Jay’s Experience

Thanks for visiting!

Here’s what I’ve been up to during my professional career.  Look forward to getting to know you.

Professional Background:

Chair | Vistage International | 2011-Present

Vistage Rookie of the Year Award 2012

Vistage Chair Excellence Award 2012

Co-Chairman Vistage Atlanta All-City 2013

Chairman, Vistage Atlanta Executive Summit 2014

As an Executive Coach, Business Advisor, Mentor, and Chair for Vistage International, I’m excited to give back, from my years of experience in leadership, to my clients. I work with over 50 leaders through professional advisory services and by chairing three Vistage Groups (2 CEO Groups and 1 Key Executive Group) as a facilitator of the world’s leading Chief Executive Organization, with over 16,000 members worldwide. Having experienced the “lonely at the top” syndrome personally as a CEO and owner of businesses for over 32 years, I understand the value of having the wisdom and counsel of an agenda-free, and experienced professional, who’s “been there and done that,” to:

• Hold you accountable so you’ll achieve better results through self-directed solutions

• Build mutual trust in a confidential environment where you may share anything

• Listen objectively to you and ask the tough questions that few will

• Be a truth-teller, challenging you to be your best as a human being

• Act as a thinking partner; drawing on a lifetime of both successes and setbacks

During my career, I had the good fortune of playing a significant role in the development of many CEOs and successful leaders. It is my privilege to get to know you and to engage with you to help you make better decisions, to allow you to achieve better results, and to have fun while doing it, always being sensitive to your enjoyment of a happy, balanced, and fulfilled life.

CEO, Founder, and Owner | Middleton McDonald Group, Inc. | 1995-Present

This wholly-owned corporation, founded by Jay, is the successor to McDonald & Hughes, Inc., that is used as the vehicle for executive mentoring and coaching, investment banking, consulting, business advisory work, general mediation, and board activities.

CEO & Co-owner | Solare Solutions, LLC | 2006-2007

Solare, headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, was a start-up full-service manufacturer of signage for the casino industry and commercial markets in the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi. It operated in Wiggins, Mississippi in a new, state-of-the-art graphics, fabrication, and painting facility. Recruited by the private equity firm and individual owners, shortly after start-up, to evaluate existing management, run the business, and to turn it around. Negotiated the sale to Kojis & Sons, a 50-year industry leader, headquartered in Bunky, Louisiana.

President & CEO; Co-Owner | Network Communications, Inc. | 1996 – 2002

Network Communications (NCI) is the largest publisher of real estate advertising in the world. It is a vertically integrated publisher performing pre-press, printing, binding, and distribution of over 10 million magazines each month, including: The Real Estate Book, Apartment Finder, Unique Homes Magazine, Mature Living Choices, and New Home Finder.

• “Right-sized” the business in 1996, significantly improved the balance sheet and income stream, growing the company from $42 million in revenues with $1 million in EBITDA in 1996 to $100 million in revenues and $16 million in EBITDA in 2002.

• Increased the apartment publication vertical from 12 markets in 1996 to 120 in 2002.

• Developed over 13 web sites as an early adopter of the internet, generating over 2 million unique visits per month. Negotiated agreements with Yahoo, MSN, Ticketmaster/City Search, AOL and others, becoming one of the leading content providers of residential real estate information in the world.

• Negotiated the sale of the company.

Chairman & Co-founder | McDonald & Hughes, Inc. and McDonald, Withers & Hughes, Inc. | 1991 – 1995

Investment Banking firms specializing in investment strategies for technology-based organizations. Firms were active in mergers, acquisitions, technology licensing, and consulting for middle-market organizations.

Principal | The Breckenridge Group | 1990 – 1991

Investment Banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions of middle market companies.

President & Co-Owner | The Wayne Watson Company | 1981 – 1989

Wayne Watson Company was the largest distributor of athletic products and active wear in the Southeastern United States.

• Grew the business from $18 million to over $60 million in revenues in eight years.

• Pioneered new market opportunities by expanding into the licensed products arena, the department/specialty stores market, and the college bookstore market.

• Led the nation in sales and market penetration for each line it represented, receiving numerous awards.

• Generated significant equity value, culminating in sale to Russell Corporation in 1989.

Senior Vice President | The Citizens & Southern National Bank | 1965 – 1981

Starting as a mailroom employee during college, rose to a major leadership role with C&S, the largest bank in the South at the time, as the head of the Southern Corporate Banking, Correspondent Banking, & Regulated Industries Group.

• Managed the largest commercial lending group in the corporate bank, with over $1 Billion in commitments and over $500 million in both loans and deposits. Recognized as top new business producer in the Corporate Bank.

• Co-authored Corporate Banking: A Practical Approach to Lending, a book published by the American Bankers Association for training commercial lenders and credit professionals throughout the United States in 1981.Created a nationally recognized field training program for correspondent banks. Trained and supervised potential commercial and real estate lenders in credit analysis and lending.

