Author/Women’s Advocate Anne Devereux-Mills Reveals How She Overcame Life Crisis to Create Global Women’s Organization Creating Positive Change

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San Francisco, CA – January 29, 2020 – The Parlay Effect which tells the story of how Anne Devereux-Mills set off a worldwide cascade of positive change by gathering a small group of women to talk openly about dealing with life’s most difficult transitions and challenges has become an instant bestseller for its incredible accounts of survival, transformation, and empowerment.

Back in 2010, Devereux-Mills learned that her cancer had returned, and a critical surgery was the only way to fight it. What she didn’t expect was that taking the time off from running a busy New York City advertising agency would ultimately strip her of her hard-won role as CEO. As Devereux-Mills began to reflect on what had been missing while she was a single mom raising kids and running global companies, she noticed that many of the people she had considered friends were gone, the friendships having been framed by “transactional favors rather than genuine connection.”

Inspired to help other women avoid the same mistakes, she founded Parlay House in 2012.  A now-international series of salons, Parlay House brings diverse groups of women together based on topics they care about yet have few other safe spaces to address. During the early gatherings, Anne observed that the women who benefited most from these meetings shared one thing in common: they were at an inflection point in their lives, parlaying one thing into another was crucial to their senses of self, community, and hope. She discovered that they triggered a series of micro-actions among the participants, resulting in new waves of connection, support, and strength. One woman helped another in some small way, cascading onto a third woman, and so on. This was the Parlay Effect.

The Parlay Effect: How Female Connection Can Change the World shares these insights to show how small actions can result not only in a meaningful boost in self-awareness, confidence, and vision, but also become the genesis for communities that have a positive and multiplying effect in their impact. Woven in are the findings from research investigating the social science behind the Parlay Effect that Devereux-Mills conducted in collaboration with Dr. Serena Chen, a tenured Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Through this combination of scientific research, Devereux-Mills’ personal story, and those of women she has met, The Parlay Effect offers a blueprint for anyone who is going through a life transition or looking for more authenticity in their life. Devereux-Mills will help individuals reframe their relationships and in turn:

  • Know how to use the wisdom gained from these experiences as a catalyst for acts of kindness that can become exponentially powerful;

  • Feel stronger in your ability to help others;

  • Feel empowered at a time when many of us feel helpless;

  • Know how to be part of creating communities that are shaped by personal value; and, 

  • Feel more empathy, joy, inspiration, energy, peace, confidence, and clarity.

ANNE DEVEREUX-MILLS is an accomplished CEO, entrepreneur and documentary film executive. She founded Parlay House in 2012 as an organization “committed to sparking authentic conversations and building meaningful, supportive relationships across a diverse range of women.”

Parlay House has over 5,000 participants across the U.S. and Europe and hosts recurring gatherings in multiple cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Washington, D.C. and London, England among others. Recent events have covered a broad range of – often skipped over – topics, including dealing with narcissism, battling perfectionism and finding humor in unexpected places. Members hear personal stories from women whose experiences differ dramatically from their own including a panel of women who survived genocide, activists working to combat human trafficking, and women who have dared to run for political office despite seemingly overwhelming odds and obstacles.

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 Director for the Emmy-nominated documentary film entitled, The Return and is currently Executive Directing two additional films, Mississippi Red and The Green Dress. 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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Patrick Taylor

Martha Kiley

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