When asked what best characterizes his life’s work, Class X member Jim Knupp says being a father to three children and having a very rewarding professional career are at the top of the list.
He states: “Also important is doing what I can to benefit communities in which I live and causes about which I care.”
Jim grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and spent most of his life in Chicago. He attributes his leadership development in his early years to the indelible lessons about ethics and personal responsibility that he learned during his four years at the Phillips Academy Preparatory School in Andover.
Simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding accomplishment is the professional services company he started at the age of 43. They started the company on a shoestring with no clients and when the firm was sold in 2010, they were overseeing $2 trillion dollars in client assets.
Jim has lived in Naples for 14 years. He came here thinking he would live a laid-back retirement life, playing golf, which he began at the age of 60, which he says makes him a masochist.
Jim rarely gets to play golf due to his involvement in community activities. He is involved in various roles with United Way, Moorings Park, The Conservancy, The Immokalee Foundation, FGCU Foundation (Chair Emeritus), Collier Automotive Museum, and the Lutgert School of Business at FGCU.
Dedicated to issues of education, Jim states that the greatest need he sees in Collier County is to make education all the way from preschool through college more effective, with emphasis on reading, writing, math and sciences, plus soft working skills as well as social skills. He has a great interest in college scholarships to elevate more young people to greater financial and social prosperity.
GNL membership has presented Jim with an appreciation of the richness of the community and the gift of long-term friendships with quality people.
When asked for “Words of Wisdom,” Jim shared a part of a recent speech he gave to a graduating class:
- Take career risks
- Learn what your boss wants from you and deliver it
- Surround yourself with successful people
- Learn from and emulate those whom you admire