Jim is a long time advocate of strengthening US energy security through the deployment of renewable energy, transportation electrification, and by reducing energy waste. He is a US Navy Viet Nam War Veteran and graduate from the University of California, Irvine where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and an MBA with a major in finance. He became a licensed professional electrical engineer in 1980.
Jim worked as a power engineer for Ebasco Services, Inc., the company that designed Michigan’s Ludington Pumped Storage facility and later went on to develop renewable power plants in California. He moved to Michigan in 1985 and became chairman and CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort in 1987. Crystal Mountain is an energy intensive business that employs up to 650 people, has developed $100 million in resort projects and has received numerous awards for its work on energy conservation, including Governor Snyder’s “Energy Innovator of the Year” award in 2015. Jim, and his wife Chris, earned the US Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Success award for the State of Michigan. Jim serves on the board of directors of Fifth Third Bank, West Michigan.
In 2011 Governor Snyder appointed Jim as chair of the Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board, which represents the interests of residential ratepayers in electric and gas utility rate cases. He served on the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council and has testified on energy issues before the Michigan Senate and House energy policy committees. Jim is also a life senior member of the Electrical Engineers’ professional association known as the IEEE. He served as vice-chair of the IEEE USA energy policy committee in 2014 and is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy and Power Electronics societies. The IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.