, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and moved to Iowa with his large family of six sisters and two brothers at the age of five. His mother was an ER nurse, his father, an administrator for the FBI. Jim was an above average student with a natural propensity to build things, including his own toys. At the age of 12 he built his own go-cart complete with a gasoline engine. He excelled at sports and in college was the quarterback of the football team, but his athletic career was short-lived due to injuries, so he turned his attention to his passion for photography. He won a photography scholarship and studied art but changed his major and graduated with a degree in business administration at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
Despite having a college degree, Jim found it difficult finding work in a bad economy and with his art background, painted houses as a way to make ends meet. One day while spray painting a house, his eyes became very irritated by the back spray of paint. He tried wearing goggles, but they quickly became useless when the spray paint stuck to the lens, obstructing his vision. It was then that Jim had his "ah-ha" moment. His inventive mind and his education all came into play at that one instant. Within a few days, his invention of spray painting goggles was drawn on his sketch pad, and within a few weeks he had a working prototype. He set up a small manufacturing facility and gradually began marketing his spray painting goggles.
In 1988, Jim was distracted by what was happening in the world at the time. Mikhail Gorbachev, the new leader of the then Soviet Union was making peace gestures towards the United States. In December of that year, Gorbachev visited New York which made big headlines. Jim felt the US was not taking these peace overtures seriously and had another one of his "ah-ha" moments. He decided to build what he later called "a super-sized Christmas card from one super power to another." The idea took on a life of its own and suddenly Jim was making national headlines himself, appearing on all major networks, The Today Show, CNN, and Fox News (See Video). Jim felt he had no choice but to put his invention on the shelf for awhile and take on a more important cause - World Peace!
< br/> Jim convinced Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to sign his peace card, as well as Iowa Senators; Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley, and the entire Iowa delegation of the US Congress. Jim also persuaded other US senators, congressmen and state governors to sign the card, including then Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas. He then took his giant peace card on tour across the US collecting signatures along the way, ending up in New York City, where he was greeted by Mayor Ed Koch and a host of celebrities – including Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon. Jim finally took the card to Moscow and presented it to the Soviet people on Russian television. He was treated like a US diplomat while in Moscow, even though he was only there as a private citizen.
When the project was over, Jim was exhausted both physically and financially. He went back to Iowa where he was regarded as a hero. Some even suggested that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for what he had accomplished. But all Jim wanted to do was to rest up for awhile and re-focus his attention on his invention.
While visiting San Diego on his peace card tour he had met up with some potential investors who seemed very interested in his spray painting goggles. The investors convinced him to move to San Diego and set up the manufacturing in Mexico. So in 1991, Jim moved from Iowa to set up an office here in Pacific Beach. He had very little money when he arrived and painted houses again as a means of survival.
The first few years in San Diego were tough for Jim. On several nights he slept in his car or on the beach until he found a small office space in Pacific Beach for only $200/month. The landlord had no idea that he had planned to sleep there as well. The tiny office provided a roof over his head as well as a place where he could begin working on his new company. Jim hid his clothes in the drop ceiling and showered at the nearby fitness club. He was careful not to park his car near the office at night and to keep the lights low as to not draw attention to himself living there. For more than 2 years he got away with it and was eventually able to find an apartment that he could finally afford a few blocks away. All the while he was setting up his manufacturing plant in Mexico where the orders began to get larger and larger.
By 2005 his company’s annual sales were over a million dollars. In 2006, he bought a house in PB and a year-and-a-half later converted it into a castle - better known as the "PB Castle." Although he still owns his goggle business, he spends most of his time working on his newest brain child: The PB Reality Show. He attributes his accomplishments to his daily meditations which he has been doing since he was a teenager. Jim also writes inspiring blogs, found at PB Millionaire on Blogspot, giving insightful advice with spirituality as the basis of success.
Since becoming a millionaire he puts his wealth to use with the PB Millionaire Charity Fund which donates to various well-known charities. His favorite charity, however, is helping the homeless in San Diego. Jim is probably most famous, though, for his legendary parties and millionaire lifestyle. A self-described "bachelor for life", he enjoys giving his guests a total experience that they will never forget. He says it’s all about giving, whether it is to a homeless person or a guest at his party.
Jim was nick-named the "PB Millionaire" by his film crew and it stuck despite that fact he doesn’t like it. With his humble upbringing, he doesn’t let it go to his head and constantly reminds people that he prefers just "Jim."