Jay was born and raised in West Michigan. As a child, his parents discovered he could play and sing music by ear. He was a true child of the '80s, with the torn acid-washed jeans, the long hair, and a garage band with his friends. 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 niche as an artist. Later he turned to songwriting and producing, and eventually took his experience to the business side of the industry as an executive. Throughout his career, Jay became also became a serial entrepreneur finding a passion for startups and exciting ideas. Retiring from the entertainment industry after 22 years, Jay now focuses on his family while using 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. Today, all Jay's endeavors revolve around Causes and helping them solve the world's problems, In 2017 he officially 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 professional musician to studio and label ownership, from artist representation to real estate and marketing startups Jay has always enjoyed the game of business. As the former Founder and 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 participated as a producer on his first film project in 2015, is a regular blog contributor, and distributes an instructional video series called LifeLessons.
Jay has serviced hundreds of clients from entertainers like Jay Leno and The Gin Blossoms to corporations like ACN and ViSalus Sciences, to NPO's like Feeding America, and Mel Trotter Ministries. He is a Business Model and Strategy expert, having been part of over 30 ventures, start-ups, mergers & acquisitions. Jay 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 affects all tissue and systems of the body. Since that time Jay and Kel have become "medical parents" with plans, activities, diet, and visits to Ayden's 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 in the Riggs family. Along with their 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, singing and playing guitar, piano, bass, drums, and other various instruments.