Donna Parks Publisher and Owner
Donna started Southern Bride & Groom in 1986 as the first North Carolina bridal publication. With a business plan that focused on growing the magazine slowly and incorporating only the finest wedding venues and experienced and reliable professionals, Donna developed a roster of advertisers who are staples within the local wedding industry. She has evolved the magazine into an inspirational index of wedding photography and planning ideas, and expanded the business to include an extensive vendor resource bridal Website & Blog. Today, due to Donna’s role at Southern Bride & Groom and in the local bridal community, SB&G remains the Triangle’s premier wedding planning publication. Prior to founding Southern Bride & Groom, Donna worked as the Director of Sales and Production for the Duke Chronicle, and for her father’s publishing company, MarMac Incorporated. Donna holds a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. She and Southern Bride & Groom have a 10-year membership with NACE Triangle Chapter (National Association of Catering Executives) and is a member of the TBA (Triangle Bridal Association). Her favorite charities are the Durham Rescue Mission and Share Your Christmas. Donna is not only knowledgeable about planning weddings but about having a successful marriage; she has been married to her husband, Rick, for over 3 decades. Photo by Brian Mullins Photography.
Jenna Parks Olender Co-Publisher & Director of Sales
Jenna grew up with Southern Bride & Groom, as it is, after all, her mother’s company. When she came along to help out at bridal shows during high school and college, Jenna never guessed that she would end up working alongside her mother one day. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, she moved to Brooklyn and worked in the arts for several years, first doing fundraising for a professional dance company, and then raising money for the World Financial Center’s free public arts program by booking private events, promotional events, and film/photo shoots. Although her NYC career did not deal with weddings, she got a peek into the event world through these positions. When she moved back to North Carolina to become Donna’s partner in Southern Bride & Groom, and then became engaged a couple months later, she learned a lot about the world of weddings very quickly! There is nothing like planning your own wedding to inspire wedding fever, and working with Southern Bride & Groom has become a passion. Jenna is proud to be part of an industry with wonderful people on a joyous mission to create beautiful weddings. Jenna serves on the Board of Directors of Triangle NACE. She lives in Durham with her new husband, Shawn, and their two cats, Bootsy Collins and Matilda. Photo by Brian Mullins Photography.
Patricia Campbell Art Director
Patricia is a graphic designer who finds inspiration in the small details of everyday life–whether it’s the color of a coffee can or the curve of a tree trunk. Her clean, uncluttered designs accentuate the magazine’s photographs and articles without distracting from them. Patricia’s fastidious attention to detail has earned recognition from Addy Awards, the local level of the American Advertising Federation and MAME Awards (Major Achievements in Marketing Excellence). New Homes and Ideas, Triangle Newcomer, and Life Health magazines have featured Patricia’s award-winning designs. A respect for organization and structure, flow and balance is reflected in Patricia’s designs, and permeates all aspects of her life. This stems from growing up in an environment where art was valued and encouraged. Patricia’s mother, a volunteer art teacher for more than 25 years, was dedicated to making art accessible to children in Louisiana. She inspired Patricia’s love of art, nature and beauty in all things, and showed Patricia that through art, the world can be a better place. In addition to art and design, Patricia enjoys yoga and the outdoors. She is also an avid collector of milk glass, vintage hats and found objects to decorate her yard. Photo by Brian Mullins Photography.
Leah Cagwin Lead Blog Writer
Leah graduated with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill and brings her writing skills and social media prowess to the Southern Bride & Groom Team. A true Southern girl down to her roots, Leah has idolized the likes of Scarlett O’Hara and other noteworthy Southern belles for years. She loves everything about the South — from the sweet tea and fried pickles to monograms and seersucker bow ties. Before coming to Southern Bride & Groom, Leah worked as Assistant Sports Editor at UNC’s newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, and spent a summer in New York interning with the New York Times. She’s thrilled to have found a job that encompasses all of her passions — writing, magazines, the South, and of course, weddings! Though she’s fairly new to the industry, she’s falling more and more in love with it every day, especially after her own wedding to her husband, Austen last May! Photo by Brian Mullins Photography.
Allison Clarke Sales Associate
Allison grew up in Chapel Hill and has always had an affinity for weddings and fashion – the industry in which she holds her degree. She lived in New York City after college, working for a woman’s contemporary showroom and Badgley Mischka, where she was the assistant to the PR Director. After moving back to North Carolina, she worked at several high-end boutiques, but she is excited to be back in the wedding industry – her lifelong passion for the field has only grown in recent months, as she plans her own wedding with her fiancé, Bryan! Photo by Brian Mullins Photography.