Jim was born in Birmingham in 1946, the same year that his Dad joined Tractor & Equipment Company. He attended Catholic schools, and then graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1964. At the University of Virginia, Jim played on the Rugby team, was a member of St. Anthony Hall social fraternity, and graduated in 1968 with a BA in Economics.
Immediately after college, he worked in Chicago for a short period of time for International Harvester before joining the Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Combat Engineers. He qualified as a paratrooper and became an Army Ranger, and then served in the Central Highlands of Vietnam during 1969 and 1970.
After the Army, Jim worked for a heavy equipment distributor in San Francisco for 2 years. He met Carole in California, and they married in 1972 and moved to Birmingham to join Tractor & Equipment Company. Jim worked in Sales and Sales Management in Birmingham, Panama City, Montgomery, and Mobile. Jim and Carole moved back to Birmingham with their twins (Kam & Jake) to manage North Alabama operations. When his father, Jim W. Waitzman (ARBA Hall of Fame 2004) retired in 1989, Jim and Bill J. Roberts took over senior management of Tractor & Equipment.
During their leadership period, TEC was recognized as the best Komatsu dealer in the USA for several years running, and the company earned the Chairman’s Award for Excellence every year that the award was given. Their keys to success during those years were: product support, satisfied customers, fairness, and loyal employees.
In 2001, Jim led the company to acquire the Komatsu dealership in Georgia, and when he retired, TEC had over 20 branch operations throughout Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle. Many in the industry regard Tractor & Equipment Company as the best Komatsu distributorship in the world.
Jim was very active with the Alabama road building community. During the days of Montgomery Highway lettings, he was always in town with his many friends in the industry. He served on the board of the Alabama Asphalt Association in 1989.
He was active on many ARBA projects and committees, and he proudly served on the Board of ARBA for 16 years.
Tennis, fishing, jogging, travel