James Beaubeaux arrived to San Diego as a young military dependent.
His passion for business began early. As a child-entrepreneur, his hobby of painting slot cars turned into a solid business. In the late ’60s, “Jimbos” painted slot cars were in high demand at all of the local raceways. By thirteen years old, he worked at the Armed Services YMCA slot car raceway in downtown San Diego.
A high-school fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy launched James on his lifelong path of community service. He was president of his high school’s Key Club, which collaborated with the local Kiwanis Club to provide volunteer services to the community. His academic and leadership merits awarded him a place at Boy’s State California, representing his community in a nationwide program to prepare young men for leadership.
In his graduating year at Sweetwater High School, he was recognized by the California Scholarship Federation and awarded “Lifetime Seal Bearer” for high standards in scholarship and community service.
At 18 years of age, James was running another full-time business. While taking classes at San Diego State University, he worked as a professional entertainer, and designed, built, and marketed his own magic show under the name “Jim Bobo.” Throughout the 1970s, he was widely known as San Diego’s foremost magician, and frequently volunteered performances for hospitalized children and for the developmentally disabled in facilities such as Home of Guiding Hands. In the mid-’70s, he performed close-up magic at Love’s Wood Pit BBQ. The San Diego chain of five family restaurants featured James as their official spokesperson for their televised advertising campaign.
During that time and into the late ’70s, James presented, every year, more than 500 assemblies for over 100,000 students in more than 250 San Diego City and County elementary schools. Every September he emerged with an entirely new magic show centered around educational themes in American history, math, cultural diversity, reading, and music appreciation. Strangers often ask him, “Haven’t we met before?” A 1977 Channel 8 television news clip about him can be seen below.
Here’s a 1977 clip from San Diego channel 39 KCST-TV.
In 1978 James acquired a small bookstore in Lemon Grove. With dedication to customer service, targeted advertising, and precision financial oversight, annual sales increased more than 2,000% before he negotiated a merger with a national mail-order business in 1995.
In 1989, Lamb’s Players Theatre asked James to volunteer for the board of directors, and for the next 15 years he served as their financial advisor. By 1992 he joined the staff as business manager before becoming the CFO and administrative director in 1995, holding that position until his departure in 2005. Jim took the organization from a budget of $500,000 to $4.5 million and increased staff from 10 to 50+ employees, earning Lamb’s Players Theatre a position in the top three professional theatres in San Diego. He systemized financial processes, allowing for rapid growth while maintaining a solid fiscal position. In 1994, he served on the development team that raised $2.5 million dollars for the new theatre, and supervised the restoration of the 1917 historic Spreckels building, transforming it into a state-of-the-art live performance space. Then, as architect, designer, and general contractor, he restored the three-story, 1898 Thomson House into the new Lamb’s Players headquarters.
In 2005, James joined the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) team as CFO / COO. Recognized by the California Medical Association as one of the fastest growing medical societies in the United States, SDCMS is also the second largest medical society in California. He served on SDCMS’ GERM Commission (Group to Eradicate Resistant Microorganisms) that monitors infectious diseases in San Diego, and SDCMS’ Emergency Medicine Oversight Commission, which brings together all of San Diego County’s hospital emergency departments to discuss best practices and collaboration among the various health systems.
Since 2005, James volunteered with CHIP (Community Health Improvement Partners) and continued until his retirement his enthusiasm for their mission to assess and address community priority health needs through collaboration. CHIP is one of San Diego County’s most respected health-related nonprofits with active partners from every facet of San Diego’s healthcare community. His volunteer involvement with CHIP included serving on the Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013; chair of the Executive Partners Committee from 2011-2013; member of the Steering Committee for seven years, and chair in 2010–11; founding champion and co-chair of the San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative’s Healthcare Domain since 2006; and a member of the San Diego Community Health Needs Assessment Committee in 2007–08, as well as co-chair in 2010–11. In 2010, James was awarded the “Outstanding Community Partner Recognition” for “exceptional contribution and commitment to CHIP and its mission.”
James’ interest in mental health led him to volunteer as the Board of Director’s treasurer and CFO for Mental Health America San Diego from 2010 to 2013. He volunteered on the 211 Steering / Coalition Committee from 2006 to 2009 and advised the 211 Health Navigators Committee overseeing San Diego’s 211 focus on healthcare resource management. He was chair of the United Way San Diego Health Vision Committee in 2013 to 2014 and on San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage Board of Directors and served as the board treasurer.
James was invited in 2012 to join the Audit committee, in 2014 the Program committee, and in 2017 the Finance committee for the Board of Directors of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit that plays a critical role in the San Diego community by supporting programs that improve access to care for the region’s underserved through grants totaling $2–3 million each year. Even in retirement, James will still serve on two of the committees.
Working with the San Diego County government since 2006, James was chair the Health Services Advisory Board from 2014 to 2015, a charter to inform the County Board of Supervisors on healthcare issues. He was also active on the Healthy San Diego Advisory Board overseeing the County’s 800,000+ managed Medi-Cal patients and the Coordinated Care Initiative/Cal MediConnect Committee that has been working for 3 years to insure a smooth transition for the dual-eligibles into the state’s new pilot program. In recent years he has served on the Health Advisory Committee on Threats; Health Resources and Services Administration Steering Committee; San Diego County Safety Net Funding Committee; and the Long-Term Care Integration Project.
While taking LEAD San Diego’s Impact class in 2012, James was selected as a finalist in the Herb Klein Memorial Award for Exemplary Leadership. In 2014, San Diego Business Journal awarded Jim “CFO of the Year” finalist.
James retired from the San Diego County Medical Society on July 1, 2016. Here is an article about James published in the July 2016 edition of the San Diego Physician magazine.
In 1975, James married his childhood sweetheart, Carmen Perry. They will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary in July 2017. In 1991, they adopted a two-year-old child from the County of San Diego foster system. Their son now serves his country as a U.S. Navy corpsman. James has a bachelors of arts in industrial technology from San Diego State University and a masters of science in information technology management from Coleman University. He graduated summa cum laude and was valedictorian of his graduating master’s class.