James David Scheinfeld

Date of Birth

November 11, 1926

Date of Death

December 8, 2007

City of Death

Santa Barbara


James Scheinfeld, entrepreneur, civic leader, beloved husband and father, died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Santa Barbara, California on December 8th. He was 81.

Although his business success is extremely noteworthy, it was from community service in his adopted hometown of Santa Barbara that Scheinfeld derived his greatest fulfillment and satisfaction. He moved to Santa Barbara in 1985 upon his retirement and, with characteristic generosity of spirit, immediately involved himself with local organizations and charities.

One of his life goals was “to make a difference” and Scheinfeld touched so many lives while serving as member, board member, trustee, officer, campaign chair of such organizations as THE FOUNDATION FOR SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE (Director, 1989- 2007; President of the Foundation Board, 1996-2000), SANSUM CLINIC (Trustee, 1989-2007; Chairman of the Board, 2005-2007), SANTA BARBARA TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION (Director, 1996-2004; President 2005-2006), SANTA BARBARA FOUNDATION (Member, Health and Human Services Distribution Committee, 2004). Scheinfeld was also an active member of the ROTARY CLUB OF MONTECITO.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara College, the Trustees voted unanimously to name the Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Program after him. Scheinfeld worked tirelessly to develop this program and had established a permanent endowment to support it in perpetuity. The purpose of the program is to encourage and support the development of new businesses, promote entrepreneurship and assist existing businesses in Santa Barbara.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m. in 1926, Scheinfeld enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and participated in the battle to secure Okinawa for which he received the Asia Pacific medal with 1 star. He also served at the Yokusuka, Japan U.S. Naval base during the occupation of Japan and was a Purple Heart recipient. After the war, he attended the University of Wisconsin Madison where he was a Magna Cum Laude graduate with a major in Labor Economics.

In 1948 his father, Aaron Scheinfeld, co-founded Manpower, Inc., the world-renowned temporary help firm. Jim was with the company from the beginning and helped build it to annual revenue in excess of 1 billion dollars with over 1000 offices in 32 countries by the time it was acquired by Parker Pen 1976. He started in the first Chicago office, going on to become Branch Manager, Area Manager and Field Sales Manager. He moved to the newly established headquarters in Milwaukee in 1956 as National Sales Manager and, in the years following, became V.P. Sales, V.P. Marketing, Exec. V.P. Marketing, Exec. V.P. (Sr.) and C.O.O. (1965). Between 1965 and 1976, he was responsible for building 50% of the company’s revenue and profit from International operations.
Scheinfeld left Manpower in 1976 when it was acquired by Parker Pen and formed his own companies: AIDE SERVICES INC., TRAVWAY INTERNATIONAL INC., FUNWAY HOLIDAYS/FUNJET and TRAVELPOWER INC., a chain of 20 full service travel agencies in Wisconsin. This company was sold to Ask Mr. Foster (now Carlson Wagonlit Travel) in December of 1984.

A gentle man with a great sense of humor who loved fishing and world travel and maintained an international network of friends, Scheinfeld is survived by his wife, Elna Magnusson Scheinfeld and three children from a prior marriage: documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld of Sherman Oaks, California; singer/songwriter Shaina Noll of Santa Fe, New Mexico; author/speaker Robert Scheinfeld of Charlottesville, Virginia; grandchildren Rachel, Mischa, Ali and Aidan; his brother, Daniel Scheinfeld of Chicago and sister, Ruth Pollak, of Washington, D.C.

A public celebration, “Remembering Jim Scheinfeld,” will be held on Monday, January 7th at 2pm at The Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Donations should be sent to:

The James D. Scheinfeld Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Program
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Sansum Medical Clinic
P.O. Box 1200
Santa Barbara, CA 93102


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