Para Gear Equipment Co., Inc. Honored with 2021 Pioneers of Excellence Award
The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame is proud to honor Para Gear Equipment Co., Inc. as the Pioneers of Excellence recipient. The Pioneers of Excellence (and the Path of Excellence) are the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame's most prestigious awards for groups, companies, organizations or teams recognizing significant contributions of enduring value to the world of skydiving. The Pioneers of Excellence was added in 2021 to recognize entities that contributed in the 70's and before.
Para Gear Equipment Co. Inc. is honored and humbled to receive the first Pioneers of Excellence Award. Para Gear was founded in 1960 by Lowell Bachman and is celebrating its 61st year of doing business! Lowell was born and raised in Chicago, entered the military at 20 years old, became a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and later on the Special Forces. While still in the Army Reserves, Lowell started Para Gear in his parent’s basement, moving then to its original commercial location in Chicago and eventual mainstay in Skokie, Illinois.
We have been very fortunate to have staff who have worked here for many years, even as long as 35+ years. Those people have helped grow Para Gear well beyond its humble beginnings to skydiving equipment sales that serve customers worldwide. Most important, however, are the contributions that Para Gear and its staff have made to the athletes, events and skydiving industry over its lifetime.
Over the years, Para Gear has been seen at numerous National and World Skydiving competitions along with helping to support the U.S. team. Para Gear was a founding member of the Parachute Equipment Industry Association (PEIA) in 1977, which was later renamed the PIA. Paul Thompson served as the rigging chair and organized the Rigger Conventions from 1987 -1989. Paul developed the idea of a Symposium combining the Rigger Convention and manufacturer's exhibits to draw more people. The first PIA Symposium was held in February 1991 and Paul received the Don Beck Award for the concept of the Symposium having withstood the test of time on its 10th anniversary.
Lowell was an original and longtime trustee of the museum followed by Dori and now Curt. Para Gear continues to be a supporter of the International Skydiving Museum and is excited to help get it built! Curt Bachman