TAKE A BOW
Seamans Earns FADRA Lifetime Achievement Award
Jim Seamans' dedication to the auto recycling industry began nearly 50 years ago in New Hampshire. FADRA celebrated him in July.
PHOTO: SANDBAR PHOTOGRAPHY
Jim Seamans thought he was just attending a typical Florida Auto Dismantlers & Recyclers Association (FADRA) convention this past July. Instead, he ended up being the star at a special roast in his honor.
"This was Jim's 30th year in our association and we wanted to commemorate it," explained Kim O'Dell, FADRA executive director. "He's such a great guy, and [he's] so proud of his association with [FADRA]."
The hard part was keeping it a secret.
"I'm a stickler for details," said Seamans. "At our last board meeting, I noticed there was nothing budgeted for entertainment. So I questioned it. Generally, we put a couple thousand dollars in there. Poor Kim, she didn't know what to say."
He ultimately accepted the answer provided; they decided not to hire entertainment.
The roast committee - which consisted of O'Dell and board members Terry Thompson (Ole South Auto Salvage, Inc.), Brad Rutherford (Budget Auto Parts) and Bob Eubanks (Rusty Acres Automotive, Inc.) - spoke by conference call before the show. They decided upon Gerry Vertucci (Atlantic Auto Discount) as the master of ceremonies because of his comedic flair.
"The night of the big celebration, we acknowledged our scholarship recipients," O'Dell recalled. "Then we took a five-minute break. We rented a big, red [Santa Claus] chair. We covered it with race flags, brought it up to center stage and put out a red carpet. Then, I went around passing out [signs with] Jim's face on a stick. I cued [the audience] with a 'faces up,' and when [Jim] turned around, there they were."
"It was a room full of Jim Seamans," said Seamans, with a chuckle. "They sat me in the chair and people spoke. It was more of a tribute than a roast."
The tribute covered Seamans' career in auto recycling, which began in Pelham, N.H. There he purchased Stateline Motors in 1961. But when the Northeastern United States blizzard of 1978 dumped record amounts of snow and killed approximately 100 people, he decided to relocate south to Florida.
In 1979, Seamans started Recyclers Suppliers & Services. He became the exclusive Hollander Interchange book supplier. In 1997, Seamans was visiting Jim's Auto Salvage (JimsAuto.com) in Sebring, Fla., when the owner, Jim Reed, asked if he knew anyone who wanted to do some public relations work calling on customers. Seamans volunteered.
"I sold my business and have worked for Jim [Reed] for 14 years now," explained Seamans. "I've got the best job in the world."
Throughout his career, Seamans has been a dedicated member of FADRA and ARA. "I've never been a yard owner in Florida, so have never served as president," he said. "But I was awarded a lifetime honorary membership on the [FADRA] board of directors. I also received the ARA president's award in 1980 and 1990."
The night of Seamans' tribute, he was awarded the first-ever FADRA lifetime achievement award. His wife Edel received a dozen roses.