Former Board Member Jim Mathews voted Director Emeritus

By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief

OOIDA Life Member Jim Mathews, who resigned his position as member of the OOIDA Board of Directors in April 2014 because of his health, received a surprise phone call late on the evening of Oct. 24. In the last bit of board business conducted at OOIDA's fall meeting, Mathews was unanimously voted in as Director Emeritus.

As President and CEO Jim Johnston commended Mathews for his longtime service to the board and to the Association, Treasurer Bill Rode of Eagle, Idaho, rang up the number in Greeley, Colo., where Jim lives with his wife, Cory. Rode put the call on speaker as it was ringing.

The boardroom speakers picked up the conversation, and all could hear as Mathews answered the phone. The brief, chatty call between an old friend and more than two dozen board members, board wives and others brought good news to Mathews regarding the special honor just bestowed on him.

Board members also inquired about his ranch. The Mathews ranch was heavily damaged by flooding in September 2013, a disaster that struck more than 4,500 square miles across the state's front range. Jim says they are still recovering from it.

Jim Mathews has been an OOIDA member since 1990. He says he started out at 13 helping neighbors in his hometown in Colorado. At 15, he went to work for a dairy farmer driving a 1941 Ford. Several years ago, the Land Line staff persuaded Jim to write about the "wild and woolly" days driving in the Rocky Mountains, a career that he says has left him with a lifetime of beautiful memories and white-knuckle experiences.

The organization now has six members retired from the Board who are honored with the distinction of Director Emeritus. In addition to Jim, they are Ralph Fries, Escondido, Calif.; Fred Barnes, Kansas City, Mo.; Don Phipps, Ames, Iowa; Charles P. Parfrey, Spokane, Wash.; and John Taylor, Cross Junction, Va. LL