Our longtime friend and CSUF Entrepreneurship in-class mentor Jim Roberts has passed on after a short illness. Most of us are no doubt shocked that Jim was sick and battling cancer. I know I was caught by surprise.
Jim retired in 2008 from a long and successful career in the Financial Services industry. Having always enjoyed helping people, he joined SCORE Orange County and since that time counseled nearly 600 small business owners, given numerous presentations to business and educational groups and designed several training programs to teach badly needed business skills. He was also a member of the SCORE leadership team.
He was also a sought-after speaker for business luncheons and dinners, presenting a variety of topics of interest to mixed audiences. Jim’s common sense approach to business issues and his ability to get quickly to the core of problems made him a popular resource for business owners and professionals.
At CSUF, Jim was an invaluable mentor to our Entrepreneurship students. His avuncular manner and keen insight were a welcome addition to my marketing classroom. Recently, he partnered with fellow SCORE volunteer Bob Godlasky on a startup consulting project called “Open Castings.” Jim’s steady hand and commitment to the students helped deliver an outstanding result. Our clients, Bill Taormina, Sr and Will Taormina, Jr reported that this project was the “best project ever in ten years of collaboration with CSUF Entrepreneurship.” As always, Jim asked for nothing in return.
Jim is survived by his wife, Marcia, of 39 years. Although they didn’t have children, their family consisted of rescue dogs, the latest being Basset Hounds Norton and Lucy. In his spare time, he enjoyed a good cigar, a rare pipe tobacco, a glass of bourbon, listening to music, boating on the ocean and riding his motorcycle.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, March 2 from 4pm to 8pm. The funeral will be Friday, March 3rd at 2pm. Both services will be held at McAulay and Wallace Funeral Home at 902 North Harbor in Fullerton. The burial follows at Loma Vista Cemetery on Bastanchury Road in Fullerton.
Jim Roberts, thank you for your many contributions to the Entrepreneurship program at CSUF and our community. You will be missed.
John Bradley Jackson
Director for Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Institute, and CSUF Startup Incubator