2022 Man of the Year named by Exchange Club

JACKSON, Tenn. — A group in the Hub City has named their 2022 Jackson Man of the Year.

Jackson just celebrated 200 years of existence, and Jerry Gay was behind the scenes working diligently on the Bicentennial board.

Not only did he help with Bicentennial events, he is responsible for a lot of the entertainment in the city.

The banquet, hosted by the Jackson Exchange Club, started off with welcomes and thank yous to those who were the past Man of the Year honorees from 1949 all the way until 2021.

“We celebrate you as you join the ranks of ordinary men who were celebrated because they did ordinary things to our community,” said Logan Hampton, the 2021 Man of the Year.

The room was filled with not only Exchange members, but close supporters and loved ones to this year’s Man of the Year. From there, Keli McAlister read the list of Gay’s accomplishments.

“He is the force behind the scenes who propels others to success and puts our community first. He doesn’t want credit, just the best for everyone around him,” McAlister said.

Gay had no idea he was this year’s recipient. He says the feeling of recognition is overwhelming

“You can’t explain it. And then when my two children came in, my son lives in Nashville, my daughter lives in Knoxville, so when I saw them it kind of really got me,” Gay said.

Gay said out of all the boards and organizations he has been in, the volunteer work makes what he does special.

“The telethon. You can’t say no to kids, and it really means a lot to do those things. I guess, the volunteer work probably even more. I don’t know, it’s more rewarding than working,” Gay said.

Family friends and colleagues of Gay say he is one of the most deserving people for this award.

“I use to hate it when people say there is nothing to do in Jackson. It has been my mission for 40 years to make sure there was always something to do in Jackson, and I don’t want to ever hear that again. And I tell you what, if you can’t find anything to do around here, then you ain’t looking,” Gay said.

SEE ALSO: Woman of the Year named in the Hub City

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