Jim Holland had the good fortune to grow up in Vermont, where at an early age he was introduced to the sport of ski jumping. Captivated by the exhilarating feeling of flying, he embraced the values of persistence, attitude and focus to become a six-time national champion and two-time Olympian. After retiring as a competitive athlete, Jim headed west in search of adventure and a job. Unsure as to what his political science degree from the University of Vermont qualified him to do, he eventually teamed up with a childhood friend and founded the outdoor Internet retailer Backcountry.com. The lessons Jim learned from ski jumping meshed well with his entrepreneurial aspirations, and today Backcountry is the leading high-end outdoor gear retailer, operating Backcountry.com, CompetitiveCyclist.com, SteepandCheap.com, MotoSport.com and Bergfreunde.de, and employing over 1200 people worldwide.
Six and a half years ago at the age of 47, Jim was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Needless to say it’s been an eye-opening experience – one that’s instilled him with compassion and understanding for those enduring chronic illness. Jim now focuses much of his energy and resources in support of researchers and scientists working in the realm of regenerative medicine. In constant awe of the brilliance and dedication of scientists, Jim believes that the answers to broadly unlocking health and alleviating suffering are right in front of us.