Rick and Vicki James were presented with the highest honor which a Governor of Indiana can bestow – the Sagamore of the Wabash Award. It is given to citizens of Indiana who have demonstrated wisdom, public commitment, and concern for the well-being of others. Rick and Vicki demonstrate their faith and dedication to their community each day by sharing not just funds, but knowledge and mentorship with citizens every day.
The James Foundation, Inc. believes that by serving as civic stewards, quality of life will be enriched acting as a catalyst to undertakings that strengthen both families and community. By enhancing existing social platforms and providing new educational and cultural opportunities, citizens will be empowered and inspired to initiate and cultivate positive change in all life experiences, nourishing vitality across the community.
Vicki and Rick James believe that through hard work, dedication, and devoted faith they have been abundantly blessed. Sharing those blessings with community and individuals with drive and determination to make themselves better led them to develop The James Foundation.
Their personal vision, business experience, and the family’s strong faith have guided The James Foundation focus on funding and enhancing all levels of educational experiences to promote good citizenship and leadership through education; community by promoting the arts, the cultural fabric of our communities; and faith by enriching the Christian discipleship and leadership in all life experiences.
Rick forged his career in the metal working business in college, working at the Auburn Foundry through its co-op program to help pay for his tuition. After graduating from college in 1977, he began full time work at the foundry. He built relationships, identified opportunities for growth, and worked hard and within 14 years he had climbed the corporate ladder and was President. In 1997, Rick left the Auburn Foundry to form Metal Technologies, Inc. From there, through sparks of ingenuity, vision, faith, and hard work, his company flourished.
Being a rare combination of visionary, entrepreneur, manager, and mentor, Rick has stayed steps ahead of the competition, allowing his business to succeed and prosper over the last 20 years. Leaving the day-to-day operations of Metal Technologies in the capable hands of family, has allowed Rick the time to begin a new journey and partnership with his wife, Vicki, to create The James Foundation.
Vicki’s heart of gold and passion for service has led her to be a very active member in the community for quite a long time. She has given time to Trine University’s Black and White Scholarship Gala by serving on the committee which has raised over one million for student scholarships. She is active at her church sharing her passion of her faith by leading bible study and mentoring youth through confirmation. It has been said of Vicki that her thoughtful, compassionate, and inspirational personality inspires others to give of themselves to their community. She puts her heart into everything making a lasting impact on everyone she interacts with, improving lives and the standard of living in our communities, and helps those who dare to become more successful achieve their goals in any way that she can.
In its infancy, The James Foundation. has already affected change in its community through the creating of The James Cultural Plaza, making donations to worthy organizations across the country, created early education opportunities for children throughout northeast Indiana, all while maintaining a strong and steadfast faith by supporting organizations such as the YMCA.