2016 Tillman Scholar

David Parkinson

Air Force
University of Oregon
M.S., Sports Product Management

“I can make the outdoors more accessible by developing reliable products for outdoor enthusiasts.”

Growing up learning about his grandfather’s service in World War II and his father’s combined 14 years of service with the Army and Navy led David to the United States Air Force while struggling to provide for his family as he pursued a college education. David knew the Air Force would provide him with the opportunity to complete his college education and provide for his family all while serving and giving back to the American people. Unable to complete his degree as quickly as intended, David felt he had made a mistake joining the military but soon realized he needed to learn more about himself and see where his real mission in life lies – outdoors and helping others.

Throughout his nine years of service with the Air Force, the strong work ethic, dedication and self-realization David learned has inspired him to combine his two passions, helping others enjoy the outdoors by providing them with the equipment they need to be safe in their outdoor pursuits. With community also being very important to David, he spent the final two years of his enlistment volunteering with Southern Arizona Rescue Association, where he helped rescue individuals who were lost or injured and continued his community service as a ski patroller post-separation. David’s experiences in the Air Force leading multiple high-value strategic projects and in his community service activities has helped him transition into a successful career as a Product Director in the Fitness Industry. Today, David ties his passions for the outdoors and serving others by creating functional fitness products that help people live longer, live better, and get outdoors.