Mr. James Madill
Class of 1954
Career Pathway: Business, Management, Marketing & Technology
James Madill was nominated by Megan Madill.
Jim graduated from Frederic High School as class valedictorian in 1954. He then graduated with honors from Central Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
After graduation from college, Mr. Madill joined AuSable Woodworking Company. In 1972 -- after 12 years as vice-president -- he became the president of the company and still serves in that role. Mr. Madill traveled the nation for sales and helped build the Smoky Mountain Gift Show from 25 exhibitors in the early '60s. (It will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014.) In 2000, he was presented with the “Living Legend” award by the National Souvenir Sales Association for lifetime achievement and integrity. One of his most significant contributions was being a creator of many jobs in the Frederic and surrounding areas through AuSable Woodworking, which provided employment for 60-80 people in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
Another significant contribution was his work on the local school boards where he always kept the children’s best interests at hand. Mr. Madill spent four years on the Frederic School Board and eight years on the Crawford AuSable School Board. He was instrumental in passing many school millages for both Frederic and Crawford AuSable Schools. On one occasion, he missed an organizational meeting for the school board, so he was “volunteered” to be board secretary. After a year, the role of recording secretary was created because no one could read Jim’s chicken scratch for the minutes. His efforts, along with other school board members’ time and talents, have made our schools some of the most respected schools in the state.
Jim’s granddaughter Megan said, “My grandpa Jim is by far one of the most influential people in my life. He’s always willing to help another person whether he knows them or not. He goes the extra mile to make sure everyone is taking care of happy! He is absurdly knowledgeable (we call him 'the dictionary'), and my cousins and I consider him one of our best teachers. His involvement in the community is something I aspire to and hope it’s passed on to everyone who knows him. If we are lucky, Grandpa Jim will be forever able to set an example for all in our community and county.”