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Richie Parker      

Motivational Speaker; NASCAR Engineer Born Without Arms

Richie Parker is extraordinary, just don’t tell him that. He’d prefer to be just one of the guys. Parker currently works for Hendrick Motorsports as the Chief Engineer of Government Projects where he leads engineering efforts on government and military defense related projects. Previously, at Hendrick Motorsports, Parker worked as the Vehicle Design Group Manager for the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.

Parker was co-founder of Optimech Solutions, an engineering consulting firm that works with several clients across motorsports as well as many different industries. The 36-year-old received his MBA from Clemson University in 2017.

Born with bilateral amelia, a non-genetic birth defect in which limbs are not formed, Parker has pursued his dreams at one of NASCAR’s most successful organizations. He has been profiled by ESPN and often speaks to organizations about overcoming obstacles and facing adversity. A Clemson University graduate, Parker joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2005 and has contributed to seven Sprint Cup championships during his tenure. In 2014, Parker was honored by the National Inclusion Project as a Champion of Inclusion recipient.

Parker takes pride in finding creative solutions that allow him to lead a perfectly normal and independent life. As a child, he designed a bike that would allow him to ride around with the neighborhood kids. Later in life, Parker convinced a man to sell him his dream car, a 1964 Chevy Impala SS. He and his father partnered with a company called Drive Master to develop a system that allowed Parker to drive the car on his own by steering with his feet. The Beaufort, S.C., native believes in taking responsibility for your life and career, and never giving up until you reach your goals.

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