“James is a member of the Danville City Council and is pro-active in community issues. He orchestrated the Bridge Street Food Truck Rodeo and the re-emergence of the Main Line Trolley.
I chose James to be a 2017 Community Strong Person of the Year for his passion to see our city grow. He is involved in all aspects of our community.”
-Hampton Wilkins, 2016 Showcase Magazine Community Person of the Year
Why is community involvement so important to you?
Community involvement is important to me because it’s a way to better our community, and an opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to all of us over the years. I grew up here. Danville is my home and always will be.
What inspires you to volunteer?
Volunteering gives me is the satisfaction of being able to serve my community, and the hopes that I may inspire others in our region to make a positive difference.
How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?
I would have to say there is a lot of balancing that goes along with my day-to-day life, but I am blessed to have a very understanding wife who encourages me to do more than I ever thought I was capable of doing. I am also very fortunate to be surrounded by a great team of co-workers at Wilkins & Co who are there to help me whenever I am in need.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
My dad used to tell me all the time to give life your all and if you fall, get back up and try again. Never give up.
Who are your real-life heroes and why?
My mom and dad are my heroes. They always loved me, my brother Jay and sisters Jean, Ann, and June unconditionally. They sacrificed to make sure we were taken care of and although we didn’t have much, we were all happy kids.
What is it about Danville that makes it special to you?
It’s my home. I love that we have so many hidden treasures in our city like the river walk, the bike trails, the architecture of our historic buildings, and the homes are just as nice, if not better, as other places I’ve visited in the world. I like knowing when I go to the grocery store or out to dinner, I will likely run into someone I know. I like that we, as a community, can see we have problems and we also know that, as a community, we are the only ones who will be able to fix our problems by working together and standing for positive change as a whole.
What are your favorite things to do in Danville?
I enjoy the many festivals that are held throughout the year, as well as growing brewery scene. The Riverwalk Trail has been something I’ve enjoyed for years.
What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness to me is time spent with family and friends doing whatever it is that makes you all happy. For me, it’s having lots of people at my house, cooking dinner for them all and socializing.
How do you recharge. What do you like to do outside of work and volunteerism?
I enjoy spending time with my wife Jessica and son Elisha, as well as my friends. Also, I enjoy working on and riding old Harleys and Vespas.
Do you have a favorite quote, and if so what is it?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
What are your visions for the future of Danville?
My overall vision for the future of our city is to have a united community working together to build a better Danville. There’s no individual person who can lift Danville to new heights by themselves, but when we, as a community, lock arm-in-arm with one another, we can accomplish wonders.
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
I am mostly looking forward to all of the new and exciting economic development projects that are in the works. Also, I’m looking forward to new opportunities here in the Dan River Region.