James Tarpeh, II, MBA


A graduate of Morehouse College in Banking and Finance, James began his career as a Marketing Analyst with AXA Advisors in New York, NY. Over the next 15 years he worked as an Investment Advisor and Commercial Banker with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Regions Bank.

An entrepreneur at heart, James' desire to operate his own business led him to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he completed his MBA in Finance and Marketing. He then gained invaluable operations experience in the restaurant industry over the next 8 years as the Area Vice President of Waffle House Inc. At Waffle House James managed all aspects of operations and sales for over 35 stores in Dallas Fort Worth and Denver Colorado.

Leveraging those experiences, James launched the The Tarpeh Group, LLC in 2010. The Tarpeh Group LLC owned and operated a Pump It Up Franchise in Fort Worth (A Birthday Party and Team Building Event Center) which was sold in 2016. 

The Tarpeh Group now has a Business Consulting arm, State Thomas Consulting, that prepares small businesses to source capital, and develop marketing strategies and business plans; assists middle market firms in gaining access to debt and equity financing, and develop strategies for optimum performance and growth. The consulting firm also assists multinational organizations in developing opportunities in West Africa and the greater sub Saharan region.

James is passionate about spending time with his daughters, and pouring his time and experiences into the lives of others through mentoring young men at Dallas area schools. He serves on several boards including The Ground Floor (Div of United Way), Homeward Bound, Inc., The Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Community Outreach Center, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (501c3 Board), Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute, and WOCDAL School in Liberia. 

James has previously served on the boards of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce (Treasurer), the Forney Chamber of Commerce, and The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (Board Member). He is a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., and serves as a member of the DFW Alumni Chapters for both Morehouse College and the SMU Cox School of Business.

In his spare time James enjoys playing basketball, golf, tennis and biking. He likes to travel with his family and also enjoys creative writing projects, movie nights, and trail bike rides with his two incredible daughters Johrdyn (13) and Sidrah (8). 

James is a native of Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa) and spent his early years in Pittsburgh (2 to 7), Monrovia (ages 7 to 15), Richmond, and Annandale Virginia.