I’m a courageous, future-focused leader, problem solver and community builder. While a realist, I don’t let roadblocks hinder progress.
Propelled by an unwavering commitment to people, strong business acumen, and relentless optimism, I see issues clearly and can quickly create a roadmap and inspire others to be part of the solution. It’s about we, not me.

Even during lean economic times, I believe that a committed group of people can solve the most complex challenges.

I believe honesty is the best policy, and I firmly believe that collaboration builds a stronger community. I look forward to speaking with and learning from you.

Leadership matters

My leadership philosophy is simple: support people to be the best they can be

I encourage excellence, foster unique experiences, and create a culture of inclusiveness. My commitment to people is the foundation of my leadership style.

My substantial governance experience and my hard-won business acumen will provide useful insights into the inner workings of City Hall. I’ve led teams within large public institutions instilling governance principles in diverse groups and have developed and administered substantial budgets.

My work in highly regulated settings and leading elected and operational teams means I’m a constructive contributor — and will deliver value to council from day one. You can expect transparency, accountability and a focus on continuous improvement.

Lifelong learning

My formal education is in business, sustainability, and public sector management, which helps me envision building a sustainable future from both local and global perspectives. However, living, working, and volunteering across Calgary city for more than 25 years has provided me with a different kind of valuable education — one that gives me an understanding of the people, history, and culture of our city.

I’m genuinely interested in others and especially enjoy listening to their stories and perspectives. With a motto of “always be smart, never be certain”, my intrinsic thirst for knowledge, understanding, and perspective have driven me to travel the world and become a life-long learner.

Integrity, passion for people, and curiosity about the world are the foundations for all that I do.

When I’m not working

Career and volunteer commitments can be demanding, but I “fill my cup” with tea parties and bike rides with my daughter, and I treasure family walks with our dogs.

I enjoy travelling, cooking, reading, and recharging by listening to music and connecting with friends around the world.

I’m also an avid sports and nature-lover. I grew up playing hockey in the Calgary Minor Hockey system. Lessons learned from my coaches and teammates through the years have carried forward to all aspects of my life - I have a deep understanding of what it takes to be part of a team, and that the logo on the front of the jersey is far more important than the name on the back. I still play recreational hockey to stay fit and connect with my teammates over a post-game cold one. I also love to spend time outdoors —  fishing, hiking, and skiing.
Favorite places I’ve travelled?
Cambodia, Thailand, and Guatemala
Favourite music?
- The Clash
- Jurassic 5
- Johnny Cash
My idea of perfect happiness?
Having a purpose, being surrounded by people I love, having an adventure to look forward to, feeling like I am contributing to the world in a meaningful way and making a positive difference in other people's lives.
My greatest fears?
- Failure - letting people down, not living up to what I say I will do.

- Ignorance. The damage caused by egotistical/narcissistic decision-makers.

- Clowns
My proudest moment?
- Having my daughter
- Getting married
- Graduating with my MBA
Where I see opportunities for more kindness in our world?
- Manners - yes, it’s that simple.

- Taking a genuine interest in other people - being interested as opposed to being  interesting.

- Doing something nice for someone everyday where they can’t possibly repay you.
My greatest extravagance?
Food, travel, and shoes
The qualities I most like in a person?
Authenticity, transparency, empathy, compassion, humour
What I most dislike?
Ego, arrogance, dishonestly, green peppers.
When and where I have been happiest?
- The day I got married.

- The day my daughter was born.

- Travelling - rafting down river in Missouri, exploring Cambodian countryside in a tuk tuk, hanging out in Thai beach bungalows...to name just a  few.
A talent I would most like to have that I don’t?
To be a really good bass guitar player.
One thing I would change about myself?
Fear of heights - has been a limiting factor with some experiences.
My greatest achievement?
Completing my MBA, while working full time, living in a house being renovated, with a very pregnant wife and two nutty dogs.
Where I would most like to live?
- Calgary - I have travelled the world and I love where I live; I’m always happy to come home.

- New York for a year.
My most treasured possession?
- My friendships, memories and experiences

- Joe Strummer/Clash themed skateboard

- 50th birthday book created by my wife with messages and photos from everyone I love
My favorite occupations?
- travelling, experiencing and gaining understanding of different cultures (food, art, music, people, history, etc.)

