energy source, an inspiration and charismatic.
Parry is a mom of two from the New York metropolitan area and is married to a Canadian child safety advocate, Allan McCullough. Parry splits her time between the US and Canada. She started her law career later than most, having dropped out of college during her first semester at the age of 19 to put her then husband through medical school. (When he was unable to get into a US medical school, he and Parry moved to Guadalajara, Mexico for him to attend a Mexican medical school for two years.) When she finally returned to college at the age of thirty, she had two children, Taylor (who was then 1 year old) and Michael (4 years old at that time).
In order to get to law school as quickly and inexpensively as possible, Parry joined the Thomas Hunter Honors Program at Hunter College in New York, and through a technical loophole, was able to take 36 credit hours a semester for the same price as 15 credit hours. She took double summer session, did independent study and took almost three times the number of credit hours that everyone else took.
Finding the courses that worked within the time schedules was a challenge, but Parry had one goal only -- to become a lawyer. Parry completed her four year degree in a little less than 2 years. She was both Valedictorian and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (Nu Chapter). To learn more about Parry's college experience, read her daughter's essay written for her own college application about the person she admires most in the world.
While in college, Parry swapped services with another student, a graduate student from Namibia, in Africa. Her friend babysat while Parry was in class in exchange for Parry helping her with her class work and teaching her to cook. As a result, Parry's daughter Taylor spoke tribal African when she was two years old and peanut soup was a staple in their diets. Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton cabinet, was President of Hunter College when Parry graduated. At commencement, when introducing Parry for the commencement speech, Dr. Shalala announced that Parry had a perfect 4.0. Until that moment, Parry wasn’t sure she had passed her statistics final.
But college was merely a road to law school for her. She had tried to convince law schools to accept her without having to obtain her college degree, to no avail. So, armed with 1-1/2 year’s credit hours coming in every semester, she applied to law school in the Fall before her graduation. But her applications were submitted with 72 credit hours outstanding. Columbia University School of Law kept returning her application, telling her to reapply when she was in her final year of college. No explaining could help them understand how quickly she was earning her degree. But NYU School of Law called her and sent one of their returning mom students to meet with her and convince her that NYU understood her passion and energy and wanted her.
The following Fall, she registered for NYU School of Law and with her two kids in tow, began her study of law. Taylor would sit under the desks in the lecture hall, coloring and snacking from her lunchbox “briefcase.” She was 2 at the time. Parry, unlike many others, enjoyed law school. There on the first day of class she met her future law partner, Nancy Savitt (of Aftab & Savitt fame). While at NYU, Parry became the first teaching assistant for Professor Anthony Amsterdam, one of the most highly respected jurists of his time, and Professor Dan Collins, a leader in labor law and contract issues.
She took a summer associates position at a big Wall Street firm and began her law practice as a corporate associate at Dewey Ballantine (now know as Dewey LeBeouf). While at Dewey, Parry spent most of her time in mergers and acquisitions and hostile takeovers. She began working on the acquisition of Herman’s Sporting Goods in 1995, later taking them as her first large client when she set up her own law firm a few years later.
Parry grew up in New Jersey. She is married to Allan McCullough, who resides in New Brunswick, Canada. He runs Child Safety Research and Innovation Center, a Canadian non-profit, and is the creator of Sydney Safe-Seeker and the Incredible Journey Home, a computer game designed to measure a child's vulnerability to sexual predators in real life. The game is expected to hit the market mid-2010.
Michael, Parry's son, lives in New Jersey. He is the head of sales in a nationwide media and technology company. Taylor, her daughter, lives in California. Growing up, she has worked with several leading celebrity families, including Russell Simmons and Soledad O’Brien. She now works in a financial management firm for high-net-worth individuals and celebrities. Both of Parry's children are gorgeous, wonderful and caring people. Parry counts them as her greatest success.
Parry has a sister, Deanna, who is a leading pediatric endocrinologist in Tennessee. Her sister used to be the online pediatrician for AOL's parenting channels. Deanna's husband, Jeff, whom Parry considers a brother, rather than a mere brother-in-law, heads burn and trauma at one of the world's leading teaching hospitals. They have five incredible children, the eldest three of whom are already giving friends lectures on online privacy and safety.
Parry's mother, Shirley Hammond, was a nurse and grew up in New England. She was a famous beauty (Parry claims that, sadly, she looks like her father) and is known for being very charming. After she married Parry's father, her mother got involved in the interior design and furniture sales business. She was known for being a hardworking businesswoman, when not many other women were. Her mom was one of the original supermoms.
Her father, Mansur Aftab, was a driven, successful businessman and designer. Having arrived in the United States in the late 40s from Iran, he started a very successful chain of furniture retail stores and real estate-related businesses. He was a jet pilot and very charismatic.
Her mother still resides in New Jersey. Her father was killed in one of his planes in 1990. Parry's little brother, Richard, was killed by a drunk driver when he was only seventeen.