“Never let perfect be the enemy of good enough.”
Growing up in Kansas City with parents who defied standard gender norms, he learned to cook from his dad and use power tools and (lots of) explicit language from his mom. His dad’s job also led to James meeting his future wife, Cori, when he was just 11 years old. Does that defy gender norms? No, but it’s a sweet story.
When he’s not designing it up, you might find James playing pinball (he’s currently ranked 5,245th in the world out of more than 80 thousand players), trying to earn another 40 Under 40 recognition before he ages out, serving on the board of Springfield Creatives and the Ozarks Counseling Center, or teaching at Missouri State University. He is unfamiliar with so-called “free time.”
What’s your happiest childhood memory?
I beat the Chief of Police in a one-on-one karate match. He never saw my roundhouse coming. Fool.
If I could invent a holiday,
it would definitely involve pinball.
What’s your go-to happy hour order?
High-Life, Ferrari, and a pour of Rittenhouse if I’m feeling fancy.
What’s something you have to do every day?
Meditate. It’s critical to my mental health.