James Graves grew up in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah High School in 1964 and then went on to graduate from the University of Georgia.
Professionally, Graves founded Colony Builders of Carolina, Inc. in 1983 after careers in sales for Xerox and in the banking industry.
In 1984 he joined the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia.
Throughout his 27 years as a member he has served in many leadership positions. In his local association, Graves has served on the board of directors as a Builder Director in 1986 and 1987 then served as chairman for the Membership Committee, Government Affairs Committee, Political Education Committee, and the Parade of Homes Committee and a founding member of the Sales and Marketing Council. He was elected to the board of directors in 1993 and became president of the association in 1997. He was awarded the Builder Member of the Year from the local association in 1997.
After reaching the highest position on the local level, Graves started working with the state and national associations. Among the many positions he has held in the state HBA are District 2 Vice President and Chairman of the Membership Committee. He has served on the state board of directors since 2002 and served as president of the HBA of South Carolina in 2006 and on the SC Home Builders Self Insurers Fund Board of Trustees. Graves received the prestigious Gordon A. Harrison Award in 2006 recognizing his innovative and creative ideas that have improved the housing industry and unquestionable character and integrity.
Graves currently serves as chairman of the Certified Master Builders Committee and was a charter Certified Master Builder; member of a NAHB Builder 20 Club; Member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Homes Builders and is an active member of the HBA of South Carolina Board of Directors as a Past President.
He is President of Ensight Homes, which received two Pinnacle Awards in 2011.