A native New Yorker, Jay has worn many hats during his adult life: employee benefits manager; choral singer and fundraiser (13 years as a charter member of the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus); concert and theatrical producer (for the Chorus at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and for his own company, Opening Doors Productions, where he produced the first-ever New York revival of the Stephen Sondheim “Anyone Can Whistle”), and most significantly, proud owner of Chelsea Pines Inn for nearly 30 years.
He has served on the Board of Directors as Vice President and then President of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), a New York-based agency that provides social services, education and advocacy for our elderly community, and is proud to continue his work with SAGE, along with his husband Tom Klebba as a member of their National Leadership Council, and as co-chair of their Investors Circle. In October 2013 Jay was honored to receive the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGE, presented to him by his dear friends, theatrical luminaries Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy, for his 30+ years of work with SAGE and the LGBT community. In recent years Jay had the honor of working with the New York City LGBT Community Services Center on its 25th anniversary celebration, where he helped produce and chair “Broadway Backwards 3,” a sold-out benefit for The Center at the American Airlines Roundabout Theatre. Jay has continued to work on each edition of “Broadway Backwards” since that time, the event now being a co-production of the Center and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
An inveterate theatregoer, film buff and world traveler, Jay has shared his passion for film posters by decorating the entire building with vintage posters. Nearly 300 posters grace the hallways and guest rooms. In recent years, Jay had his first-ever poster show at a nearby university, which featured over 100 of his most significant (and favorite) posters, and was profiled in the New York Times. Jay would like to pay tribute to several important people: his late lover and founder of Chelsea Pines, Sheldon Post, whose dream became a reality; his beloved husband, Tom Klebba, who became Jay’s legal spouse when they married in Massachusetts on Election Day in 2008, their 20th anniversary; his good friend and longtime manager, Al Ridolfo, for all his help and support, and to Troy Cupano, his Operations Manager and his current staff for their invaluable assistance and dedication.