- reading

- playing and watching hockey

- listening to music

- anything that involves hanging out with my family, i.e. playing with my daughter, hiking, bike riding, skiing.
My most marked characteristics?
- loyalty

- loud voice and laugh

- asking questions…..a lot of questions….
What I most value in my friends?
- authenticity
- intelligence
- humour
- care about doing the right thing
My favorite writers?
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Steven Levitt and Steven Dubner (Freakonomics)
- Erik Larson
- Jim Collins
- Simon Sinek
- Michael Lewis
- Chip and Dan Heath
- Daniel Pink
My fictional heros?
- Cosmo Kramer (Seinfeld) - positive, honest, friends with everyone, always trying new things, has big ideas

- Captain John Miller (Saving Private Ryan) - loyal leader who saw the strengths in everyone; not afraid to do the right thing at own personal risk.
Historical figure I most identify with?
- Joe Strummer
- Winston Churchill
- Romeo Dallaire
- Abe Lincoln
My real-life heros?
- My family and friends - I surround myself with people who inspire me every day
- Barack Obama
- Larry Bird
- Mario Lemeiux
- Joe Strummer
My favourite mottos?
- Life begins to end the day we become silent about things that matter - MLK
- Always be smart, never be certain
- Standing still in a world of rapid change is similar to walking backwards
Core competencies
  • Strategy development, problem solving, and decision modeling using a Balanced Scorecard and Triple Bottom-line approach - financial, social, and economic sustainability.
  • Governance and Board relations.
  • Policy, procedure, and bylaw development.
  • Public speaking and presentations.
  • Budget planning, financial modelling and forecasting, and fiscal management and analysis.
  • Building innovative teams with a focus on collaborative, problem-based learning.
  • Contract and lease negotiation, development, and maintenance.
  • High-level management functions including financial management, staff management, partnership development, supplier relations, and community investment, all with a customer-centric focus.
  • Change management.
  • Building sustainable communities through effective stakeholder consultation.
  • Employee hiring, training, development, coaching, evaluation, and retention.
  • Conflict management and mediation.
  • Evaluation through primary and secondary research.
  • Business planning, implementation, and management.
  • Capital asset management and procurement including large scale facilities.
  • Market identification and segmentation.
  • New business development.
  • Emergency response planning and risk assessment.
Harvard University Extension School, Post-Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management
January 2016 – December 2018
Focus on corporate social responsibility: doing well by doing good.
Royal Roads University, Master of Business Administration (MBA)
January 2013 – December 2014
Primary focus on executive level leadership and logic modelling strategies.
Mount Royal University, Environmental Technology
September 2000 – April 2005
Studied the science of sustainability utilizing a Triple Bottom Line approach.
Additional Accreditations
Certified Governance Consultant, Board Source
Certificate in Board Education, Board Source
Association of Fundraising Professionals, Fund Development Plus certificate
2007 – 2008
Anti-Oppression, Volunteer Management, and Insights Discovery training
2006 – 2014
Professional Experience
Director, Business Services
Mount Royal University
2018 – Present
Executive Director
The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) of the University of Calgary
2014 – 2018
Director, Business Services
Students' Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU)
2005 – 2014
Senior management positions in the hospitality industry
1997 – 2005
Community and Service-related activities
  • Calgary youth soccer coach.
  • Marda Loop Social Justice Film Festival Vice-President of Board of Directors.
  • John Petropolis Foundation volunteer and advisor.
  • Mount Royal University Alumni Advisory Committee member.
  • Bowness Montgomery Daycare Association Board member.

“Jay is an outstanding person who can bring a fresh, focused approach back to city hall. He has the passion, leadership skills and an ability to bring people together.”

- David C.

“Friends living in Ward 13, this is someone you can actually get excited about voting for. I've known Jay for a long time and he is as decent a candidate as you can find. Honest, loyal, hardworking, intelligent... I'm excited to support his candidacy.”

- Ian W.

“Someone with integrity, balance, and humour. Lucky Calgary!”

-Jen R.

“Jay will make an exceptional candidate and Councillor. The quality of civic discourse will only improve with him involved in the conversation.”

-Peter B.

“Jay is an overall stellar human with great leadership, integrity, vison, and passion for his community.”

-Courtney W.

“Jay is thoughtful and great at seeing the big picture."

-Shauna K.

“Jay is a friend, and I know the level of integrity his words carry. To all my friends in Ward 13, please follow Jay and consider voting for him. He will help to make Calgary a better place - vote Unsworth! We Can, We Must, Change.”

-Laurie S.

“Jay’s campaign makes me hopeful for the future of Calgary.”

-January G.

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