To celebrate Black History Month, the Loudoun Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Committee is spotlighting several members of the Chamber. Today’s Spotlight is on Craig James, owner at Insight into Action Therapy.
Where were born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised between the cities of Norfolk and Richmond. I moved to Loudoun County in April of 2007 after living in Fairfax County which felt overcrowded. I saw the growth and opportunity for myself and my family in Loudoun County. Interesting fact: the neighborhood that I eventually moved into, I had visited several years before while shopping at the Leesburg Outlets.
How long have you been in your industry?
Unofficially, I have been in behavioral healthcare since high school, when I was in a magnet school for the health professions while simultaneously running my church’s nursery.
I officially became a provider in 1994 when I graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Psychology. I eventually earned a Masters in Social Work and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Substance Abuse Practitioner, and Master Addiction Counselor. I have worked in different arenas including home-based counseling, residential treatment, and now run Insight Into Action Therapy and Insight Recovery Centers.
How did you get into this line of work?
Fun fact: As a kid I grew up in the church. For those who don’t know, that means Sunday School and Church services every Sunday, usually 3 hours, as well as another hour of service during the week. While I liked Sunday School because of the education approach, I was not a fan of sermons because it was preachy. So, I began helping out in the nursery to avoid the hour church service. With both of my parents being in the helping industry –my mom a cardiac nurse and dad an assistant superintendent in public education- my path to helping people was laid.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that guided your career?
Beside the daily operations of running Insight Into Action Therapy and Insight Recovery Centers with my business partner, Cyndi Turner, I get together with a few close friends at least once a month to discuss professional and personal growth. As for mentors and inspiration that have helped to guide my career, my parents have been the key figures.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Providing therapy to clients is the best part of my day. Because I truly do enjoy what I do, I have not worked a day since 1995. I value the client experiences. Working with clients makes the business owner responsibilities of the two companies worthwhile.
What is it like doing business in Loudoun?
While it can be a challenge to balance life and work, doing business in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia create a number of opportunities. I like connecting with business owners of different industries, those who are founders of their respective companies looking to grow and improve their industry. In addition to being a member of the Chamber, Loudoun has afforded me the opportunity to support nonprofit causes like Dandelion Meadow and sit on the Loudoun County Community Services Board.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
While I never set out to be a business owner, I always saw my life responsibilities as helping people to enjoy themselves and their experiences. As a black male, Black History is what I live every day, not just the month of February. Black History to me means honor, responsibility, and anticipation of an equal opportunity.
Favorite things to do when you are not working?
Three things you can find me doing if not working: golfing with my buddies, watching my son at a lacrosse game with my wife, or manicuring my lawn.