Scott Rider on Advocacy

An interview with Scott Rider on Advocacy on December 17, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.




Scott Rider is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he was twice Captain of the men’s Track & Field Team. While at Ohio State Scott was a 3x Big Ten Champion and 2x All American. In fact, Scott still holds the men outdoor 800m run school record at OSU to this day. After graduating from Ohio State in 1982 Scott ran professionally for the Santa Monica Track Club. Scott’s running career ended at the 1984 US Olympic Trials when he failed to qualify for the 1984 USA Olympic team. Scott credits the lessons he learned from running for teaching him how to battle the most important race in his life, that being his race against Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed 16 years ago at the age of 47 Scott has battled Parkinson’s disease with a combination of vigorous exercise, maintaining a positive attitude and a strong personal faith. Today Scott is a frequent speaker at corporate events and Parkinson’s related events across the nation. A member of the Parkinson’s Foundation Development Committee Scott is one of the top fundraisers in the history of the Parkinson’s Foundation.


In 2017 Scott’s Moving Day team raised just shy of $100,000.00. Known as the mastermind of creative ways to increase awareness about Parkinson’s disease two of Scott’s most recent projects have attracted national attention. Last year Scott assembled a team of professionals who worked together to build the SouthernLiving adaptive Cottage to benefit the Parkinson’s Foundation. The project which was featured in the August 2022 edition of SouthernLiving resulted in a $200,000 donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation. At the present Scott is knee deep into his latest project, Parkinson’s Across America. Along with his team of four Scott traveled more than 8000 miles and interviewed more than 500 individuals all of whom have a connection to Parkinson’s disease. PAA will result in a documentary style film which will be marketed to the major streaming services with 100% of the proceeds going to the Parkinson’s Foundation.


Currently Scott is working with a team of individuals including a physician/movement director specialist, a Parkinson’s exercise instructor and several individuals who represent pickleball equipment manufacturers and pickleball professional players to develop a multifaceted program to introduce pickleball to the Parkinson’s community. Effective January 2024 Scott will serve on the board of Rocksteady boxing. Committed to increasing awareness about Parkinson’s, offering hope and encouragement to those who have Parkinson’s Scott was named the Paul Oreffice Volunteer of the year in 2022 by the Parkinson’s Foundation.


Please tell me a little about your background.


For 30 years I was the managing partner at Rider+Reinke Financial Group. At the age of 57 I found it necessary to retire due to the many health issues associated with being diagnosed with Parkinson’s.


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


I am just a regular guy with a passion for increasing awareness about Parkinson’s and encouraging others who like me are battling a disease for which there is no cure.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


I decided early on after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 47 that I could be a contributor not just a consumer. If just feel like the right thing to do.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?


I have no goals or set criteria associated with my desire to increase awareness about Parkinson’s. I have had the most success by thinking of new and different ways to increase awareness and then assembling a team to help me turn a project from a vision to a reality.



What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?


Provide hope and encouragement.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?


I don’t think very far ahead. I try my best to make the most of each day. Living with Parkinson’s makes it very challenging to think about the future because I don’t know what the future is going to look like.


What events do you participate in?


Moving Day, Party for Parkinson’s, numerous Parkinson’s symposiums across the USA, Parkinson’s support groups to name a few.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?


We can’t control what life brings our way, but we can control how we respond to what life brings our way. That is why I live by IWNQ, I Will Never Quit.