Mr. Vincent L. James has been a founder, developer, and manager of business development initiatives since 1980 beginning with Gulf South Development Group. He has served as managing partner of Sycamore 1, LLC since 2007. A real estate development company that specializes in developing communities for underserved populations seeking a transformative lifestyle opportunity. Mr. James founded COGUM Global in 2011, and the name was changed to Impact Change in 2021. Impact Change is focused on empowering communities through the development of workforce and affordable housing. Additionally, the goal is to first improve the physical surroundings, with a desire to offer inclusive solutions for empowerment that will attract people seeking change through spiritual growth, education, and job training.
In 2012, Mr. James purchased the Woodlawn Community located in Rock Hill where houses were boarded up and uninhabitable. He invested time and money to make affordable housing available in an area that needed revitalization.
In 2017, Vincent was one of the founders of the Honor Place Development Group (HPDG) which was created to address the challenges of our veteran population as they transitioned back into their communities. HPDG offered a process that was a proactive versus reactive strategy that aimed to combat a national problem with a solution that could be scaled nationally. He is as a local philanthropist in the Charlotte, NC/Rock Hill, SC area, and is well-known for devoting time, resources, and leadership to projects intended for the sole purpose of enriching the quality of life in the communities where he lives and works.
In 2019, he began negotiations to purchase 60 acres of land, located on Neely Road in Rock Hill two blocks from South Point High School, and was successful with closing in October 2020. The soon-to-be Everly Ridge neighborhood will comprise of 150 new homes. During that same month, Mr. James purchased this property located here on the south side of Rock Hill located between Heckle Boulevard and Saluda and Albright Streets. Mr. James is a devoted father who dedicated his life to raising his son and daughter. As a single father, he understands the struggles of one-parent households and the challenges that arise from balancing work, parenting, educational investments, spiritual growth, and community involvement.
Mr. James earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Livingston College in Salisbury, NC, earned a Bachelor of Science in Theology from Ambassador Christian College University, Kannapolis, North Carolina. He has also earned numerous certifications in management and leadership, all of which has been instrumental in shaping the servant leadership style that he has used to create transformational community growth.
Mr. James believes that the business community has an obligation to invest in improving the quality of life so that every citizen feels secure and safe, has a say in their future, and feels hope in finding opportunities to prosper. He has served as Chairman, Board of Directors, and an active member of many organizations:
• Past Co-Chairman, Small Business Chamber of Commerce
• Past Member, Charlotte/Mecklenburg Planning Commission
• Past Board of Directors, Charlotte/Mecklenburg Privatization Council
• Past Chairman, Charlotte, Business League
• Past Chairman Building Standards Advisory Board
• Past Board of Directors, Goodwill Industries, Inc.
• Past Vice Chairman, Board of Trustee, Central Piedmont Community College
• Past Board of Directors, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Trustee
• Past Board Member, Boys Scouts of America
• Past Board of Directors, Sister Cities
• Past Board Member NC Alternative Energy
The business and academic communities have long recognized the devotion of Mr. James and his investment in the Charlotte/Rock Hill area. They have also found ways to reward him for his contributions and achievements. In 2004, Central Piedmont Community College declared through Proclamation, that August 22, would from that day forward, annually be known as Vincent L. James Day, because of his commitment to the college through volunteerism, and use of his time and resources.
The Small Business Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte grew its entrepreneurship community by supporting new business ventures, through sourcing for talent and effectively organizing the necessary resources. The many networking opportunities made possible under Mr. James’ leadership was also a force for success. His commitment to his community is immeasurable and he has consistently demonstrated it with his actions.