JAY HOWARD, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Since 1987, Howard’s entrepreneurial spirit has allowed him to grow JHE from managing opening ceremonies at Charlotte Motor Speedway to full-scale production events for a diverse clientele nationwide including Sprint, Wachovia, Lowe’s, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Craftsman, Chevrolet, Anheuser Busch and Miller Lite.
His relationships within the sports arena also are extensive, providing event experiences for a variety of sports entities, including NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks, FOX Sports 1, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), NFL’s Carolina Panthers team, professional hockey and many more.
In 1981, while still in college, Howard accepted an intern position as assistant to then president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Humpy Wheeler, who was focused on promoting and organizing the upcoming NASCAR race, the World 600. He continued to serve as assistant to Wheeler until he was hired as a full-time employee in 1984.
Howard graduated from Appalachian State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. A native of Concord, N.C., Howard and his wife, Kim, have two children: Jay Jay and Grace.
RYAN BAXTER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Ryan Baxter is responsible for strategic planning, oversight of the 80-person staff and multiple departments, staff development and training, and client management.
For more than 12 years, his career path and interests have focused on the sports industry, providing Baxter with insight and experience into the operations of premier sports associations.
LISA WARD, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Utilizing more than 18 years of accounting experience, Lisa Ward is responsible for financial planning and record keeping, regulation of the organization’s financial risks and reporting, and managing an annual multi-million dollar revenue stream.
Her knowledge and background demonstrates a depth and experience level to position her not only as a financial leader but a leader with exceptional business acumen.
JEFF GAJEWSKI, VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jeff Gajewski possesses more than 13 years of extensive experience in sales and marketing.
In his current role, he utilizes a strategic approach to strengthen the sales division of JHE and produce new business opportunities for the multifaceted organization. In addition, he oversees both the sales and in-house creative services departments.
MATT DAVIS, VP OF OPERATIONS
Matt Davis is responsible for managing a 42 person team across the operations, travel, transportation and audio/video departments. The operations team is an integral part of almost every event and opening ceremony produced in-house at the event production company. Davis’ responsibilities include strategic planning, infrastructure assembly, conceptualization, transportation oversight and execution management.
With more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry, Davis has prior experience in mobile tours, event production, operations and facility management.