Jay Gentry

Schools attended: First stop after good old AV was UCLA. Although I did not let classes interfere with my getting an education I graduated with a BS in Business Administration in 1967. I Attended Fuller Theological Seminary for a year and worked as a youth minister at Bel Air Presbyterian Church before discovering that the ministry was not the career for me. Like so many of us I did not choose whether to go into the military but rather… which branch of the military to go into. I chose the Air Force and was a pilot, instructor pilot in the T-38 Talon, and also an academic instructor in flight training. I suppose that we could count Flight School, Pilot Instructor Training, Survival Training, and what the Air Force lovingly called “Charm School”. I was lucky to be stationed in Texas, Florida, and Arizona during my tour and not Viet Nam.

Career so far: After 5 years in the Air Force I came out into the business world and found that I was uniquely qualified to do anything… as long as it was be a salesman. I went to work for Xerox in Los Angeles and spent three years during which I was a salesman, sales manager, and regional program manager. Left Xerox to join a Century City consulting firm called Tratec. I started as a salesman and progressed through sales manager, regional manager, and eventually became the director of sales and marketing. McGraw Hill bought Tratec and essentially “hitched it up to a plow” so I left in 1980 to start my own consulting business and have been essentially “unemployed” since. I consult with companies on sales, marketing, strategic planning, corporate culture, and anything else that seems to make sense. My wife likes to say that I believe that there is no problem so difficult or complex that money cannot be made by prolonging it. Actually I have been very fortunate and get to be involved with several new “business puzzles” each year.

Family: I married right out of college and my oldest son, John, was born while I was in the Air Force about a year before that marriage ended. Fortunately, I was more ready to be a Dad than my wife was ready to be a Mom and so I was able to get custody of John and do “the courtship of Eddie’s father thing” in real life. It was wonderful and I still enjoy a very special relationship with John. When John was 7 I met and married my current (and last) wife d’Aulan. Six years later Kyle, my younger son was born. John lives in Oakland, works for the dreaded “internet start-up” and lives with his wife Maria and my two grandchildren… Alexis (5) and Lucas (2 months as of July 03). Kyle just finished his freshman year at Stanford where he plays on the golf team.

Recreation: Speaking of golf. Over the years I did a lot of snow skiing, played some competitive tennis, a fair amount of indoor and beach volleyball but my real love has been golf…. which I can still play with my rapidly aging body. With Kyle taking up the sport seriously at the age of 7 I have been getting “full credit family time” for playing golf on the weekends for the last 14 years.

Favorite memories of AVHS: Growing up on a ranch like so many of us, AV was where I learned to be a part of a community, how, and where I might fit into that community. Hanging out in the cafeteria before school, football and basketball games, clubs, groups, and friendships with other confused teens are my fondest memories.

Changes to AVHS: AVHS was just right… I however would have been taller, more mature, and less of a nerd.

Plans for the future: d’Aulan and I are enjoying life as “empty nesters” and plan to keep right on with our residence, lifestyle, and work situations. We have enough money to last us until we die… provided we die soon.

Highlights so far: My good fortune. I have traveled to some wonderful places, flown jet airplanes, enjoyed the company of many good friends, been involved in some very interesting projects, etc. But the real highlight would have to be my family. I am very proud of my two boys and my two (so far) grandchildren.