WEST PALM BEACH — West Palm Beach native and longtime resident James Drayton was recognized with A Standing Ovation on Saturday, Feb. 16, as a part of the Second Annual Call to Action Luncheon of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Democratic Black Caucus. The theme for this year was A Standing Ovation for James “Jim” Drayton.
The beloved community leader was showered with accolades and affection during the event at the Mary V. McDonald-Wilson Center in Gaines Park, 1505 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach, as friends, family members and local elected officials joined in recognizing him for his work in the community.
A strong advocate for equal rights and equality, Drayton is a former West Palm Beach city commissioner, founder of the annual African American Film Festival that is held at the Kravis Center and the African American Heritage Bookstore in West Palm Beach, among myriad contributions and achievements.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Florida A&M University, and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago, his life goal was to complement his natural business savvy with a strong foundation in government and community service.
Drayton answered the call of duty when drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in the Korean War. Recognized in the 1960s as a high-potential executive, he continued his career as a senior bank examiner for the New York State Banking Department in New York City.
He then took a turn from corporate America to small business and entrepreneurship, and successfully founded many organizations focusing on minority issues and community empowerment.
He proved to be a significant asset while serving in many capacities, whether at the Schomberg Corporation in New York City, one of the worlds largest repositories of literature, art and artifacts detailing the black experience, or for companies in Pennsylvania or Fort Lauderdale.
Drayton is the founder and president of the Together We Stand Democratic Club, furthering his goal of imparting to future generations the knowledge from his years of experience.
He continues to be the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his many contributions and commitment to empowering young people and the community.
The high energy, socially conscious, goal-driven executive said he has approached each of his many successful ventures with one goal in mind: “Democracy and Unity.”
*Pictured abover are Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, left, and James Drayton, right.