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Jay Howard on hard work and living a full, meaningful life

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

Born and raised a Carolinian?

I was born and raised in Concord. I have lived in Concord almost all of my life with the exception of my time attending Appalachian State University, where I graduated in 1984.

Give us a glimpse into how hard work has been a theme in your life:

My dad owned a construction business and starting at 13, I had to work for him. It was tough work, and he didn’t mind pushing me, especially in the summer - I worked for him throughout college. I graduated in 1984 from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.

We hear you have a large family when you combine people and pets!

Yes! Wife, Kim (married Jan ’88); Kids: Jay Jay (22), Grace (20); Dogs: Bert, Maybelline, Ziggy, and Colbi; Cats: Holli and Zelda; Horses at house: Leo and

​Luke; Minis: Teddy & Franklin; Pony: Nikki; Offsite horses: Houdini, Peri, and Cutter.

What charities are you involved with?

I serve on the Speedway Children’s Charities board of directors. Our CSM Production team also puts on an annual golf tournament called Golfing 4 Good. The annual fundraiser provides needed support for members of our family who are dealing with adversity in their life. In October, we raised $60,651 for a Mooresville family battling cancer and DKMS.

What’s the story behind your production company, CSM Production?

In 1981, while still in college, I accepted an intern position as assistant to then president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Humpy Wheeler, who was focused on promoting and organizing the upcoming World 600. I was his assistant aka gopher until hired as a full-time employee in 1984. For the next three years, I managed pre-race activities, the Performance Racing Network and live entertainment. It was during this time that the idea of a production company was born.

What events have you produced locally?

We pride ourselves on staying behind-the-scenes, so you might be surprised how many events we produce locally including Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola, the Belk Bowl Fan Fest, opening ceremonies at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash and many more.

How does working in production keep you on your toes?

CSM Production has built a reputation as one of the nation's premier event and corporate meeting production companies. We do a variety of live shows, experiential operations, special events and corporate production. Despite our best efforts though, we are only as good as our last event. Every day counts.

What is your dream career?

PGA Tour Player (shooting under par just once would be acceptable, or just one hole in one).

What’s a challenge in your business?

With a hectic travel schedule, balance is my biggest challenge. Very few of our projects are “home games” so travel, especially weekend travel, never gets easier.

What are your hobbies?

Family travel and golf

What motivates you?

Seeing our family do well, sharing success with others.

What do you love about Charlotte and the Carolinas?

I love the people, culture and climate.

Where do you vacation?

Blowing Rock and Pinehurst

What are your proudest accomplishments?

My family

What struggles have you faced in your life?

Balancing family and work, growing a business without a playbook.

Where do you see yourself retiring?

Hopefully slowing down soon; retiring is a big word.

Favorite spot to enjoy downtime?

Have you had a life changing event in your life?

Of course, getting married and having kids tops that list. From a business perspective, joining CSM in 2016 was game changing.

Favorite TV series?

24, The Brave, The Unit

Favorite book?

Anything Tom Clancy

Favorite app?

PGA Tour

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

Kim and I live in a house we built in 1992. I drum in a marching band and still play occasionally with Pat Green.

If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your time each day?

Spend more time with Kim, volunteer, play golf, visit our kids, tinker with cars!

What are your social media accounts that you would like to share?



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