James Sybesma was born and raised in Michigan but later moved to Lake Tahoe where he started his career as a blackjack dealer at a local casino. When Bill Blackwell moved to Lake Tahoe, he settled right next to Sybesma. As neighbors, they shared their love of adventure and treasure hunting. Upon retirement, Sybesma joined forces with Blackwell in search of gold, and when Blackwell offered him the opportunity to join Kesselring’s team, Sybesma didn’t hesitate.