Harold Oehler

The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently selected Harold Oehler, general counsel of Lazydays RV, as its Overall Top Corporate Counsel of the Year for the Tampa Bay area.

Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays reported in a press release that Oehler, a lifelong resident of Tampa and University of South Florida graduate, has been with the dealership for 15 years.

The inaugural Top Corporate Counsel Awards program recognizes in-house attorneys in seven counties throughout the Tampa Bay area who are “leaders in their company, organization, or industry, exhibit high ethical standards, and possess exemplary professional skills.”

Lazydays said that Oehler was recognized for his part in guiding the company through one of its most difficult periods, for leading his company’s efforts to help at-risk children in the Tampa Bay area and for his work to strengthen the RV industry and improve public safety.

“I am humbled by this award,” said Oehler. “It truly is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication by the employees of our company who chose to focus on our customers and the kids they wanted to help, during a very challenging time in our industry’s history. I accept this award on their behalf.”

In 2007, Oehler played a major role in obtaining the passage of Florida’s first RV dealer protection law which helped strengthen Florida RV dealerships across the state. The following year, Oehler spearheaded a nationwide safety campaign to improve vehicle weight information provided to travel trailer owners.  Oehler has also actively led a number of significant initiatives to strengthen the RV industry on a state and federal level and in 2010 received the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President’s Service Award for contribution to the RV industry.

In 2005, he led an employee effort to create The Lazydays Employee Foundation, a non-profit foundation to benefit at risk children in the Tampa Bay area. The Lazydays Employee Foundation has donated over $1.2 million to benefit children in the Tampa Bay area since its inception.  The Lazydays Employee Foundation also partnered with the University of South Florida to help establish the Ybor Youth Clinic through a $100,000 grant.  The clinic is the first medical facility in the Southeast dedicated to serving the medical needs of homeless and street youth.

In 2010, Oehler recruited assistance from more than two dozen private and public partners throughout the Tampa Bay area to form the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program. The program helps Hillsborough County homeless youth get off the streets by providing assistance in obtaining housing, education, transportation, medical care and other essential needs necessary to gain independence.