The Campbell Veterans Memorial Fund is most pleased to announce that James R. Free is our Veteran of the Year.
Based on Jim’s continued support and exceptional devotion to CVMF’s mission, we would all agree he could have been our Veteran of the Decade if such an honor existed.
Jim is a Navy Veteran who served as a Surface-to-Air Missile technician aboard the USS Goldsborough, the most advanced Guided Missile Destroyer at the time. Based in Pearl Harbor, the Goldsborough was the Admiral’s Command Ship in what was known as the Pineapple Fleet and was directly involved in combat missions in the Gulf of Tonkin conflict, Vietnam.
After his Navy tour, Jim attended San Jose State University and graduated in 1971 with a B.S. in Business. He studied real estate economics, finance, and mathematics. Jim started his career in commercial real estate and later founded his own appraisal firm, Urban Land Research. The company appraised residential and commercial real estate in the Bay Area for 35 years.
Jim Free was the President of the South Bay Chapter of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and served on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and was a Senior Certified Commercial Broker with Coldwell Banker.
Jim also served
as a Board Member of the Campbell Chamber of Commerce for nine years and
participated in several high-profile Campbell community efforts and functions,
including the Historic Downtown Campbell Steering Committee. Jim was the
President of the Campbell Kiwanis Club and was selected Kiwanian of the Year in
1999. In 2003, he was selected as the Campbell Chamber of Commerce Citizen of
the Year. In June 2013, the State of California Assemblyman, Paul
Fong, selected Jim as the Veteran of the Year for Assembly,
Campbell Mayor Dan Furtado asked Jim to initiate and lead an effort to build a new Veterans Memorial in downtown Campbell in 2005. Jim formed a committee that was designated the Campbell Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. He served as the President and CEO of that corporation until 2015 and is now the Chairman Emeritus of the Board. Mr. Free also serves on the Board of the Los Gatos Veterans Memorial.
Jim has been married to his wife Lucille Maravilla for 16 years, and they enjoy snow skiing, scuba diving, backpacking, and photography.
Well played Mr. Free. Well played indeed.
As with every notable recurring event (like Christmas), people in the San Jose/Campbell/Los Gatos surrounds anticipate CVMF’s annual dinner with glee and excitement. And as usual, everyone was as pleased as strong holiday punch with this year’s extravaganza.
Mike Kotowski reprised his role as our elegant Master of Ceremonies. Mike directed our guests and celebrities along all the happy proceedings, ceremonies, and announcements. CVMF’s President Len Duncan and the CMVF team really know how to honor America’s veterans. The team’s support, sincerity, and devotion to the cause was on full display when we enlisted Post 99 of Campbell’s American Legion’s Honor Guard for their heart-rending presentation – and retirement – of Old Glory.
Our guests were treated to a most entertaining oration by the Keynote Speaker, Brad Davis. The Chancellor of West Valley/Mission Community Colleges regaled the fascinated audience with examples of how our community college ecosystem has been helping veterans acquire critical education and job-related skills for more than ten years. Such training is invaluable for veterans who must acquire that training during their transition to civilian life.
Mr. Davis also related a humorous yarn about his first aircraft carrier landing in a Navy jet. That memorable experience gave Brad a true sense of what it takes to be a Naval Aviator. Notwithstanding his acute physical distress induced by a few radical g-force flight maneuvers, Brad saw his tax dollars hard at work, up close and personal.
CVMF also wants to express our sincere appreciation to Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA, 18th District) for lending some real glitter and celebrity to the proceedings. She was gracious and inviting with her time for all the guests. Thanks, and warm regards, Ms. Eshoo.
Aside from our deserving veterans, the other champions of the Gala are the sponsors and donors. On behalf of Len Duncan and the entire CVMF team, we’d like to extend our hands in gratitude to those listed below. God bless you all.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
AUDREY & PERRY KIEHTREIBER
CVMF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
EMMY MOORE MINISTER
WEST VALLEY CONSTRUCTION
DR. PAULA STROUSS
JIM & LUCILLE FREE
HOEWISCH FAMILY CHIROPRACTOR
PERRY & AUDREY KIEHTREIBER
DEHART’S MEDIA SERVICES
KILROY PEST CONTROL
WEST VALLEY/MISSION COMMUNITY COLLEGES DISTRICT
COOPER GARROD VINEYARDS
MAJOR GENERAL (RET) KENT HILLHOUSE
The Campbell Veterans Memorial Foundation extends our best wishes to you and your loved ones during this Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year