Jay was born and raised in West Michigan. He was a true child of the 80's, with the torn acid-washed jeans, the long hair, and yes he played in a rock band. Like many kids growing up in that era, Jay wanted to be a rock star. Learning to play music by ear as a child, Jay grew into a lead vocalist, guitar player, piano player, bass player, and even plays a bit on the drums. He also became a serious song writer, engineer, and producer. Jay opted to pursue a career in music rather than the traditional college route. It was tough going at first, but he eventually found his nitch as an artist. Later he turned to song writing and producing, and eventually took his experience to the business side of the industry as an executive. Throughout this time Jay became also became a serial entrepreneur finding a passion in startups and exciting ideas. After 22 years in music he decided to retire and focus on his family and use his business experience to better the non-profit or "Cause" world.
Since 2012 Jay has focused on building and consulting on a wide variety of Cause-based projects and is a co-founder of several cause-focused initiatives. As all his business endeavors now revolve around causes and solving the worlds problems, Jay adopted the term Philanthopreneur; (An entrepreneur who focuses on philanthropic business and revenue streams that fund philanthropy).
Jay has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From being a professional musician, to studio and label ownership, to real estate and marketing startups Jay has always loved the game of business. As the former Director of Operations for Fifty-Fifty Entertainment Jay worked with Multi-Platinum, Grammy, Emmy and Oscar winning talent. As a singer/songwriter and producer Jay has written over 400 songs and produced over 200 projects. He produced his first film in 2015 and is a regular blog contributor and distributes an instructional video series called LifeLessons.
Jay has been part of 17 startups, and serviced hundreds of clients from entertainers like Jay Leno and The Gin Blossoms to corporations like ACN and ViSalus Sciences, to NPO's like Make A Wish, and Mel Trotter Ministries. He is also the founder of Geared2Give, a cutting edge campaign and consulting company for the Cause driven world. Today Jay uses the "for-profit" mindset he gained in the entertainment industry to apply streamlined structure, modern marketing, and cutting edge revenue generation to the Non-Profit Org's and Cause-driven ventures of the world. Focusing in the areas of Social Enterprise and Experience Campaigns, Jay is pioneering new ways to help Causes compete in the noisy social-media culture of today.
In 2014 at age 6, Jay's oldest son Ayden was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome. It is a rare connective tissue disorder that effects all tissue and systems of the body. Since that time Jay and Kel have become "medical parents" with plans, activities, diet, and visits to Aydens 24 doctors setting the life schedule of the house. Ayden's 2yr/younger brother Alec is an active, athletic child who has anaphylactic nut allergies, so there is no shortage of medical adventure at the Riggs home. Along with their 10 mont old puppy Mazie, the Riggs family resides in their beautiful hometown on the coast of Lake Michigan and enjoy golf, swimming, and picnics. Jay also enjoys boating, scuba diving, and playing a variety of musical instruments.