Rotary has a unique model where every office position throughout Rotary changes on July 1st of every year. As we are approaching the new year, it is getting close to the Installation of Jay Williams as the next president. As he will be taking this position, it is important to get to know him a little.
Jay joined the club in 2008, just a few months after the current president. There are many timing similarities between these two current and future leaders of this club, but the most important is their commitment to the Rotary Club of North Raleigh and doing ‘good’ in the world.
Jay joined Rotary as a means to get involved with the community and build stronger relationships with local business professionals. As a banker with Fidelity Bank, he learned that some of his colleagues had joined Rotary, so he wanted to check it out. After visiting another club, he decided to join this club, primarily due to the close proximity to his work…he has stayed because of the strong friendships and relationships he has built here. “It has given me more confidence when meeting new people and when standing up and speaking in front of a big group,” commented President-Elect Jay Williams. He went on to suggest that his association with this club has “impacted my personal life by giving me lots of opportunities to volunteer in the community.”
He hopes it has rubbed off on his wife and family and yearns for the day his young boys can participate in Rotary. The first opportunity for his twin boys was at the Carolina Mudcats game where they joined us for a baseball game.
Over the years, he has had several chances to serve his community through service. The most memorable instance was volunteering for the Wake Read and Feed where he tutored young children in need of improving their reading and comprehension skills. “I went and read to the kids on 4 or 5 different occasions and really saw the appreciation that the kids had for us, taking the time to work with them.”
He continued to describe this experience by focusing on the relationship he built with some of the students over the semester. From this experience, he has come to appreciate his children even more and “made me look forward to the times I could read to them.”
Another memorable experience included being a “buddy” for the Miracle League of the Triangle. He and his wife joined members of the club to support disabled children enjoy America’s Pastime…Baseball. These children enjoyed the game, but were unable to play with their siblings due to their physical limitations. Some of these youth took the game seriously and one hit a ball out of the park.
He strongly appreciates this club’s focus on the youth in our community. Whether it be the Interact Club at Millbrook High School, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) students, or any of the other great programs dedicated to the youth, he finds it very rewarding to exemplify these youth who are working hard to succeed in life while helping others.
From the beginning of his career in Rotary, Jay has gotten involved and has become the ‘go-to’ person to replace others who may be out-of-town. For instance, he fills in for Dr. Smallwood and the bragging moments and also backs up Terry Hutchens to introduce guest. “This is just the kind of guy he is…” responded President Steven Nelson, “He is always willing to step up and volunteer.”
Besides these part time efforts, Jay has served two years on the board as the Membership Director before stepping into the role of Vice President/Programs Chair and his most recent position as President-Elect. “One of the great things about Jay is his willingness to share Rotary with his sphere of influence,” commented Nelson, “He has sponsored several new members including two this year alone. He is one of the reasons we will finish the year in plus territory (membership).”
He points to the relationships he has built as the single reason he remains committed to this club, coupled with the variety of opportunities to serve his community. “I have made very good friends in the club and I enjoy the meetings and speakers every week,” he announced, “I’m excited for my kids to get older so they can take part in these projects and see what it’s like to give back to the community.”
Jay is a local North Carolinian who was born and grew up in Oxford. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001 and immediately started working with BB&T in Oxford. He met his wife in Raleigh and moved here in 2005…joining Fidelity bank as a commercial banker. He and Jessica have been married since 2006. She owns a hair salon in North Raleigh called Lather Hair Salon. They have three boys…twin boys Harrison and Colton (3 yrs. Old) and Beckett who is 14 months.
He loves Carolina basketball, Indianapolis Colts football, Detroit Tigers baseball and traveling with his wife. The joy of his life is spending time with his children.
“As the new president of the club (effective July 1st), I am confident that he will continue to build the club and build on the amazing year we have just experienced,” Nelson said of Jay. “He has all of the leadership tools needed to garner success and has assimilated a great board with some fresh young members who will be the leaders of this club for many years to come.”
While he is president, he will have the honor and duty of being president of the home club of the District Governor. This lends itself to a higher level of scrutiny, “and I am sure he will thrive in that situation,” finished Nelson.
Please welcome the new president of the Rotary Club of North Raleigh, President Jay Williams!