Jim was born in Libby, Montana, son of James and Bessie Mitchell. He attended R.A. Long for 4 years from fall 1945 to graduation in 1949. He married Marianne Peters (also an R.A. Long graduate). They had two children: James and Monty.
Jim says his vocational education experiences in Machine Shop and Auto Shop at R.A. Long High School were very helpful during his career in managing manufacturing companies, and with his hobby of restoring antique automobiles.
- U.S. Navy Reserve 1948-1954
- Lower Columbia College Associate Degree, 1951
- University of Washington B.A. in Business, 1953
- University of Oregon M.B.A. 1969
During his career he has served as
- Plant Traffic Manager, General Mills Inc., Tacoma, WA 1953-1956
- Distribution Manager, Crown Zellerbach Corp., Portland, OR, 1956-1962
- Vice President Distribution, P & C Tool Co., Portland, OR, 1962-1968
- President, Proto Tools of Canada, London, Ontario, 1968-1971
- National Sales Manager, Proto Tool Co., Los Angeles, CA, 1971-1973
- President, Millers Falls Co., Deerfield, MA, 1973-1980
- President, Milford Products Corp., Branford, Ct, 1980-1989
- Chairman of the Madison, CT Police Commission, 1990-1991
- President of the American Supply and Manufacturers Assn., 1988
- President of the Hack and Band Saw Manufacturers Assn., 1985
- Director of the Quinnipack Club 1985-1991
- London Ontario, Canada Chamber of Commerce, 1969·1971
Jim officially retired from the tool industry in 1990 but formed a corporation, J. N. Mitchell Inc. He continued advising small and middle-sized companies on how to improve their operations and profitability.
Jim campaigned unsuccessfully for the Connecticut State House of Representatives.
Jim volunteered through the U.S. Retired Executive Service Corps to spend five months teaching manufacturing companies in Bulgaria and Slovakia how to sell their machinery in the West.