DANVERS — Jeffrey Kay is a 44-year-old marketing manager for IBM who has a head for numbers and a deep understanding of technology, both talents he hopes to bring to the School Committee.
Kay, who is vying for one of two available seats in Tuesday’s election, has lived in town for 12 years and serves on the Riverside School Parent Advisory Council. Because of his background in finance and accounting, other parents have been asking him to crunch the numbers of the school budget, he said.
Kay is a strong believer in education due to his upbringing in the Midwest. He grew up in Missouri, and his mother was a single mom who raised him and his brother. She also went back to school part-time “because it was important to her for her improvement, so I saw that. It’s nothing she had to say, but it’s something that I saw, and so that always sticks with you.”
Kay attended public high school in Missouri. He came east to attend Boston University, studied at the School of Management and, with the help of scholarships and student loans, was able to work his way through school. He earned a degree in finance and international management in 1992. He knew he wanted to go to graduate school someday, so he earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University in 1999.
In the meantime, he worked for AT&T for seven years, during which time he became a licensed certified public accountant so he could better analyze the business operations that often leaned heavily on accounting practices. He wanted to know what was behind a lot of the numbers he was seeing.
He went to work for the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1999, and then for IBM when it bought PwC Consulting, a management consulting and technology services unit, in 2002. He has worked at IBM since then.