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Jay Kern is a founder and General Partner of Kern Whelan Capital, LLC.

Prior to founding Kern Whelan in early 2007, Jay spent over a decade in private equity investing as Managing Director of Reynolds, DeWitt & Co. in Cincinnati, where from 2001 he led all acquisitions and venture financings. One of Reynolds, DeWitt's more notable holdings is the St. Louis Cardinals, acquired in 1996 from Anheuser Busch by a group led by Bill DeWitt, Co-Chairman of Reynolds, DeWitt. During his time sourcing, structuring and financing investment transactions while at Reynolds, DeWitt, Jay served as Chairman of the Board of Tech Lighting from 1998 to 2004 and led the equity investment in and purchase of this Chicago based manufacturer of architectural lighting systems. The Tech sale provided a net return of over twenty times invested capital. Jay's early stage investment in Provider Synergies, a pharmaceutical services business sold in early 2006, led to a net return of over twenty five times invested capital.

Prior to joining Reynolds, DeWitt in 1997, Jay was with McKinsey & Company as a management consultant to manufacturing and financial services firms.

Jay serves or has served on the boards of numerous portfolio companies, among them, Pallet Logistics of America, a manufacturer and distributor of pallets; Cohera Medical, a medical device company located in Pittsburgh, PA; Arcadia Communications, a developer of and owner of cellular communications towers; Shopatron, Inc., an ecommerce solutions provider; and Tab Products, a $100 million manufacturer of document management systems. Jay acts as a board observer for InvestCloud and Quri. Jay was also a member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Financial Industries, which is administered jointly by the US Department of Commerce and the US Trade Representative.

Jay serves as a trustee of the San Francisco Art Institute and on the Audit Committee for the UCSF Foundation. He has also served as a board member of the Bay Area Discovery Museum and as President of the Ross School Foundation. Among Jay's many charitable involvements in Cincinnati, he served as a Trustee of the Cincinnati Symphony, Trustee and development Chair of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Trustee and Treasurer of The Taft Museum, and Trustee of the Visiting Nurse Association. Jay served as President of his class at Phillips Exeter Academy and chaired his 25th and 30th reunion giving campaigns.

Jay received a JD and MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago and his BA cum laude from Princeton University. He lives with his wife and three young children in Marin. Jay enjoys golf and many other outdoor sports, classical music and fine arts.

 

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