Jim returned home to central Illinois and joined the Y staff in December 2020 building on a career in higher education, where he was a professor of social work. As an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois, he was heavily involved with the University YMCA – helping to establish the Alternative Seasonal Break program, serving on the Student Board, and the Board of Governors. For the past 17 years, he also served on the University YMCA’s Board of Trustees.
Jim graduated from the the University of Illinois (’92) with a degree in psychology. After serving in the Peace Corps (Malawi, 92-94), he completed his MSW and Ph.D. at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is passionate about cooking, especially bread making, the NYT crossword puzzle, hiking, cycling, and teaching. Jim and his wife, Valerie Holton, feel fortunate to live in a great neighborhood in Urbana. They have two adult children.