Our Stories

Employee Spotlight: Arthur Parker

Employee Spotlight: Arthur Parker

If you’re at all familiar with the Portland music scene, you probably know that every December, the Alberta Rose Theatre comes to life with the sights of a talented troupe of circus performers and the sounds of a classic Beatles album.

Called “The White Album Xmas,” the show combines a note-for-note performance of the Fab Four’s seminal album from Portland’s The NowHere Band and the visual acrobatics and antics of the Rose City Circus.

If you’ve taken in this festive spectacle anytime since 2008, then you’ve already caught a glimpse of Gard’s Lead Developer, Arthur Parker. He’s been The NowHere Band’s bassist for more than 15 years.

Beyond the bass, Arthur’s a seasoned web developer with more than 20 years in the business. A graduate of Emory University with a degree in philosophy, he joined Gard full-time in April 2021, so we thought now would be a good time to turn the spotlight his way.

What do you do at Gard?

I’m the Web Developer, which means I build websites. People often think that means I’m a web designer, but I’m not. (Please don’t make me choose colors or fonts.) I’m more of a programmer or coder. At Gard, we usually build websites in WordPress, so in addition to building templates for the various pages, I’ll also build any custom plugins or other special functionality.

When did you start here?

I originally did some contract work for Gard in 2015-2016. I was asked to do more contract work in late 2018 and was made Of Counsel status in January 2019. I became a full-time employee in April 2021.

What do you like about working here?

After freelancing for years, it’s nice to have the support and camaraderie of a bunch of nice co-workers. I appreciate how reliable, trustworthy and smart everyone is at Gard. 

What led you to this work or job?

I was working in a university library during the early days of the internet and web. I was the first person I knew who had email, so I was active on the internet when it was still an unsettled place, full of possibility. The openness and egalitarianism of the web still keeps me interested and inspired.

Where did you grow up and what was unique about it?

I spent my childhood in Alabama and my pre-teen and teenage years in Georgia. 

Do you have any pets?

My wife and I have three cats, and we’re extremely involved in their lives.

Tell us a little more about your musical interests.

I’ve been a semi-working musician in Portland for almost 20 years.  I play the bass, and I’ve played in rock bands, indie bands and old-timey jazz bands.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise us?

In high school in Georgia, I worked as a weekend DJ at a small AM radio station that played country music. Imagine a slightly updated version of the radio station in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” On Saturday I would spin records (45s!), but on Sunday most of my shift was purchased by preachers, so I’d set them up with a microphone and they’d talk while I read a book. I was also responsible for calling up the police and fire departments and reporting any news they gave me. Usually there wasn’t any.

Arthur and his wife, Keri.