Jay is currently Vice President at the Missouri Credit Union Association. He lives in Kansas City North with his wife Valerie, their three kids and a dog named Ava.
Jay's Missouri Roots began with the birth of his grandfather (preacher, author and lecturer J.W. Kesner) in Hayti, Missouri. Rev. Kesner was called into the ministry in Fort Smith, Arkansas taking his family out of Missouri. Jay moved back to Missouri as an adult.
Jay was the honor graduate in his advanced Army training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He earned the Army Achievement Medal as a corporal. He earned a non-commissioned officer rank by the time he was 23. At age 26, he built from scratch the first downtown economic redevelopment program for the city of Bay City, Texas. From there he went to Irving, TX, revamped their downtown development program and created Irving’s first ever low-income housing department.
Following a lecture he was giving at a national conference for economic development at age 30, he was approached by a team of individuals from Oklahoma City and was persuaded to lead the effort to economically rebuild the bomb-ravaged 36-block area of downtown following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.
For the last decade he has been involved in federal and state politics as a congressional staff person or as senior staff on several state-wide and congressional campaigns across the nation. In 2010, “I decided to pay back all that my public life had afforded me” and he ran for and won a seat in the Missouri Legislature where he has served on the Local Government Committee, Financial Institutions Committee, Economic Development Committee and the Joint Committee on Tax Reform.