Forty Under 40: James Robert David

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 164 views 

James David was two years into his studies at Georgia State when 9/11 happened.

Within a week, he was at Georgia Tech inquiring about its ROTC program, and “within three months, I was in the uniform.”

By 2005, David had graduated from both colleges and was commissioned as a U.S. Air Force officer. He said the decision to join the military was a gut reaction.

“You see your country being attacked, people losing their lives — people like you and me just going to work and taking care of their family every day,” David said. “That is unacceptable.”

David became a captain and financial management officer, and spearheaded teams working with satellite systems with price tags in the billions. In 2009, David decided to enter the civilian world, and targeted Tyson Foods Inc. as an employer because he believed its culture and values reflected many of those he embraced in the military.

He’s worn a lot of hats at Tyson, managing a freight optimization program and helping develop a sales and marketing strategy for a snack food line, among other things. He also was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Obama’s administration.

“I just kind of throw myself into wherever and whatever I can to provide value,” David said.

Currently finishing his MBA, David lives with his wife and two young children.