Millennials on the Move: Jay Jones
30, Partner at Bischoff Martingayle, PC; Delegate for 89th District—Virginia House of Delegates, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
My energy. As a young lawyer and young public servant, I have to remain energetic at all times. I think both my clients and my constituents readily embrace my energy and passion as an asset both in the courtroom and in politics.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
My mother. She has always encouraged me to continue to strive for excellence in everything that I do. I still carry a note she wrote me during a tough time several years ago in my wallet as a reminder to keep pushing even when things seem bleak—she is my motivation and inspiration.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
I am incredibly proud of the work we achieved in the legislature this year to begin to reduce the burden of tolls in Hampton Roads. As of July 1, 2019, toll collection will be suspended in affected areas during mandatory evacuations. I will continue to work with my colleagues to further reduce the tolls to relieve the pressure on all citizens of Hampton Roads.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
Being young is a challenge in both law and politics. You have to prove to both clients and constituents that you are capable and trustworthy to advocate on behalf of their interests. I am navigating this every day in my law practice and overcame the notion that I was “too young” to hold elected office.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
An environment where everyone is valued and respected for who they are and what they bring to the table professionally. Everyone has different skill sets and personalities, but a tight-knit workplace is essential to success on both an individual and a firm level.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I think if I wasn’t in this position then I might still be in New York City working in finance or I might be attending graduate school in pursuit of an MBA.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
I am incredibly excited about the Something in the Water music festival. It was a fantastic event that showcased all that Coastal Virginia has to offer, including our waterfront and our roster of musical talent, and I look forward to next year’s event with new music acts, additional panels and symposiums and so much more. It really brought Hampton Roads together.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Informing the rest of Virginia about the imminent threat of climate change and sea level rise. As a coastal community, water is our most important asset and is tied to our economy, transportation and national security. A failure to address the threats head on right now will leave this beautiful area worse off for future generations coming along behind us, and we can’t do that unless the rest of the state understands that their future is heavily tied to Coastal Virginia’s future too.
Where is your favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
From his nomination:
“Jerrauld ‘Jay’ Jones works tirelessly to improve his community. Not only does he spend a portion of the year in Richmond during the session, he makes himself available to his constituents year round and makes great use of social media technology.”
—Jamilah LeCruise, colleague