I'm thrilled that the people of Royal Oak and Madison Heights have elected me to represent them in the Michigan House for another two years. It is truly an honor to be able to serve these two wonderful communities and our great state. This election was not only a resounding victory for President Obama and Senator Stabenow, it was a clear expression of the people's desire for leaders who understand the struggles that so many of us have faced in recent years and who are ready to solve our problems.
On the other hand, voters nationally and in many statewide races rejected extremism and punished candidates who embraced extreme views. People want their elected leaders to work together to address our challenges, not make them worse by refusing to find common ground with the other side. I'm hopeful that those of us who have been given this great honor to serve in Lansing will heed the people's message and focus on pragmatic steps we can take to put Michiganders back to work, educate our people to world-class standards and build communities that our kids and their kids will want to call home. If we do those things, a prosperous future is within our reach.
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Jim came of age in the 1980s during another time of great economic turmoil. Sixteen years ago, he moved to southeast Michigan with his wife, Jennie, to be near her family and to go to the University of Michigan. Jim and Jennie live with their two sons in Royal Oak.
Jim holds a B.A. with Highest Honors in History from the University of North Carolina and an MBA and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Jim led national marketing and sales for Ford Motor Company’s $4 billion minivan business, which achieved record sales in 2000. In the 90's, Jim served as a professional staff member in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, where he focused on innovative policies to grow the economy, train our workers, and create future-oriented investments in housing, health care, education, transportation, and the environment.
From 2004 to 2009, Jim served as Executive Director of the Tourism Economic Development Council (TEDC), where he guided a 10-year strategy for increasing metro Detroit's tourism economy by $3 billion per year. Before that, he founded and directed the Michigan Suburbs Alliance (MSA), a non-profit organization devoted to revitalizing and reinventing Detroit suburbs, including Royal Oak and Madison Heights. At MSA, he developed Redevelopment Ready Communities(R), a nationally recognized program to help cities in metro Detroit and across Michigan attract development and create jobs. Since 2004 Jim has served on the MSA's Board of Directors and was its Vice President in 2009 and 2010. He has been active in a wide range of civil and philanthropic causes, including participating in Race for the Cure, serving in the Thanksgiving Day Parade Distinguished Clown Corps and coaching youth soccer.
Representative, Michigan State House of Representatives, 2010-present
District Coordinator, Dukakis/Bentsen Campaign, 1988
At Ford, Jim placed a premium on ensuring the quality of future products and was nominated for a Customer Driven Quality Award.