From a young age, Jay watched his parents work long hours fighting for families in need. His mom was a registered nurse who would wake up long before dawn to get to work at the hospital, where she cared for the sick and infirm, and his dad would rise with her, preparing to protect the men and women who made their living from the ocean.
They both instilled in him the value of an honest day’s work, the obligation to give back to your community, and the importance of serving a cause greater than yourself.
He always admired his parents and their efforts, and long sought to emulate their example.
A graduate of Gettysburg College (BA in Political Science) and American University (Master of Public Administration), Jay found his calling to serve when, at 24, he made the decision to remove alcohol from his life.
At his very first AA meeting listening to stories of addiction, homelessness, lost jobs and estrangement from families he realized he didn’t see “failures”, “losers”, or “addicts”, he saw people committed to changing their lives. He saw people committed to helping others.
He recognized that while talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not, and that there are people filled with potential who simply don’t have the same chances he did to succeed. Jay promised himself that if he ever had an opportunity to try to help those forgotten and left behind, he would seize it.
He has been sober since March 9, 2010, and has spent subsequent years fulfilling that promise to himself by pursuing opportunities to give back.
Jay began working in public policy and during this time was fortunate to join his passion for causes like veterans care, addiction and mental health with his professional position, while advancing bipartisan policy that helped address both issues through a divided Congress.
Following his work there, he joined a national nonprofit dedicated to helping patients and families impacted by the addiction epidemic. Jay worked with stakeholders from around the country to develop and promote evidence-based practices with the goal of one day ending addiction as a major health condition.
During this time, Jay also met Veronica, his future wife. Veronica immigrated to the United States from Peru in 2005. Much like those who came to Manchester to work in the mills that built our city, Veronica traveled to the U.S seeking a better life with more economic opportunities to support herself and her family. She learned English, earned a degree in business management, and is now working towards her citizenship in fulfillment of her childhood aspiration. Her life story is repeated every day in Manchester. It is seen in our vibrant, and diverse immigrant communities, and in our schools where more than 50 languages are spoken.
Jay was a sophomore in high school on September 11, 2001. He had always harbored a strong desire to serve our nation in uniform, but because of the mistakes he made prior to becoming sober, there were obstacles on this path. After years of effort, he realized his dream when he raised his right hand on August 6, 2020, and swore in to the Army National Guard. He is now an infantry officer.
Returning to New Hampshire from his army training, Jay began working at Catholic Charities New Hampshire, where he supported Liberty House, a sober transitional living program for homeless veterans in Manchester, and New Generation, a transitional home providing shelter and support for pregnant and parenting women.
Jay is a Member of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 5163 in Manchester. He is also a Board Member at Light of Life, a Manchester nonprofit with a mission of serving women who have experienced abuse, sexual trauma and exploitation, and a parishioner at Ste. Marie’s Roman Catholic Church on the West Side.