Once upon a time, a young lad named Park, along with five brothers, a sister and their parents, grew up in the “Happy H” in Woodinville, Washington. Over time, Park grew tired of the gloom and rain of the Pacific Northwest and decided to move to Phoenix in 1985.
The story of Park Howell’s beginning is fitting, for he is all about storytelling.
Howell makes his living teaching people how to tell their stories. More specifically, he works with companies and organizations through his consulting practice, Business of Story.
“After 30 years in the advertising business, owning and operating my agency right here in Arcadia, I realized that there was a better way to present commercial messages,” Howell said. “It’s not about facts and figures; it’s about crafting a gripping brand narrative that customers can’t resist.”
Creating the perfect story is easier said than done, which is why Howell created his patented Story Cycle System, a 10-step approach to telling memorable and persuasive stories. The effectiveness of his system has led to work with companies like Dell, McCormick & Company, and the U.S. Air Force.
Howell has taught his applied science and bewitchery of storytelling at Arizona State University’s Executive Masters of Sustainable Leadership program, transforming students into Chief Storytelling Officers.
“You have to understand the magic to cast the spell,” he proclaims in the first chapter of his recently published book, Brand Bewitchery.
Howell’s other passion is music. He began writing music in the third grade.
“The first live musical I experienced was Yankee Doodle Dandy, and it blew me away. From then on, I always wanted to be a producer in the entertainment business, and I got to do some of that in college,” Howell said. “I earned degrees in both communications and music composition and theory, which led me into the advertising business.”
And that would lead him to Michele, his wife of 34 years. She worked at the same ad agency he joined right out of Washington State University. They have a daughter, Corbin, and sons Parker and Caedon, and have enjoyed raising their family in Arcadia.
“When I was first introduced to Arcadia, I immediately wondered how I could get in there. I even love the word Arcadia.”
The 59-year-old entrepreneur believes success in business is “fifty percent showing up and fifty percent following up. Do the math, and it’s an ‘all in’ proposition.”
Howell’s philosophy has earned him many accolades during his career, including the prestigious “Ad Person of the Year Award” in 2010 by the American Federation of Advertising of Metro Phoenix. His ad agency, Park&Co, was also recognized among the Top 10 Impact Companies in Arizona by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
When asked what advice he has for the next generation, he says, “Exactly what my dad told me… ‘just give your family your time and your love.’”
No wonder his father named his childhood home the Happy H.