SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 19, 2019 – Parlay House (www.parlayhouse.com), a gathering place for women who want to build connections outside their usual circles by exploring topics they care about, announced today that following this month’s successful kick-off in London, it will be expanding the organization in January 2020 with new Parlay House locations in Paris, Atlanta, Denver and a Pacific Northwest Chapter encompassing Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver B.C.
Founded in 2012 by Anne Devereux-Mills, a former advertising agency CEO, the goal of the organization is to spark authentic conversations and build meaningful, supportive relationships among women who might not otherwise know each other. The name Parlay House came from the observation that the members who find the greatest value in the gatherings are at an inflection point in their lives, where “parlaying” one thing into another is crucial to their sense of self, community, and connection.
“My goal in starting Parlay House was to connect women in a trusted setting where they could get outside of their usual circles and replace ‘transactional’ relationships with authentic ones,” says Devereux-Mills. “It’s an organization that defines women by what we care about as individuals, and not what we do for a living or how others perceive us. The content we present through our speakers provides a platform for us to begin conversations, and those discussions evolve into meaningful friendships, collaborations, and initiatives.”
Currently, Parlay House hosts recurring gatherings in multiple cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London, England. Recent events have covered a broad range of topics, including dealing with narcissism, battling perfectionism and finding humor in unexpected places. The groups have also heard from women whose experiences differ dramatically from ours, including a panel of women who survived genocide, activists working to combat human trafficking, and women who have dared to run for political office.
In addition to expanding the cities of operation, Devereux-Mills will publish her first book in January 2020, “The Parlay Effect: How Female Connection Can Change the World. She chronicles her observation that small and positive acts from one woman to the next (as witnessed at Parlay House and beyond) trigger subsequent positive and impactful experiences that build exponentially. The book provides scientific research into how the “Parlay Effect” happens when someone witnesses an act of kindness, empathy, or generosity, and then incorporates that behavior into their own lives.
“During this unique moment in history, women are redefining not only who they are as individuals but how they can make a difference in the lives of others – whether in their communities or around the world,” says Devereux-Mills. “As we enter a new decade, I am thrilled to extend the Parlay House experience for women in new cities and in the book. It’s a way to take control at a time when so many of us feel overwhelmed by the issues that surround us personally, professionally, nationally and globally.”
About Anne Devereux-Mills:
ANNE DEVEREUX-MILLS is the accomplished CEO, entrepreneur and documentary film executive behind Parlay House, which she founded in 2012. Parlay House is committed to sparking authentic conversations and building meaningful, supportive relationships across a diverse range of women. It currently has more than 5,000 participants and operates in six cities across the U.S. and Europe.
Devereux-Mills is also a dedicated mentor for SHE-CAN, an organization supporting and grooming the next generation of female world leaders coming from post-genocide countries. She was a key member of the team that helped pass California’s Proposition 36, which brought fair sentencing to thousands of non-violent inmates as part of California’s Three Strikes reform. Following that victory, she was the Executive Producer for the Emmy-nominated documentary film entitled “The Return” and is currently Executive Producing “Mississippi Red.” Devereux-Mills supported Stanford University by serving as the Executive Director of Healthy Body Image Programs. Her philanthropic work has been recognized by a range of organizations, including SHE-CAN, Advertising Women of New York, The All-Stars Foundation, Project Kesher and Worldwide Women.
Prior to her philanthropic ventures, Anne served in leadership roles at BBDO, LLNS and TBWA/WorldHealth, Consumer Healthworks, a division of Merkley and Partners, as well as Harrison & Star. Anne also helped launch the iHUG Foundation, a not-for-profit school in Uganda supporting some of that nation’s most needy children. She is a graduate of Wellesley College.
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