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Industry Briefs
Roy Jay Key To Maintaining And Growing Portland's Share Of Burgeoning African-American Meetings Market


For twenty years, he has led the way and paved the way for many people of color in the convention and tourism industry.  Roy Jay is an icon and expert.  It was his savvy professional presence that put Portland, Oregon on the map in this niche industry.  Jay is the type of convention industry professional that goes far beyond the normal 8 to 5 scenario. Those that know him understand that he has worked nonstop to help organizations have successful events. He has shown so many organizations and meeting professionals techniques on making money and saving money.  Jay has always been about empowerment and making sure that doors are open for other African-Americans and other people of color.

Many in Portland consider him the driving force in paving the way for Portland's new upcoming convention center hotel. While others were literally afraid to go head to head with opposing forces, Jay was involved in a highly publicized and televised combat with opposition. Jay sat on the committee that selected Hyatt and was influential about making sure that the deal included union construction, union operation and complete community empowerment for people of color.

Jay's infectious personality attracted customers and competitors alike. He has served on boards, commissions and committees and has been a mentor and consultant.

"Roy Jay is like the Lone Ranger" says Bobby Glenn, an African-American photographer in Washington DC. "He has so much influence from coast to coast. He helped me grow my business. He doesn't go by MBE/ DBE rules. He gives you the work and expects you to give 200%. I remember that he told me that he does not give a damn if I am certified, he just wanted me to be qualified."

Jay has been the target of critics, including his native home of Portland, primarily because of his style of making sure that women and minorities are included at all levels. Some destinations just do not get it and never will.  Although he is based in Portland, Oregon, he has helped organizations that were unable to find corporate sponsorships in other cities.  He is credited with implementing a program in Portland that enables ethnic minorities to serve on RFP evaluation panels on all city contracts over $29,000.  His contributions to the Asian community have been long standing for 20 years, and he has served as an advisor to the International Association of Hispanic Meeting Planners. 

"I chose a particular city only because Roy Jay showed us how to get corporate sponsorships and community support. The sales rep from the convention bureau was only interested in showing me hotel rooms and taking me to dinner," says a well-known California meeting planner.

Jay wears many hats. He is a long time investigative journalist who was responsible for uncovering the Latino slavery business in Portland. He is a member of NABJ, Past Chapter President of NOBLE, NAACP and dozens of other organizations.  If you need anything, Roy Jay is only an email away. Many who know him know that he will even respond at 3am in the morning while his competitors are sleeping.

Jay can be reached at Roy@RoyJay.Com - Website: RoyJay.Com

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