Jim was born in 1953, Mary Ellyn in 1960 (do the math) and though their lives nearly crossed paths many times growing up, they didn't meet until 1999.

They were married at the Beaches family resort in Negril, Jamaica in June of 2000.

Prior to meeting each other,  Jim had been involved in the lifestyle for nearly 30 years…Mary Ellyn for less than a year.

Jim has 4 step-children from a previous marriage and is now also a step-father to Mary Ellyn's two grown boys.

Jim enlisted in the army and served two years during the Viet Nam war.

He has worked for the Associated Press, owned and operated a gas station and has since worked as an accountant for most of his adult life.

Mary Ellyn worked for 20 years as a registered nurse primarily in the trauma and critical care settings prior to retiring from the medical field to join Jim in his accounting practice.


Both Jim and Mary Ellyn are Reiki Practitioners. Mary Ellyn is a level 2 Reiki therapist and Jim is a Reiki Master Level Teacher. (read about Reiki here)

Together they own an accounting, tax and finance business in the south suburbs of Chicago which Jim has managed for over 30 years.

In 2005 they opened the first pole dancing school
in the Chicago area, Empowerment Though Exotic Dance, Ltd.

Mary Ellyn pole dances…Jim does not!
However he can do a spin or two and knows enough about pole dancing to be a great assistant and can talk "pole" with the students!

Mary Ellyn has never worked as a professional exotic dancer but enjoyed pole dancing at clubs and special events.

In August of 2010 they developed Midwest Pole Dancing as a resource to pole schools in the Midwest and in August 2011 hosted the first large scale professional pole fitness competition in the Chicago Area.

Jim and Mary Ellyn have remained active in the lifestyle since they met.

They are not the owners of Castaways Travel!

They were introduced to James and Champagne (the real owners of Castaways Travel) in 2000.

In 2004, they began working as a host couple on escorted group trips for Castaways and have since hosted 2-3 group trips per year.

They have been to Hedonism resorts over 25 times as well as to Desire, Temptation and Hidden Beach resorts.

Between the two of them they have traveled to Jamaica over 3 dozen times in the past and together.