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Parham Parastaranis an Iranian-American entrepreneur and author with a passion for discussing mental health issues in the business community. 


After fleeing Iran as a child during the midst of the Iranian revolution, Parham became the epitome of the American Dream. He built multi-million-dollar business Car-X Tire & Auto, a franchise of tire and auto repair shops that quickly grew from a single store in Champaign, Illinois to 16 locations. 


Although he enjoyed success as an entrepreneur, he had a secret: He suffered from severe depression and addiction. A rock-bottom moment led to signing himself up for psychoanalysis, starting a journey that opened up the darkest doors within himself and found him revisiting a childhood of trauma. Over 15 years after that first psychoanalysis session, he chronicles his powerful story in new memoir, Perfect Pain.


Shifting to a focus on mental health advocacy, Parastaran stepped away as a business owner and successfully sold Car-X Tire & Autoin 2017 to Monro Muffler Brake, a New York-based publicly traded auto company that operates in 25 states and owns over 1,000 locations, adding over $15 million in revenue to Monro’s business. 


Beyond his passion for advocacy and entrepreneurship, Parham is heavily involved in his community through philanthropic efforts. While owning Car-X, he hosted the Car-X Crazy K, a charity 5K race held in his home city of Champaign, Illinois which raised over $300,000 for over 30 charities throughout its tenure. Parastaran’s penchant for charity won the former Champaign Central High School graduate the C-U Schools Foundation’s Local Business Community Impact Award in 2016. 


He graduated from the University of Illinois, and later attained an MBA through the university, where he often returns to give talks to current business students. Parham is married to his wife, Jennifer, and they have three daughters. They live in Champaign, Illinois. For more information, please visit

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