Geek with social skills | Entrepreneur | Author | Speaker | Angel Investor | Firespring CEO | Founder, Do More Good Movement
Early in life, Jay learned that he couldn't follow directions and eventually succumbed to becoming an entrepreneur. Before graduating from college, he started 8 businesses, most of which failed miserably. He eventually caught on, and in 1986 helped launch Campus Connection magazine in NYC which expanded to 350 college campuses.
After selling the magazine in 1992, Jay moved back to Nebraska to open an AlphaGraphics printing franchise which subsequently broke the record for the 350-store network as the fastest to reach $1M in annual sales. Today, under a different name, the printing company is listed by Printing News magazine as the #1 (largest) rapid-response printshop in America.
In 1996, Jay and his team launched a website design division and landed the Backstreet Boys Band as a client. They knew from that point on, they'd always "Want it That Way" and in 2001, spun-off the division as a separate company.
Today, Firespring has thousands of clients in all 50 states and all over the world. It became Nebraska's first Certified B Corp in 2014 and was named by Inc. Magazine in 2016 as one of America's "50 Best Workplaces."
Jay has invested in nearly 100 startups and is a passionate advocate for the Silicon Prairie having served on the Nebraska Angels BOD since its inception.
In his spare time, Jay can be found on adventures with his family at destinations all over the world. He and his wife, Tawnya have a goal to "have a meaningful experience together in all 50 states and 100 countries." He sits on several nonprofit boards and is an avid supporter of programs that train our youth to become servant leaders.
Jay has appeared on CNN and other news outlets discussing the evolution of purpose-driven companies and is considered a leading authority on building purpose-driven companies.
Today, Jay spends the majority of his time as the founder and steward of the Do More Good Movement—a nonprofit with a mission to educate, empower and amplify companies and business leaders doing more good.
One of Jay's proudest accomplishments is his ability to write about himself in the third person in a way that makes him sound cooler than he really is.