Jim Havlena was born in a small town in west-central Minnesota (Lake Wobegon Country) and moved to the Los Angeles area at age 12 with his family. He earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and an MBA from California State University at Fullerton. For most of his professional life, Jim had a practice as a self-employed Certified Public Accountant and retired in October 2014.
Jim has been a board member of various nonprofit entities, including environmental organizations, a service club, and a chamber of commerce. He was a founding member of an environmental organization whose successful mission statement was to have the estuary at Morro Bay, California, accepted into the National Estuary Program. Also, Jim was one of the key organizers of the Los Osos (CA) Community Services District.
Jim and his wife of thirty-two years, Karen, resided in the Morro Bay area for over twenty years before relocating to the Mendocino coast in May 2005. Currently, Jim is the Treasurer of the Mendocino Music Festival. In addition, Jim donated his services to the Westport Volunteer Fire Department to obtain their IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.