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Jim Collins holds Bachelor and MBA degrees from Western Michigan University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver. He has since 1977 been a member of the local, state, and national Bar Associations. He is a member of various business and community volunteer associations, and is a former two-term Mayor of the City of Littleton. Jim has served as Executive Vice President of the Special District Association of Colorado since 1975.

Prior to co-founding Collins Cockrel & Cole in 1978, he owned and operated a local government management and financial consulting firm for six years, and has held local government positions including: Assistant and Interim City Manager, Community Development Director, Personnel Director, Urban Renewal Authority Executive Director, and Federal Programs Coordinator.