• Restructured and managed the Credit Department, at the request of the CEO, with responsibilities for the hiring standards, education, training, and development of all new commercial and real estate lenders. Assumed the responsibility of all credit review and financial analysis functions within the bank, and was part of the team that wrote the bank’s first Lending Policy.

Board Positions Present & Past:

Buckhead Investment Partners | Atlanta, Georgia | 2007-Present

BIP is a privately-owned, wealth management and private equity company with approximately $300 million invested. 

Frabel Art Foundation | Atlanta, Georgia | 2006-Present

Frabel Art Foundation educates the world on glass art in general and Frabel art in particular, by cooperating with museums around the world to organize exhibitions and showcasing glass art.

The founder of the Frabel Foundation, Hans Godo Frabel, is one of the world’s most successful and well-known glass artists of our time. His art pieces can be found in many museums and art collections around the world and he has always actively supported any activities focussed on educating the world on glass art. The Frabel Art Foundation was founded to give a more formal approach to this goal and get as many people on this planet in touch with different forms of glass art.

The Frabel Art Foundation manages a large collection of glass art pieces and loans these art pieces to museums and other institutions for educational purposes. The proceeds of any of the exhibitions is used to fund charitable and educational causes, specifically those that benefits the glass arts.

ECI Group | Atlanta, Georgia | 2002-Present

Chairman: Governance Committee and Nominating Committee. Member: Compensation and Audit Committees. ECI is a privately-owned, multi-faceted real estate development, management, and construction company. It manages properties with over 11,000 units, owns over 40 communities, and its construction activities are in excess of $40 million annually.  Revenues are moderate six figures and asset values are high six figures.

Stafford Development Company | Tifton Georgia | 2013-Present

Chairman: Compensation Committee. Member: Audit Committee and Governance Committee. Stafford Development is a family-owned business engaged in real estate development, property management, hotels, Wendy’s franchises, and convenience stores.  Its operations span the Southeastern United States and include shopping centers, office developments, and multi-family.

Compliance Depot, LLC. | Dallas, Texas | 2006-2013 

Chairman: Audit Committee. Member: Contracts Committee. Compliance Depot was a privately-owned, technology-based vendor certification company that manages the vendor management and approval process for clients. Company sold to RealPage, Dallas, Texas in May, 2011. Remained on post-sale Board of former firm until all post-closing details are complete.

American Screen Art | Knoxville, Tennessee| 2007-2011

ASA is a private-equity group owned company that is a leader in the wide-format graphics industry, serving the fleet graphics, the vending and beverage graphics, and the retail graphics markets. It has been in business for over 50 years, with key clients including Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, Cadbury Schweppes, Yum Brands and McDonalds. Company sold to Vomela in November, 2011.

Purafil, Inc. | Doraville, Georgia | 1989-2005

Purafil is a leader in the air purification industry providing solutions for protection against corrosion to equipment and sensitive computer clean rooms for the petrochemical and paper industries.  It also is the leading firm in providing systems to most of the world’s museums to protect historical artifacts, valuable artwork, and historical documents.  Purafil was sold to Kaydon Corporation, NYSE, in 2005.

Network Communications, Inc. | Lawrenceville, Georgia | 1993-2002

NCI is the largest publisher of real estate advertising in the world through its publications that include The Real Estate Book, Apartment Finder, Unique Homes Magazine, New Home Finder, and Mature Living Choices.  It also operated 13 web sites generating over 2 million unique visitors per month.  NCI was sold to a group funded by the private equity firm, Abry Partners, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2002.

Walton Press | Monroe, Georgia | 1997-2002

Walton, started in 1900, is the largest cold-set printer in Georgia.  It prints color, newsprint publications for over 250 clients throughout the Southeast.  It was acquired by NCI in 1997 and spun off to the Hughes brothers in 2002.

Nova Financial Corporation | Atlanta, Georgia | 1995-1998

Nova, a private company, was an outsourcing service for independent banks in the Southeast, providing data processing, proof operations, and bookkeeping services.  It was sold in 1998 to Broadnet, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.

McDonald, Withers & Hughes, Inc. | Atlanta, Georgia | 1991-1995 

Investment Banking firm specializing in investment strategies for technology firms.  Firm provided traditional merger and acquisition advisory services, as well as consulting to technology businesses.  Clients included Jerome Lemuelson, the third most prolific inventor in history, Neumann Glove Company, Squirrel, Inc., Collegiate Licensing Company, and Colorocs Debtor-In-Possession.

The Wayne Watson Company | Snellville, Georgia | 1981-1989

Wayne Watson Company was the largest distributor of sporting goods in the South.  It represented exclusively:  Russell Athletic, Johnson & Johnson Athletic, Riddell, Pony Shoes, K-Swiss Shoes, Russell National Hosiery, Royal Textile Mills, American Baseball Cap, deBeer baseballs and softballs, and Don-Joy Orthopedic Company.  The company was sold in 1989 to Russell Corporation.

