David McKinney received the Warburton Award for outstanding personal commitment to the community and the Pioneers in 2010. He served on the Pioneers board of directors for nearly 20 years, including six terms as president. He served in other capacities, including as vice president, treasurer, and chair of the Publications and Essay Contest committees.
David’s efforts extend beyond the Pioneers. He served the City of Sunnyvale as chair of the Heritage Commission and the Planning Commission, and as a member of the Housing Commission, City Attorney Selection Committee and Citizen of the Year Selection Committee. He served Santa Clara County as chair of the Historical Heritage Commission. He has also served on the Sourisseau Academy Board of Trustees.
As a seventh generation Californian, David understandably has a deep appreciation of local heritage. His pioneer ancestors crossed the Sierra in the fateful year of 1846, having passed the Donner Party on the trail. Aquilla Glover, husband of David’s ancestor Mary Jane Lemon Glover Gish, led the first relief party to the camp by Donner Lake. His Gish ancestors established a ranch and sunk the first artesian well in Santa Clara County. His ancestors from Cornwall helped to establish mechanized mining at New Almaden. David’s grandfather established the Willow Glen Lumber Company in 1927.
David is a product of local schools, including Willow Glen High and San Jose State University. It was due to his personal friendship with the Stevens family that Helen Stevens left her estate to the Pioneers in 2008. He was a friend to Clyde and Helen Arbuckle and Leonard McKay and considered Austin Warburton an inspiration and mentor. David lives in Grass Valley, California, where he also has historic connections.