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Meet Jay Williams – Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2022

| May 10, 2022

Jay Williams moved with his family to Coshocton from nearby Licking County when he was six. Always driven, Williams graduated from Coshocton High School in 1984, as a “three-year grad.” Seventeen years old and with no direction, Williams took the ASVAB (military entrance exam). With a high score, recruiters took an interest in him immediately, although his desire was to “fly.” He quickly learned that enlisted couldn’t readily become aviators in the Air Force or Army, but could in the Navy. Williams enlisted at age 17 as an “active-duty reservist under training” and two weeks after his 18th birthday was off to boot camp in Chicago. He was then sent to Pensacola, Florida for Aircrew Candidate School and completed A-school in Millington TN. He was then sent to Jacksonville, FL, where he completed training as an acoustic analyst, serving as an aircrewman in P-3 Orion aircraft with Patrol Squadron Five-Six, an Anti-submarine Warfare and Maritime Patrol squadron.

He was part of an aircrew that gathered intelligence on submarine and ship activity in the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans, and was deployed to Italy, Bermuda and Iceland, serving a total of six years on sea duty during the cold war with the Soviet Union.  He met his wife Debbie, who was serving in his squadron maintenance department as an admin, keeping records on the aircraft as well as directing airplanes. They married in 1987, and had their son Alex in 1989.

Following his deployments, Jay became an Instructor and Master Training Specialist, teaching acoustic analysis to new recruits. During that time, professional development was encouraged by his commanding officer, so Jay began coursework at ITT Technical Institute, earning an Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Engineering.

After serving more than nine years in the Navy, Jay separated from the Navy, and began working with defense contractors as an electronics technician on flight simulators at NAS Cecil Field, Florida. Five years later, NAS Cecil Field was closed, so Jay’s role pivoted to relocating military and civilian flight simulators to new locations.

In late 2000, Jay put his technical education to work when he began with Bell South/AT&T as an electronics technician, “provisioning and testing everything from basic phone lines up to T1 lines,” as well as writing processes and procedures and assisting with time studies. He also worked as a facilities assignment specialist while at AT&T. During his time with the phone companies, he worked towards obtaining a business degree.

In 2013, he utilized his business experience to assist family in a business endeavor. Jay was still living in Florida, and would “commute” between Florida and Ohio for work, staying with family in both locations. He finally moved his family to Ohio in 2015. After a few years of helping the family business, he decided to move on. He “semi-retired” for a few years to help take care of his grandsons to help out his son and daughter-in-law.

Jay went back to work in 2021, after seeing that Saylor Wealth Strategies was looking for an operations manager. He stated that upon seeing the ad, he thought “this could have been written for me.” With an analytical mind and experience in processes and procedures, Jay is a perfect fit for this role which has him streamlining job efficiency and responsibilities, as well as developing processes and procedures. He is responsible for new employee training, and has an understanding of how the “pieces of each job work within the company.” He is appreciative of the opportunity to work in other positions within the company to gain a further understanding of their responsibilities and roles. He has adapted computer programs for efficiency and is given “a lot of freedom to creatively make improvements to the business.” Saylor Wealth Strategies is a growing company, and Jay sees his role as operations manager expanding as Saylor Wealth Strategies expands.

Jay and his wife Debbie are also very involved in the Army & Navy Union veterans’ organization, as officers at the national, state and local levels. The Army & Navy Union is the oldest active veteran’s organization in the United States, started in 1886 when various military veterans’ clubs consolidated to serve veterans not associated with any particular war or service, but all US Military Veterans.

Art Saylor (LCC 1996), the president of Saylor Wealth Strategies, suggested that Jay participate in Leadership Coshocton County, and “thought it would be a good thing to go through.” Having been gone for over 30 years, Jay wanted to learn more about what’s going on in Coshocton, and “has learned about good things going on.” As a “history buff” he has “learned a lot,” and expressed a desire to have “more Coshocton history taught in local schools.” He “enjoyed the Jones Metal tour” and “thought the curriculum was pretty good – the capacities build on each other” and he has enjoyed meeting local community leaders.

As Jay has been gone for a long time, his view of the community is peppered with memories of when he was growing up, compared with how things are today. He states, “It’s interesting to come back and see where Coshocton is now compared to when I was growing up here. I left because I wanted to leave; I didn’t have direction and the military gave me that. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I had stayed.” He appreciates the tight-knit community and that there are so many people willing to help each other.

Encouraging a business-friendly environment with lower taxes is a way Jay thinks would strengthen the county. This would encourage more business/employers to choose Coshocton County for development.

Jay would recommend Leadership Coshocton for others, stating, “I was gone for a long time, and it was a good way to reacquaint myself with the area.  I didn’t know that’s what the program would be.”  He added, “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the positives happening in the area.”

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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