Tri-State Tractor and Trico Equipment Company | Atlanta, Georgia | 1979-1981

Tri-State was the full-service, International Harvester distributor in Georgia for heavy, industrial equipment.  Trico Equipment was a sister company that distributed machinery for the asphalt paving industry.  Both companies were owned by ESOPs.

Opportunity Consultants, Inc. | Charlottesville, Virginia | 1970-1971

Opportunity Consultants was a student-run consulting firm that assisted minority-owned businesses in Virginia.

Non-Profit Boards:

  • Stratford Manor Property Owners’ Association, Inc.: Board of Directors and President, 2006-Present.
  • The Darden School, University of Virginia: Alumni Board of Trustees, 1978-1984, 2008-Present. Alumni Council, 1991-Present.  Member of University of Virginia Selection Committee for new Dean of the Darden School, 1980.  Awarded Darden School Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1982.
  • Frabel Art Foundation: Trustee: Board of Directors, 2006-Present.  Hans Godo Frabel, one of the world’s foremost glass artists, established the foundation because of his life-long vision and efforts to promote glass arts worldwide.
  • Georgia Tech National Alumni Association:  President, 1998-1999. Alumni Board of Trustees, 1991-1993, 1994-2000.  Chairman, Selection Committee for Executive Director of Georgia Tech Alumni Association, 1999, Executive Committee 1994-2000, Treasurer & President-Elect, 1997-1998, Vice-President, Activities, 1996-1997, Vice-President for Communications, 1995-1996, Vice-President for Roll Call,1994-95. Chairman, Thousand Club, 1992-93; Vice-Chairman, Silver Anniversary Reunion Fund, 1993, Volunteer for several Joint Tech/Georgia Development Funds, division chairman for Georgia Tech Capital Campaign. 40th Reunion co-chairman, 2008.
  • Georgia Tech College of Management: Advisory Board of Trustees, 2001-2003. Chairman, Marketing Committee.  Dean’s Advisory Board for Georgia Tech School of Management in 1990’s.
  • Cherokee Town and Country Club: President, 1997-1998, engaged Tom Fazio to redesign and renovate all 36 holes of golf, the practice area, a short-game practice facility, and a state-of-the-art golf maintenance facility. Vice-President, 1996-1997, Chairman, Search Committee for Chief Operating Officer, 2002-2003. Board of Governors, 1994 to 1999, History Committee, Chairman, 1994-1998, oversaw the writing, editing and publishing Cherokee’s 40-year history, an elegant coffee table publication for members, Long-Range Planning Committee Chairman, 1998-1999, Green Committee, Chairman, 1994-1995, Committee, 1992-1993, Capital Committee, 1990-1991. Member since 1978.
  • Atlanta Braves Advisory Board: Inaugural Member, 2005.
  • National Apartment Association:  Education Foundation, Advisory Board Member, 2000-2002, Education Conference Committee, 2001 and 2002.  Strategic Growth Task Force Member, 2000-2002.  Communications Advisory Board Member 2000-2002, National Supplier’s Council, 1999-2002.
  • National Multi-Housing Council:  Board of Advisors, 2000-2002.
  • Gwinnett Technical College: Board of Trustees, 1998-2002.
  • Georgia Tech Foundation: Board of Trustees, 1998-2000. Investment Committee Member, Capital Campaign Member, Budget Committee Member.
  • Member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Science and Technology Development.  State of Georgia. Co-Chairman, Technology Transfer Committee. 1992-1995.
  • The Galloway School: Board of Trustees.  1991-1993.
  • Georgia Tech Baseball Advisory Board, 1988.
  • Redfield Homeowners Association, Board of Directors, Vice President, Membership, 1981-1984.
  • Atlanta Colt Youth Association, Board of Directors, 1976-77.  Equipment Chairman, Publicity Chairman.
  • Vanderlyn Elementary School PTA: Board of Directors and Treasurer, 1975.
  • Atlanta Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors and Co-Chairman of the President’s Committee, 1974.  President’s Committee, leading membership producer, 1973.

Outside Activities:

  • Innovation Challenge- Business School Competition: International Judge, 2009.
  • Georgia Licensed Real Estate Agent, 1995-Present.
  • Olympic Torch Bearer, Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City, 2002.
  • Distinguished Clown Corps, Eggleston Children’s Hospital:  Group of Atlanta CEO volunteers for the benefit of the hospital, 1999-2002.
  • Robert Morris Associates, Director, Southeastern Chapter, 1981.  Seminar organizer and leader: Analyzing Financial Statements, 1976-1981. All 19 seminars sold out.
  • Leadership Georgia, Class of 1981.
  • United Way: Volunteer, Division Chairman, Group Chairman in the 1970’s.
  • Registered Neutral, Supreme Court of Georgia, General Mediation
  • Guest speaker to numerous groups over the years.  Given talks to approximately 25,000 attendees.
  • Coach for numerous youth athletic teams in the 1970’s.

Board Positions & Designations

  • saltlake
  • imgres
  • gtaa
  • saltlake
  • compliance depot