How Hal is Working For YouA veteran, small business owner, and community leader, Hal Parrish has spent his career working to make life better for the people of Manassas and Prince William County.
A Passion to Serve
At 14, Hal started working at Manassas Ice and Fuel Co. (MIFCO), a business his family opened in Manassas over 90 years ago. He started out bagging ice and cleaning furnaces. By 17, he was installing ducts for HVAC systems. From his parents, Hal learned the value of hard work and a good education, and graduated at the top of his class from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Physics.
Inspired by his dad’s service and leadership, Hal joined the US Air Force ROTC while at UVA. After graduating, Hal was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and started work in the Flight Dynamics Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, working in research and development in weapons systems. While in the Air Force, he continued his education, earning a master’s degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University.
The Strength to Lead
After five years working in research and development in the Air Force, Hal returned to Manassas and the family business. He worked alongside his mom and dad, doing everything from driving fuel trucks to managing the day-to-day operations to keeping payroll, learning firsthand the challenges and risks that come with owning a small business.
Despite working long hours and through weekends, Hal remained active in his community, volunteering with the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company and Manassas Airport Commission. Recognized for his passion for the city, he was appointed to the Manassas City Council in 1993 and was elected in 1996, 2000, and 2004. In 1999, Hal was elected Vice Mayor by the Council and in 2008 was elected Mayor.
The Wisdom to Listen
Listening to and working with leaders in his community, Hal’s helped turn the challenges of a tough economy into opportunities that have revitalized Old Town Manassas, encouraged the growth of new housing, the arts, and tourism, and attracted new job creators to greater Manassas and western Prince William County.
Hal is a lifelong resident of Manassas and in his community has served on the boards of the Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce, Manassas Airport Board, Prince William Hospital Foundation, and American Red Cross. He currently serves on the George Mason University Prince William Campus Advisory Board and also serves as a Commissioner on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Hal and his wife Cheryl live in Manassas and have three children, Trey, Sam, and Syd.