James E. Makee Jr.

Executive Vice President & Partner

I grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio in a loving family where my educator parents instilled in me from an early age the importance of education and hard work on my path to success.

As a result, I am defined by my strong work ethic which prompted me to pursue business endeavors at the age of eight by selling pussy willows on the corner and later delivering the Sun News, Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer within my neighborhood.

My business acumen further developed during my teenage years when I hired my friends to mow lawns for me while I simultaneously operated a successful home painting business. It was during this time as well that I realized my dream of becoming a pilot. At the age of 13 I began to take flying lessons and three years later, I piloted my first solo flight! I continued to fly throughout my college years at Miami University. I also became actively involved in the launching of a nationally chartered student credit union with more than 80 volunteer staff members. The First Miami Student Credit Union is still offering financial solutions to young people today.

I am a graduate of the Miami University Farmer School of Business and hold degrees in both management and aeronautics. My wife and I have been happily married for 25 years and are raising two delightful children. My family is the most important thing to me and I have found no greater joy in life than to watch and participate in their successes.

I am devoted to healthy living and embrace any opportunity for physical activity. As a controlled risk taker, my athletic adventures include charity distance bike rides, flying, swimming, skydiving, running, kickboxing and anything on the water. I also enjoy woodworking projects and am part of a club that makes furniture to donate to local homeless and battered women’s shelters.

My community is important to me and I continue to be actively involved in my church, my children’s schools as well as various organizations. I have served on the boards of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Kent State University, Horizons Daycare, Messiah Lutheran Church, West Geauga Educational Foundation, Visiting Nurse Association and Mayfield United Methodist Church. I have also been an auxiliary police officer for Chester Township. Being able to give back to my community has been a lifelong goal of mine.

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