After attending New Trier High School and Ithaca College where he received a BA, James started his career with Drexel Burnham Lambert then Rodman & Renshaw ultimately becoming a Member of the Chicago Board of Trade.
While actively trading commodities, James purchased, operated and eventually sold a restaurant parts and supply business. He also took an active role in retail property management where he was personally responsible for a large portfolio of retail shopping centers. In addition during the same time period, James designed, patented and manufactured medical garments, two of which are still sold internationally today.
Leveraging his experience in property management, James accepted the position of Executive Vice President for a leading mattress manufacturer/retailer with 50+ locations in Southern California.
Since that time, James owned/operated an insurance brokerage firm specializing in niche liability policies and he continues to oversee various real estate holdings across the country.