We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanne Parrent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joanne, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
One of the things I like best about our work is that we help people solve all types of problems. But our job, unlike attorneys, is not to be advocates. It is simply to find the facts and the truth, which is the first step in helping people deal with problems. Individuals and their attorneys come to us when they have been ripped off by someone, are a victim of some fraud, are in the throes of a difficult divorce, have a missing relative, someone is stalking or harassing them – all kinds of reasons. We do our best to find the information they need to ultimately find some relief or justice. Companies also come to us to help them solve problems – they might want to merge with or purchase another company but need a thorough background investigation, they might have an employee who is suspected of stealing from them and need an outside investigator or they need us to locate assets of another company that has not paid them. Some of the work we are most proud of is our work in environmental cases where our research has identified unknown polluters who can be held responsible in a clean-up actions or have located witnesses who can attest to the level of contamination by known polluters.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are a full service private investigation company. We do everything other investigators do but we are particularly proud of our asset locating ability as well as our work on environmental cases. I think for our company the most important factor behind our business success is that we both like the work we do. We are both curious by nature, good researchers and think outside the box, skills necessary for investigators. My writing background and Nic’s experience as an investigator in other companies and training in intelligence also gave us a leg up. Starting a business is never easy and I was worried that by starting a new company I wouldn’t make enough to cover my expenses. I had been a freelance writer for many years and had been able to make ends meet then, but that was before I was a homeowner. My partner, who had run his own investigative company in the past, assured me that we would be okay. His calm resolve certainly helped me take the leap. We made a plan to reach out to potential clients and soon we were off and running. We hit some slow times during our 15 years in business and I think what has helped is putting our issues in perspective. Is it a recession and are other people struggling also? Do we have the resources to wait it out? Are there markets or potential clients we aren’t tapping? I guess the most important thing about our company is that we always discuss our cases, so every client gets the help two investigators input, not just one. And we both love solving our clients’ problems.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A lot would depend on my friend and what he or she might be interested in, but here are some ideas I could suggest, particularly if he or she has never been here. Maybe start with a day at the beach. If it was too cold to actually swim, we could drive up the coast and stop and walk along the beach. We could stop in Malibu for a bite and to give my friend a tour of the iconic area or maybe have dinner at Nobu – or the famous Gladstones. We could spend a second day at the beach in Venice – a totally different beach experience. We would walk along the Oceanfront and eat lunch at the Fig Tree. We could go to the other side of the city and walk around the beautiful Huntington Gardens and have lunch at the tea room in the Rose Garden. Beverly Hills is another option. We could go there for a nice walk around town and along the park that parallels Santa Monica. Then eat lunch or dinner at Il Pastaio. If something interesting was happening at the Wallis, we could try to get tickets. We could check out the Hollywood studios, drive by Paramount and Warner Brothers. If my friend was really into the studio thing, we could take the backlot tour at Universal and eat somewhere at the Universal Citywalk. If he or she could skip Universal, we might instead see what is playing at the Pantages and while there check out some of the stars on the famous Walk of Fame. We could go to the Getty and check out the exhibits and fantastic views and then have dinner at their restaurant. We could combine a trip to LACMA with the downtown arts district. While downtown, if something was playing at Disney Hall we could go. If not, we’d just have a dinner at Patina. Then, exhausted, I’d put my friend on the plane home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our success at Parrent Smith Investigations is due to the different talents my partner, Nic Smith, and I each bring to the business. So, my first shoutout would be to him. His calm experience and curious mind have helped me become a better investigator. I also would like to give a shoutout to all of our many longtime clients who have had confidence in us and referred other clients to us. We are members of two professional organizations – California Association of Licensed Investigators and World Association of Detectives, both of which have helpful list-serves where we have found terrific subcontractors to work with when we needed them on various cases. And, of course, each of us have had the love and support of our spouses from the moment we started the business 15 years ago.
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneparrent/ and https://www.linkedin.com/company/parrent-smith-investigations-and-research/
Other: https://www.cali-pi.org/index.php?option=com_community&view=profile&userid=27175672 https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Parrent-Smith-Investigations-and-Research-EI_IE256959.11,52.htm https://www.acq-intl.com/winners/parrent-smith-investigations-joanne-parrent/