Tampa, Fla. (March 26, 2014) – The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently selected Harold Oehler, General Counsel of Lazydays as its Overall Top Corporate Counsel of the Year for the Tampa Bay area. Located in Seffner, Fla., Lazydays, the RV authority, is the largest destination RV site in the world. Oehler, a lifelong resident of Tampa and University of South Florida graduate, has been with Lazydays for fifteen years.
The inaugural Top Corporate Counsel Awards program recognizes in-house attorneys in seven counties throughout the Tampa Bay area who are leaders in their company, organization, or industry, exhibit high ethical standards, and possess exemplary professional skills.
Oehler was selected as the overall Top Corporate Counsel for his part in guiding the company through one of the most difficult periods in the history of the RV industry, for leading his company’s efforts to help at-risk children in the Tampa Bay area and for his work to strengthen the RV industry and improve public safety.
“I am humbled by this award,” said Harold Oehler, General Counsel for Lazydays. “It truly is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication by the employees of our company who chose to focus on our customers and the kids they wanted to help, during a very challenging time in our industry’s history. I accept this award on their behalf.”
For the past 15 years, Oehler has served as General Counsel for Lazydays which operates recreational vehicle dealerships in Seffner, Florida and Tucson, Arizona. In 2007, he played a major role in obtaining the passage of Florida’s first RV dealer protection law which helped strengthen Florida RV dealerships across the state. The following year, Oehler spearheaded a nationwide safety campaign to improve vehicle weight information provided to travel trailer owners. Oehler has actively led a number of significant initiatives to strengthen the RV industry on a state and federal level and in 2010 received the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association President’s Service Award for contribution to the RV industry.
In 2005, he led an employee effort to create The Lazydays Employee Foundation, a non-profit foundation to benefit at risk children in the Tampa Bay area. The Lazydays Employee Foundation has donated over 1.2 million dollars to benefit children in the Tampa Bay area since its inception. Most of this funding was generated by voluntary payroll deductions that the company’s employees make on a weekly basis. The Foundation donated $400,000 to build The Lazydays House, which is part of A Kid’s Place, Hillsborough County’s first emergency foster care facility. The Lazydays House provides children who have been removed from abuse or neglect with a child-friendly environment, medical care, counseling and schooling from licensed professionals.
The Lazydays Employee Foundation also partnered with the University of South Florida to help establish the Ybor Youth Clinic through a $100,000 grant. The Clinic is the first medical facility in the Southeast dedicated to serving the medical needs of homeless and street youth. The Foundation has also funded college scholarships for more than 50 underprivileged children in the Tampa Bay area. Each “Lazydays Scholar” signs a contract to maintain a certain grade point average and remain drug and crime free in order to receive their scholarship.
In 2010, Oehler recruited assistance from more than two dozen private and public partners throughout the Tampa Bay area to form the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program. The program helps Hillsborough County homeless youth get off the streets by providing assistance in obtaining housing, education, transportation, medical care and other essential needs necessary to gain independence. In its fourth year, the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program has assisted more than 200 youth and is administered by Camelot Community Care.
Lazydays®, founded in 1976, operates the largest RV destination site in the world just outside of Tampa, Florida. The dealership is located on a 126 acre site. Lazydays’ Tucscon dealership is the largest dealership in Arizona and rests on over 90 acres. Together, both dealerships feature over 400 service bays, 600 RV campsites and more than 1400 new and pre-owned RVs. Lazydays has built its reputation on providing an outstanding customer experience with exceptional service and product expertise, and as a place to rest and recharge with other RVers. More than a quarter million RVers and their families visit Lazydays every year, making it “their home away from home.” Lazydays has been recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s “Top Work Places.” The Lazydays Employee Foundation, supported by payroll contributions from over 70% of Lazydays’ employees, has contributed more than one million dollars to make many historic changes for at-risk children in the Tampa Bay and Tucson communities. For most people, Lazydays isn’t just the beginning of their journey; it’s very much a part of their ride. To learn more, visit www.Lazydays.com or www.betterRVing.com.
About the Lazydays Employee Foundation
The mission of the Lazydays Employee Foundation is to “measurably change the lives of children by instilling hope, inspiring dreams and empowering them with education.” The Lazydays Employee Foundation is a non-profit corporation formed by the employees of Lazydays in order to enhance their ability to support children’s causes. The Foundation is not funded by corporate funds but by the generosity of the company’s employees. Over 70% of Lazydays’ employees, have contributed to the Foundation and together they have contributed more than 1.2 million dollars to help at-risk children have a second chance at a better life. Employees at Lazydays’ Tucson dealership recently formed a chapter of the Lazydays Employee Foundation so they can help at-risk children in the Tucson, Arizona area. The Lazydays Employee Foundation has received six WEDU “Be More” awards for outstanding service to the Tampa Bay community and has been recognized by the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough Education Foundation, the Homeless Coalition, The Spring and the Tampa Bay Business Journal as one of the most outstanding foundations in the Bay area.