Jim Gray began his business career in the automobile business upon his graduation from California State University-Long Beach. He sold his last dealership in early 1991. Jim was Co-founder of Harbor Bank headquartered in Long Beach, California in 1974. He served as Chairman of the Board and CEO from 1976 until the sale of Harbor Bank to City National Bank in early 1998. In 1999 Jim founded Generations Trust Bank and served as Chairman until its sale to Union Bank in 2002. Generations Trust Bank was a national bank chartered by the Comptroller of the Currency for trust powers only and at the time of its sale was approximately $1 billion in size. In June of 2004, Gray co-founded Beach Business Bank which is headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California with a full service branch in Long Beach and Costa Mesa and served as Chairman of the Board.
Gray was President of the California Bankers Association in 1985-1986 and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bankers Association from 1991-1996. He served as Treasurer of the American Bankers Association from 1993-1995. Gray was honored as the 2006 California Distinguished Banker of the Year by the California Bankers Association. In 2009 the FDIC founded an Advisory Committee on Community Banking and Gray was selected as one of the fifteen bankers in the United States to serve as a member and continued to serve in that capacity until terming out in November of 2012.
An active member of the Long Beach community, Gray was the founding Chairman of the Aquarium of the Pacific, a past President of the Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Chairman of United Way and was named as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2002. Jim served as an elected member of Board of Education in Long Beach and as a Trustee for the Long Beach Community College district. He was appointed by the Governor of California to serve as a Trustee for the California State University system from 1990-1999. In May of 2000, Gray received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, Cal State-Long Beach.
Upon spending more time in the Coachella Valley, Gray was appointed to fill out a term on the Desert Community College Board of Trustees and was re-elected for another term that concluded at year end 2006. Jim and his wife Gail make their home in Long Beach, California.