Meet David Bequette
Though my personal and professional journey has taken me around the world, I am returning to Illinois because I am passionate about giving our citizens the best opportunities the world has to offer, the most common-sense social protections, a no-nonsense plan to cutting wasteful spending, and the most pragmatic leadership that can be mustered.
Born and raised in Columbia, Illinois, I am the eldest of 3 boys, and a product of a blue-collar, hardworking American family. I graduated from Columbia High School and attended Missouri Baptist College on an athletic and academic scholarship. One year later, I set off to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where I spent five years serving our country and defending U.S. interests in Indonesia, China, and Malta. Over the past 15 years, I completed my degree at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, worked as a government contractor, built 3 social enterprises, lectured undergraduate and graduate students in marketing and leadership, and created two non-profit organizations. My wife, Irina, is a well-respected political scientist and activist, who also happens to be my best friend and confidant. I am deeply inspired by working to create a better future for our three amazing children.
Quick Facts About David
- David was born at St. Anthony’s hospital in St. Louis and grew up in Columbia, Illinois.
- David is a graduate of Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville.
- David was government contractor, managing TSSCI construction projects in Berlin, Germany and Fort Meade, MD.
- David held a TSSCI clearance and served in the Marine Security Guard Program, providing diplomatic security at U.S. Embassies in Jakarta, Indonesia and Valletta, Malta.
- David provided diplomatic security support for POTUS and SECSTATE visit in Beijing, China.
- David is an unwavering fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.
- David and his wife Irina founded the Armenian Runners Club, a non-profit organization that aims to assist rural, low income athletes participation in running competitions throughout the world and develop social and community skills through involvement with neighboring villages.
- David was a member of the board of directors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia.
- David and his wife lived and worked in Yerevan, Armenia while she completed her PhD research on Armenian foreign policy.
- David has been a lecturer at the Agribusiness Teaching Center, a Texas A&M degree program, teaching undergraduate and graduate students Marketing and Management courses.
- David loves running and basketball.
- While his wife Irina completed her PhD, David opened three cafés in Yerevan, Armenia to provide jobs for Christian Syrian Armenian’s who were escaping the Syrian conflict.
- As a member of the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce, David was a stalwart supporter of anti-corruption measures and was a regular guest speaker for events hosted by the U.S. Embassy and European Union.
A Relentless Supporter of Ethical Business Practices
As a social entrepreneur and community organizer, David believes that everyone should be treated with the utmost respect and the only way to move forward is to work together. As a customer service and marketing expert, David lives by the “waiter rule” – which is the principle that we should treat everyone with respect, empathy, and kindness. This is a principle that is so much needed in today’s political climate.