Max F. James '64

After graduating with honors from the United States Air Force Academy, Mr. James flew with the astronauts in the Astronaut Recovery Program at Cape Canaveral. He then volunteered for Combat Air Rescue duty with the Jolly Green Giants in the Vietnam War, followed by an assignment as a combat instructor pilot. After his time in the military, Mr. James earned an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He then started his business career in the real estate industry as an international investment analyst, which led to a lucrative stint as a real estate sales executive and eventually a real estate developer. Mr. James’ company built, owned and operated eighteen hotels in California and Nevada. He became the Executive Vice President of Days Inns of America, CEO of Days of the West, and served on the Board of Directors of the California Governor’s California Tourism Corporation. Mr. James later returned to the world of real estate and developed several RE/MAX Real Estate territories in Northern California. The retail industry beckoned and Mr. James developed the world’s largest chain of owner operated kiosk retail stores. This involvement in the Specialty Retail Industry led him into numerous product lines, ranging from his American Yoyo Company to the cosmetic world of Avon, Revlon and Proactiv Solutions. Many other company product lines followed such as: Solar City, Hess Energy, ABCmouse, Harry & David, and others. Total revenues have exceeded $1.8 billion. Mr. James was selected as the first inductee into the Specialty Retail Hall of Fame. Currently, Mr. James is the Executive Chairman of American Kiosk Management, LLC, which operates several hundred retail kiosks in the US and Canada. He is the Founder of Camp Soaring Eagle, a camp for chronically and terminally ill children, now having served over 7,000 campers. Mr. James is a recipient of the Academy’s Distinguished Graduate Award.