Jim was born in Tempe, AZ on November 26, 1967 and moved to Sioux Falls, SD with his family in 1975. He attended Washington High School, graduating in May 1986. Jim attended college at Mankato State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and Management.

Jim began working with his family-owned Carlson Distributing, the local Miller Beer distributor, from 1983-1990. After graduation from college, he moved to the Twin Cities to further his beverage marketing experience by working for one of the largest Miller Distributors in the country at the time, JJ Taylor of Arden Hills, MN from 1991-1995. Jim returned to Sioux Falls in 1995 to again join the family operation, which continued in marketing and managing elements of the business until May 2008. The business was acquired by Dakota Beverage, and Jim continued to work for that firm until retiring in April 2015 after his father had passed. Currently, he works at managing the family investments, which includes reals estate and a large storage business. Jim and his wife Kim have two children: Jimmy is a Graduate of the University of South Dakota; and Madeline is a student at the University of Sioux Falls.

Jim’s Masonic journey began in March 2004 when he was raised a Master Mason with Trinity Lodge #200 in Sioux Falls. Soon thereafter, he joined the El Raid Shrine, where he has been an active member of the Oriental Band and now active with the Steel Drum Band. Jim served as an aide to the Potentate in 2005 and 2006, and Chief Potentate’s Aide in 2007. In 2008, he was asked to join the El Raid Divan as Outer Guard, which started a ten-year journey on the El Riad Shrine Board of Directors. Jim was elected Potentate of El Raid in 2017. In 2018 he was elected to serve on the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Twin Cities Board of Governors, in December 2020 was elected Treasurer for the Board of Governors a position which he still holds. He serves on the El Riad Circus/Shrine Marketing team and a member of the Circus Finance Team. Jim also holds memberships in the Birak Shrine Club in Fergus Falls, MN and is a member of the Sioux Falls Valley of the Scottish Rite. 

Jim continues to bring his business marketing and management background and 30-plus years in business to help in the Grand Lodge thrive and grow. Because he is now retired, Jim has the time to share his extensive experience in business, and his ten years of leadership on the Board of Directors of El Riad to help the Grand Lodge of South Dakota move forward in this new decade. He is honored to have been appointed Grand Secretary / Treasurer by MWB Grand Master Harold Ireland in November of 2019 and elected to the Position in 2020, and 2021.

Jim is still working to keep expenses in line, streamline operations, working with our Trustees on ways to improve the Grand Lodge banking relationship and returns on our investments. Also, working to develop the Lodge Investment Fund to offer lodges additional ways grow their reserved funds. With lots of help from our great Grand Lodge office staff in Sioux Falls, we are exploring new ways to provide more support and communications to all lodges in South Dakota and to the Lodge secretaries as needed. Hopefully, with improved communications and increased support, Jim hopes that the Grand Lodge and each lodge can focus on membership growth and increased participation by lodges and Masons across the State of South Dakota.

Thanks again to all for this opportunity to continue to serve.