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We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing  |  269.350.2811

Go West, Mr. Parish

In the late 1940s, Air Zo co-founder Preston “Pete” Parish (1919-2020) averaged 3,000 miles a month en route from San Diego to Vancouver; Spokane to Salt Lake City; Phoenix to Los Angeles—but not by air! 

Pete traveled by train, bus, and infrequently by car in a job he particularly enjoyed: Sales.

Based out of Los Angeles, Pete found the work a pleasure. “I had a wonderful time,” he said in a 2001 oral history interview. Before relocating to the West Coast in June of 1946, not long after his WWII service with the U.S. Marine Corps, Pete returned to work for a company in Chicago. In the factory, Pete “relearned how to assemble dies and all the things that a salesman has to do in the field.” That's when the company offered him a special opportunity as they opened a West Coast office. They chose Pete to help get the California office up and running. “An older and very experienced and very nice guy who served as sales manager” accompanied the young salesman to California. According to Pete, “I got the rest of my sales training eventually from him.” 

Pete's work with the company also took him to Saint Catherines, Ontario two years before the Upjohn Company offered him the position that would find him right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And we are thankful for that!

Learn more about Pete Parish’s story in our exclusive, forthcoming exhibit scheduled for later this fall. 

Posted by Nikki Statler at 3:05 PM
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