“Jim has played the key role in quickly building the California Airports Council to an organization with a leading State and national voice in the aviation industry.”

— John L. Martin, Director, San Francisco International Airport, Founding President, California Airports Council

Jim Lites has over 25 years of experience in government, consulting and association management.  

As a long-time legislative advocate, Jim has experience in various policy arenas including tax policy, wireless telecommunications, aviation, passenger and cargo rail, policy public pension systems, mortgage insurance, local government and cargo and goods movement.  Jim also engages in the state budget and works regularly with various clients to achieve budget-related goals.  Jim serves on the California Maritime Security Council, the California Freight Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of ReviverMX, a California technology start-up company.

In 2009, Mr. Lites was selected to serve as the Executive Director of the new California Airports Council (CAC), representing the 33 commercial airports in California.  The role of the CAC is to educate policymakers on California commercial aviation and issues that impact airport finance and operations.  

Jim began his public service in the Senate Fellowship Program in 1989, assigned to the Senate Budget Committee.  He later served in the State Assembly in various positions including:  Chief Consultant to the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Marguerite Archie-Hudson and Senior Consultant for tax policy, economic development and international trade to Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante.  Finally, Jim served as Chief of Staff to Speaker Emeritus Bustamante.  Before joining California Strategies, Jim was a Partner in the public policy advocacy firm of Schott & Lites from 1999 to 2015.  

On behalf of his neighborhood homeowners association, Jim played a key role in updating California state law in 2004 to deletion of provisions within CC&Rs for older housing developments that still contain unenforceable racial and religious residency restrictions.      

In his community, Jim volunteered as President of the Board of Directors for the Arden Park Dolphins Swim Team from 2004-2007 and Head Coach of the Arden Park Shooting Stars girls youth soccer team from 2001 through 2010.  In 2013, Jim joined the Board of Directors of the Arden Park Recreation and Park District, and currently serves as Board Chairman.  

Jim earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from California State University, Sacramento.  In 1990, Jim studied international political economy at the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina and is fluent in Spanish.  Jim holds an active California real estate sales license and Series 7, 63 & 79 securities licenses.

Jim Lites also serves as a California-based Managing Director for Town Hall Capital.  Town Hall Capital is an investment marketing firm based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  

Mr. Lites was born in Pasadena, California and currently resides in Sacramento with his wife and three daughters.