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The values instilled in Max F. James as a boy on a Tennessee farm have influenced all of his subsequent activities as a business executive, pilot, and philanthropist. While a teen, he served a congressman as an administrative assistant in the United States House of Representatives. Accepted to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, Max F. James chose to take flight training and graduated at the age of 21 with top honors. For a time, he served at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida with the astronaut recovery program, where he flew with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts. He then volunteered for combat air rescue in Vietnam and earned multiple decorations for helping to save U.S. military pilots. During the more than 200 missions that Max James flew overseas, his aircraft was shot down twice by enemy fire. He completed his military service as a combat pilot instructor.

For his next “assignment,” Max F. James attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California. Earning a Master of Business Administration, he started selling real estate in the U.S. and overseas. Max James also built, owned, and managed 18 Days Inn hotels in California and Nevada. He became the Executive Vice President of Days Inns of America, Inc., a subsidiary of HFS Incorporated, and joined the boards of the California Hotel Association and the California Governor’s California Tourism Corporation. In addition, Max F. James owned and operated seven RE/MAX territories in Northern California.

An entrepreneur, Max F. James pursued his interest in network marketing companies, especially those involved in the nutrition and health industries, and subsequently served at New Vision. In 1997, he founded American Kiosk Management, through which he markets Proactiv skin care products. The company operates more than 700 high-quality shopping kiosks strategically placed in malls across the U.S. and Canada. Adding North American Kiosk to his portfolio, Max F. James currently oversees specialty retail operations with nearly 800 locations in 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Canada that report total gross annual sales of about $200 million.

Work experience

Jan 2011Present

Founding Director

USAF Academy Endowment Foundation



Bachelor's degree

United States Air Force


Stanford University Graduate School of Business