Jim Brannen was a mainstay in our community. A native of Geneva, Illinois, he left long enough to graduate from Dartmouth. Once home, he earned his MBA from Northwestern. From there, he began his 25-year career with First National Bank of Chicago. Along the way, he married Martha and started a family. After banking, Jim spent 12 years as president to Security Associates, Inc.
Jim was also dedicated to giving back to his community. He believed in helping locally, the businesses and the people. Jim gave his time and knowledge to county, school and hospital boards, while being a member of the Jaycees and Lions clubs. He partnered with Ernie Mahaffey at the Center for Business Education, Innovation and Development and with Dr. Ray Benedetto and Austin Dempsey to form the Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center.
As a businessman, Jim was well known as a great team player, joining in dicussions and deliberations to move towards an agreeable outcome. He was always willing to work for what he believed in, as evidenced by his being part of the Illinois Constitutional Convention. This commitment meant weeks for commuting back and forth to Springfield and a steady workload. He also knew the connections he made there may sometime help the Fox Valley area.
His wife, Marty, fondly remembers Jim always being so excited after pitch nights with the FVEC. He loved all the ideas and the passion these entrepreneurs had for their businesses. “He’d always go off to those nights with his notebook,” says Marty. “He never wanted to forget an idea or a comment for those pitching.”
Here are what others have to say of Jim:
“We are grateful for Jim’s loyalty and service to the college that have come to define the character of Dartmouth alumni. His devotion will be remembered, and he will be greatly missed by classmates and friends.”
“It was an honor to work with Jim at the Geneva Lions Club.”
“He was patient, talented, willing to listen and always came up with solutions.”
“Delnor Hospital is so grateful for his leadership over the years, sharing it with us and other local not-for-profits.”
“His quiet concern and generous nature were special.”
“Jim was always so kind, upbeat and intelligent.”
“He was a fine gentleman, so humble, compassionate and kind. It was enjoyable working with him during his term as president of the St. Charles Country Club and the years he spent on the board. I admired his intelligence, intuitiveness and the way he analyzed a situation, always approaching it with a great deal of fairness.”
“Personally, Jim was a great friend and mentor to me. We served on the FVEC board together and I witnessed all of Jim’s influence, wisdom and volunteerism.”