James “Jim’ McMichael is an Adjunct Instructor with the Florida Center for Public Management, where he is involved in consulting and delivery of CPM courses.  With vast experience from both public and private sectors, McMichael put great effort into managing political campaigns for public offices that include Governor, Congress and Mayor. Jim also created and was director of the Certified Financial Planner program for the Gus Turnbull Conference Center at FSU.

He retired two years ago from Florida State University at the age of 85 as a professor in the Certified Public Manager program. He has a PhD in Political Science, is an active member of the Lake Tallavana Homeowners Association and a former business owner and CEO of three corporations. 

The Silver Star began his life’s work as a kid in a grocery store, peddling newspapers, and as a shoe store stock boy. By the time he was a 17-year-old senior in high school, he was the shoe store manager. He discovered financial planning a “long, long time ago,” Jim recalls. “It made me feel good to help others.”

As time went on, I realized that someone had to help keep, or get, good people into government.” In 1976 he became involved in the Wisconsin campaign for governor. “My client had little name recognition, but we had a lot of fun. I’ve helped four presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon.”

He was invited to tour the White House with Jackie Kennedy and invited by President Johnson to observe the signing of the Older Americans Act. “It was impressive to be handed a pen by a president,” said Jim with pride.

This go-getter is a volunteer at his church and you can find Jim on YouTube where he posts a bi-weekly podcast “On Our Spiritual Journey.” He’s a Eucharistic Minister, or one who assists the priest in administering sacraments of holy communion. He also is a financial adviser to the church. Jim believes that “God creates us to do good things and in addition to my other passions for God, I’m a Green Faith Fellow. That’s a religious-based environmental group.”

Hearing Jim talk is an exciting adventure into the past, with hope for the future.  He’s excited about what he’s accomplished for others and looks with anticipation about helping and doing good with his time. Jim remains very active in his Lake Tallavana Homeowners Association as well as pursuing his favorite activities that include bridge, travel, walking the dog and Sudoku. Jim’s mantra: “I don’t believe in being idle.”

By Rosetta Stone Land