Entrepreneurship


Drawing upon over 30 years of professional experience, David R. Friend has excelled as the owner and president of Down to Earth Aerial Imaging since 2015. In his dual positions, he is responsible for all daily business operations, managing the business logistics, and operating drones to capture images and video for his clients.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Friend served as a professional pilot for Kohler Company for several decades. He derived his inspiration to establish his own business from these experiences, having held an inherent interest in the field of unmanned aircrafts from a young age. While pursuing his ambitious career, he attended Embry-Riddle University, a private university acclaimed for its aviation and aerospace services programs. Mr. Friend received an associate degree from the university in 2006. Returning numerous years later, he then earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015.

Throughout his career, Mr. Friend has demonstrated expertise and a diligent will to excel and improve in all his endeavors. To this end, he received five type ratings, each achieved in an airplane established by a different manufacturer, which he considers among the highlights of his career. He lives and works by the mantra, “Improvise, adapt and overcome,” and has never declined any challenges that have crossed his path. Likewise, he credits much of his success to the influence of his father, David H. Friend, who served as a beacon of inspiration.

Outside his primary vocation, Mr. Friend is affiliated with his local Masonic Lodge, where he is recognized as a Master Mason. Born on August 17, 1966 in Park Ridge, Illinois, he currently resides in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His hobbies outside of work include woodworking.

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