James ‘Jim’ McKinley, president – McKinley Financial Services succumbs

James “Jim” Ruffin McKinley
James “Jim” Ruffin McKinley
James “Jim” Ruffin McKinley
James “Jim” Ruffin McKinley

James “Jim” Ruffin McKinley was born February 25, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. He passed away July 6, 2012 in Tamarac, Florida after an extended illness. Jim was quite an athlete and excelled in four different sports at Bangor High School in the small town of Bangor, Michigan.

He received a football scholarship to Western Michigan and graduated in 1966. Later, he received his master degree from Eastern Michigan University. After College he embarked on a successful college football-coaching career.

He was named head coach of Central State in Ohio, North Carolina A&T and Prairie View A&M. He was also defensive coordinator of the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws and the University of Missouri. As head football coach and athletic director for North Carolina A&T he was named 1978 MEAC coach of the year and won the Championship Gold Bowl.

After 22 years as a college and professional football coach he moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he founded McKinley Financial Services in 1987. In 25 years since its creation, McKinley Financial Services has grown to become one of the largest minority-owned insurance agencies in the United States.

The company was listed in Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

In 2003, he proudly relocated the corporate headquarters to his newly renovated building, McKinley Financial Services, in downtown Fort Lauderdale. He was inducted into several Hall of Fames such as Western Michigan University’s, Bangor High School, Junior Achievement South Florida Business and Nova University’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

He also received numerous awards such as the African-American Achievers Award, Leader of the Year Award, Minority Corporate Citizenship Award, Who’s Who in Black South Florida, and the Minority Business of the Year.

He once said, “The key to his success is involvement in the community.” And that he did by working with the Community Service Council of Broward County, the Black Economic Development Council and significant contributions to many community organizations.

Jim also founded McKinley Financial Foundation, which has awarded over 90 scholarships to deserving students of Broward County and has donated nearly $400,000 in academic and athletic scholarships. The foundation also sponsors the McKinley Financial Big 8 Basketball Tournament. Jim loved traveling, fine dining, and gathering with friends and enjoyed an overall passion for life.

Jim is a loving family man and is survived by his mother Vivian, his wife Judith, son Raymond, daughter Jacqueline, her mother Consuelo and two grandchildren, Raymond Jr. and Marcus. He will be greatly missed by family and many friends.

Viewing will be held Friday, July 13 from 5pm to 9pm at McWhite’s Funeral Home at 3501 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 14, 11am at Ascension Peace Presbyterian Church in Lauderdale Lakes on Route 441 South of Oakland Park Ave.

The Family ask in lieu of flowers to make donations to McKinley Financial Foundation, 545 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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