La Grande, Ore.-based RV manufacturer, Northwood Manufacturing, has announced that long-time Northwest District Sales Manager and RV industry veteran Jim Baehmann died Sunday, Sept. 27, after an almost-year-long battle with cancer.
Baehmann had been in the RV industry for well over three decades and played a major role in helping Northwood maintain and grow its place as a major player in the Pacific Northwest market in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2008.
Baehmann worked for Fleetwood Enterprises for 24 years before coming to Northwood Manufacturing, where he was a mainstay for the past 12 years. Baehmann’s career took him all over the country but he is most identified by his work with dealers in the Western United States. According to his former colleagues, “Jim was known for his strong work ethic and uncompromising character. With these traits Jim has built long-lasting relationships with many dealers in the industry.”
Northwood owner, Sherry Nash, said, “We are all just devastated by the news of Jim’s passing. First and foremost, he was a good man who was devoted to his family and a true friend to all that knew him. It was to Northwood’s incredible benefit that he was a tremendous salesman as well. We were blessed to have him here with us.”
Northwood CEO, Craig Orton, said of Baehmann, “It is impossible to say what Jim has meant to Northwood. He was from the old-school where his word and a handshake really meant something, everything, to him. Jim stood shoulder to shoulder with the best of us during the tough times and was the first to give all the credit for his hard work to the team during the good ones. To say he will be missed is a gross understatement.”
Cerise Smallwood, Northwood’s CFO went on to say, “We here at Northwood are and always have been a close-knit family and Jim was a big part of that. He always was quick with a smile and an encouraging word for everyone he came in contact with. His unbridled enthusiasm for Northwood and the RV lifestyle in general was genuine and contagious. Jim was an original, our brother and was loved by everyone here at Northwood.”
Donald Cochran, chief security officer of Northwood Manufacturing and long-time friend of Baehm’s said, “Jim was the ultimate professional. He shared his passion for this industry with everyone he came in contact with. Attending one of Jim’s many training sessions and hearing his uncompromising belief in Northwood’s commitment to quality, service and integrity was always reminiscent of a good church sermon. Jim was a one-of-a-kind and will be missed and remembered by all who knew him.”