Jim is a lifelong resident of Iowa. Born in Waterloo and raised in Belle Plaine, Jim moved to Victor during junior high school and graduated from HLV in 1987. In 1990, Jim moved to Grinnell but soon moved back to Victor.

Jim has been active in work and family life. He has been involved in several committees during his nine-year employment at Amana Refrigeration. Currently, he works at Midland Forge in Cedar Rapids. Jim has served as vice president of Local Lodge 1526 of the International Association of Machinists for four years. He has been active as a coach for youth soccer in his area.

In 1992, Jim married Susan Gilliland of Brooklyn, Iowa, and they decided to make their permanent home in Victor. They have a daughter named Caitlyn who is 11.