As a Chicago native, Jim brings a lifetime of Construction Management and Real Estate Development experience to the Sands Commercial Group. He graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and then served as a Combat Engineering Lieutenant in Germany. Upon his return, he received a full scholarship and obtained his MBA in Production Management from the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. Jim was later introduced to the Real Estate Development industry as an Owners Representative for a private group of investors and subsequently became President of Intercontinental Engineering & Development Corp, a company working on both private and FHA projects where he directly oversaw development concepts, zoning, finance, construction, lease management and sales marketing. The private side was devoted to creating industrial parks; building and leasing spec flex and warehouses. The FHA side developed and built Section 8 multi-family units and planned unit housing communities, with over 3,000 units completed.
Jim left his position at Intercontinental to become the Director of Real Estate for Oakridge Holdings, a large national development and holding company with projects and interests throughout the United States where he traveled extensively doing work-outs and project modifications on everything from residential and commercial developments to golf courses and cemeteries. With this experience, Jim formed a partnership with his friend who was the Regional Manager of a major construction company doing heavy construction at O'Hare International Airport. Their company, Euclid Construction/Management, devoted one half of their efforts on construction projects for others and one half to projects for retention. There was a diversity of work which included new construction, retro-fitting and renovation and a specialty was developed in the automotive area. His partner oversaw the construction, while Jim was responsible for concept, design, financing and leasing.
Upon his partners' death, efforts were made to dispose of their investments which triggered Jim's move to Estero, Florida with his wife of over 55 years, "Didi". They were drawn to Southwest Florida's quality of life, weather and exciting growth potential as a place to expand Jim's career as a Real Estate Advisor.
In addition to Jim's successful and active career, he has always found time to be active in philanthropic endeavors. He served his church as a trustee, was an institutional representative to the Boy Scouts of America, Past President of his school's Alumni Associations and as a private pilot, Jim was most recently past commander of the Medinah Aviation Unit, transporting needy children to Shriner Hospitals.