Already intent on engineering in his early college days, Jim credits the mentorship he received from seasoned professionals for paving his path forward. “They took the time to teach and to lead, and knew when to step back,” he elaborates. “Not only was I given the chance to design, but also to build those designs in the field. It was an invaluable experience.”
A few years into his career, Jim identified a gap in the marketplace for consulting engineers who stayed involved with clients and projects. He enjoyed being in the field, advocating for his clients – and that wasn’t the typical career progression in most firms. So he and his now-retired partner, Bill Karges, founded their own in 1996. KFI Engineers was rooted in these guiding principles, quickly growing to 100 employees in the first ten years, and now serves clients across North America.
“Seeing our clients prosper is very satisfying,” Jim says. “It means that not only were the designs appropriate, but our clients made those ideas work. I hope to be able look back years from now and further appreciate how we were able to adapt to changing times.”
- Over 28 years of mechanical engineering, fieldwork and project management experience in mission-critical systems design.
- Member of the Board of Directors of Hawkins, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWKN) since 2007.
Jim’s creativity isn’t limited to client projects. During off-hours, he can be found designing and crafting any number of things, like his desk and several conference tables at the KFI office, and the mechanical systems for his 1932 home. He has completed the restoration of a 1956 Willys pickup with diesel power, achieving the goal of 30mpg, and is currently restoring a 1933 Studebaker Rockne, subtly powering it with an electric drive. Jim enjoys time with his wife Therese and their young son, and British labs. He enjoys bird hunting, classical music and is an avid tennis player and fan.