20 under 40: James Abrams

The ‘ethos’ is doing what’s right
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James Abrams is president and CEO of EthosGen.

Work hard, laugh often, share with others and leave the rest to God is the mantra James Abrams, president and CEO of EthosGen, lives by.
At the age of 22, he began his tech firm with an idea. “I found the harder I worked, the luckier I became meeting great people and great opportunities. Doing what is right or ‘ethos’ is important because you have to understand how to live in order to make a living.”
Being part of an alternative energy firm means there is no written job description. “The good parts of my day are international business interactions, each so very unique, but with universal business principles and it is a great source of constant motivation,” he says.
His success was attained though great leadership in his family. “My grandparents and parents are truly some of the hardest working and caring people, so all my life I have had strong understanding that working hard and being good to others need to be hand-in-hand, ”he says. His grandparents were like surrogate parents. “Seeing the dedication of them both in all they did was such a good example,” he says.
His mentors include Rev. Jack Ryan of King’s College, Mark Leffler and Steven Roth. At age 22, he walked into Fr. Ryan’s office at 4 p.m. on a Friday with an idea, and since then, Ryan has been a constant source of knowledge and friendship. Leffler is a mentor and his first investor; Roth of Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald has been a mentor and friend.
Abrams recently was named an advisor to Vitrius Technologies, a solar technologies firm, and hopes to see larger companies one day adopt this technology. In 2012, he served as one of 12 delegates by the U.S. Department of State to Bioenergy 2012, the largest bioenergy conference in the world.
He is grateful for the support of his strong and brilliant sisters.