Darren L. James, AIA

President & COO, KAI Texas

Darren James moved to Dallas with his wife, Marishelia, and their two daughters, Tanisha and Courtney, to lead KAI Texas in 1999. He now resides just north of Dallas in Lewisville, Texas. His favorite thing about Dallas is the variety of activities it offers. From concerts on Tuesdays and plays on Wednesdays to jazz on Thursdays, not to mention the international collection of Gold Medal Award winning architects with projects in the Dallas area, he appreciates the attempt and desire to avoid sameness: “you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and get an entirely different feel,” says Darren. He values that each area tries to differentiate itself and create reasons to visit while simultaneously developing a unique identity. Darren’s travels have taken him many places both domestically and internationally. His fondness for tropical destinations has taken him to many places in the Caribbean; at home, he has his own piece of paradise with his 55‚Äźgallon tropical freshwater aquarium. However, his most memorable travel experiences were in Madrid and Toledo, Spain and Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada. A history buff, Darren is fascinated by visiting history, natural science, and art museums around the world, and is always sure to fit a visit into each trip whenever possible. At home, Darren is largely involved in the Dallas community, serving on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dallas County, the Community Council of Greater Dallas, the Minority Design Professionals Council, Inc., and the Dallas Black Chamber. He is also a member of the University of Kansas School of Architecture Advisory Board as well as a Leadership Dallas Class of 2009 graduate and a Class of 2010 class advisor.