Jay was raised in a hippie family in Northern California. He attended an alternative school as a young child and his family's home doubled as a foster home for troubled young people that his parents ran. Later, in his 20's while he worked as a banker, he was on the board of directors of a non-profit youth center in South Central Los Angeles, and volunteered for a wide variety of charitable activities. He was a director of the LA Watts Summer Games, and volunteered in Los Angeles public schools for over 20 years. For many years, Jay and a group of friends traveled on a regular basis to an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, where they delivered smiles, hope, food, money, and toys.
Jay lives in Portola Valley with his wife and daughter. His daughter continues to be an active participant in PVTC programs, including many summer camp sessions; her experiences there have had a profound positive effect on her life.
Jay graduated from UC Davis and later earned an MBA from UCLA, where he was the co-head of the umbrella organization that oversaw all of the business school's volunteer activities. His career has been focused on real estate investment, first for 16 years working at an institutional investment company founded by the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, WIlliam E. Simon. Subsequently, Jay was Head of Investments at a real estate "Fintech" start-up for four years, and most recently, for the past five years, he has been at a real estate investment company he co-founded.