Jim Shields

Editor’s Note: The following is a tribute to Jim Shields by the California RV Dealers Association (CalRVDA). Shields, who passed away Feb. 13, was a force in the state’s RV retail sector and a tireless worker for unification and the betterment of the industry. 

All of us were saddened by the passing of James “Jim” Freeman Shields, a longtime resident of Stockton, Calif., and one of RVing’s biggest champions.

His role in unifying the RV dealers in California helped lead to the successful creation of the association now known as CalRVDA. Jim was instrumental in creating a consensus between California RV dealers and encouraged them to set aside regional differences for the betterment of the industry.

Jim was an entrepreneur who also found time to be the president of Pan Pacific RV Centers Inc., with multiple recreation vehicle dealerships in northern California. He was practical and understood that change could only take place if we assumed a role in how laws and regulations were written.

He was one of the great thinkers in the RVing community. His unification of a statewide association improved the business climate for all RV dealers in California.

Jim served as RVDA chairman from 2006-07 and, until his death, was a member of the RVDA Board of Delegates. He distinguished himself as the co-chairman of the government relations committee. Jim was also a past director of the Mike Molino RV Learning Center board. He was busy, too busy not to get things done.

Jim’s industry accomplishments include the following:

• Founder Member of CalRVDA

• Past President of CalRVDA

• Past Chairman of RVDA

• Recipient of the James B. Summers Award for outstanding achievement

• Latest inductee to the 2014 RV/MH Hall of Fame

Jim believed in making it easier for to do business in California. He was trusted by his customers. He was admired by his employees. He was loved by his friends and family.

California is a great place to live because of accomplishments of hard working men and women who are also imaginative and daring. Our roads get built and our schools are kept open by people who are successful in their business and pay the taxes that provide the resources society needs.

Jim Shields made good things happen.

Ernie Friesen, president of CalRVDA, said it best, “Jim was the kind of person you wanted riding next to you on a long trip. He was a real good man and he left our world a better place.”