Q: What brought you to Prescott; how long have you been here?
A: In 1991 I was working in Tucson for Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and got transferred to Prescott to be the store manager of the Smith’s at Miller Valley Road and Fair Street. This became a Fry’s Food Store in 1999.
Q: How did you become interested in your career field?
A: I have worked in retail since high school — in 1976 I started working for Lucky’s Food Stores in Tucson. I have been interested in wild birds even longer — probably since 1965 or earlier. After working for over 20 years in the grocery industry, I combined my love of birds and my retail experience and open a backyard wild bird store — Jay’s Bird Barn — in 2003. Since, I created Arizona Field Optics, specializing in binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, etc. In 2016, we added a Hallmark Gold Crown store inside Jay’s.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of your job?
A: Since COVID started we have been struggling with unprecedented challenges in rising costs and supply chain issues. We have been struggling to get inventory, and we had to pass rising freight costs onto our customers.
Q: What is the greatest reward of your job?
A: Helping customers create a connection to nature. I love interacting with my customers; they are not just customers, they are friends.
Q: Where would you like to vacation next; why?
A: Any place with lots of birds! Maybe Panama or somewhere in South America.
Q: If you could have dinner with any three to five people (dead or alive) who would it be?
A: My wife and our adult children and grandchildren. My greatest joy is my family. Unfortunately five of our six children, and all of our six grandchildren live out of the state.
Q: What is the last book you read; what did you enjoy about it most?
A: I’m much more of an outdoors/active person, where I am experiencing life and not reading about it. However, every morning for the last 30 years or more, I spend time having a private devotional (spiritual) where I read the scriptures and study religious material to set the tone for my day.
Q: What is your favorite Prescott activity?
A: Spending time in nature — riding my bike, hiking or bird watching. Even doing yard work brings me the joy of the outdoors.