At the recent 2016 OFCMA Reunion in San Antonio, Bill Coulter, L, eloquently honored his mentor, Jim Payne, R. Coulter not only addressed Payne’s leadership but, also, presented him with special medals of appreciation for Payne’s service during the Korean Conflict.
Following are Mr. Coulter’s remarks during the presentation.
“I am Bill Coulter. I retired from the Air Force and the 742 career field in 1982. I turned 17 in Jan. 1961. In Feb. 1961, I enlisted in the Air Force. In May of 1961, I was sent to RAF Wethersfield in England. I never drank a beer, smoked a cigarette, kissed a girl or drove a car. I did all in 2 weeks over there. I was stationed at Blytheville AFB in Arkansas from 1964 until 1970. I cross trained into the 742 Career in 1967. My mentor, Rabbi, teacher, Priest and career guidance Guru was Jim Payne. Jim instructed this young punk from Philly about the true meaning of what a club manager should be. Hell, I was busted so many times before I met Jim that I should of retired as an E-20.
Jim taught me respect for the Air Force and myself. Jim taught me the true meaning of integrity and what it means to be a hardworking, results-driven professional. Jim’s favorite saying was “don’t shit where you eat”. Jim taught me inventory control, front and back of the house management, how to read and comprehend a financial statement. Jim was instrumental in my understanding of how important employee relations were, i.e., a happy employee translates into a happy member. The lessons Jim taught me lasted throughout my military career and well into my civilian life managing two private country clubs over a 24 year period. I was fortunate to teach at the University level at Rutgers School of Hospitality for a number of years. I only mention this because the lessons that I learned from Jim Payne are now in the minds of the students that I taught. Thank you, Jim.
I am the Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association of Atlantic County Chapter 234 in Somers Point, N.J.. I discovered that Jim was stationed in Korea during the Conflict. I requested, and was granted, the authority from my Chapter and the Korea American Association of Southern New Jersey to present Jim with a medallion of appreciation and a medal of thanks from the Republic of Korea in recognition of his service during the Korean Conflict. The medals are accompanied by certificates of appreciation.
Thank you, Jim, for your service and for all that you have done for me and this great country.
God Bless America.”
Bill Coulter, Commander Chapter 234, KWVA