Jim Beckham is a writer and strategic communications that began in earnest as Assistant to the President, University of Florida where he did his doctoral study in Journalism. Among his duties were secretary to the executive committee, answering tons of mail, much of it referred to staff, and riding herd on Student Government. A metaphor for these years is “Times they are a changing” by Peter Paul and Mary. There were Vietnam War protests and a movement to give more power to students. GatorAde, then called “Gator Aid”, was created by Dr. Robert Cade, who also collected Studebaker’s and invented a “hemispheric shoe polish can.”
Jim earned a bachelors degree in philosophy and political science from Spring Hill College and a master’s history from the University of Alabama after serving six years in the Marines where he rose to the rank of PFC. He worked his way through college playing five string banjo in a folk group and clerking in a law firm.
His achievements in the communication’s craft include speechwriter for Senator Robert Byrd, chief writer for the National Coal Association, six years as speechwriter for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He also was a consulting speechwriter to Texaco for nine years. Jim also worked with Texaco’s Indycar racing team including Mario Andretti and Newman Haas racing headed by the late Paul Newman. As an associate of Potomac Communications Group, Washington, DC, he represented a bevy of energy clients, including workshops in crisis communications. Since 1995 Jim and former NFL player and CBS Sports football analyst, Spencer Tillman have been colleagues.
He is an author and editor “The Power to Choose” a collection of blogs for Kanaly Trust about personal financial issues. He’s working on “Prostate Cancer for Bubbas,” a plain English account of his diagnosis, treatment and recovery of the disease. He lives in Katy, Texas with his wife and stepson. His daughter from another marriage, an actress, lives in Austin.