We as the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council have had the privilege to recently elect multiple wonderful people onto our board, so we will be starting up a short blog post series called Meet the Board Member. We think it would be a great for the community to get to know our new board members better and to learn what they are doing in our area! This week we had the pleasure of interviewing one of our newest board members, Jay Yates.
Q: Tell me about your background; where are you from, what was your childhood like, what is your family like?
A: I was born in Monroe in 1982. When I was young, my mother Nancy King and I moved to Harvey, which is on the west bank of New Orleans. I grew up happy and loved living in New Orleans. Regularly we would come back to Monroe to visit family and I always enjoyed that too. My mother remarried before I got to high school, and we then moved back to West Monroe permanently. My stepfather Terry King has always been and continues to be a big influence on my life. After high school I took my time through college and ended up finishing up at North Texas in Dallas in 2006. My father moved to the Florida Keys when I was young, so I spent my formative summers there on the ocean working for his various water sports businesses. The ocean called me back after college, and I spent the next few years mostly in Key West Florida, where I eventually met my beautiful wife Heather. We have been back in Monroe almost 10 years now. We have a 9-year-old daughter Emma and a 6-year-old son Isaak.
Q: What is your current job?
A: I am the Director of Sales and Marketing for Kingsland Ranch.
Q: Can you tell me more about Kingsland Ranch and what makes Kingsland Ranch special?
A: Kingsland is a 900 acre cattle ranch in West Monroe. We provide all natural retail beef to the area via private sale and grocery stores.
Q: What are some things most people do not know you are passionate about?
A: The ocean or really any water will do. I love going to the beach and being on Lake Claiborne with my family.
Q: Why are you passionate about the arts in Northeast Louisiana?
A: I’ve always loved art. Growing up if you’d asked me what I wanted to do for a living I would have said “Comic Book Artist.” Nowadays the only time I draw is with my kids. But I do love the arts culture I’ve watched develop over the last decade or so in Monroe.
Q: What made you decide to accept the position as a board member for the NELA Arts Council?
A: I’m 35 and through the most time-consuming part of raising children, I figured it was a good way to get involved with the community.
Q: What special asset do you believe you can bring to the table as a board member?
A: I’ve always been a people person. I enjoy meeting new people and having fun.
We are very excited to have Jay Yates as one of our new board members, and we know he will be a wonderful contribution to our Board and towards the arts community.