• 39°

Ironton native exemplifies civic pride

Jay Zornes is proud to be from Ironton. You don’t even have to ask because he will probably tell you in the course of just a few minutes conversation.

But Ironton should be proud to have Jay Zornes.

Zornes, a partner at Creative Financial Solutions, Inc. here in Ironton, is the kind of person that everyone can look up to and admire.

Mild-mannered and easy going, Zornes balances his professional life, his family commitments and tremendous faith with a dedication to the community and strong desire to make our area a better place to live.

Serving as a member of the Tiger Clan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Ironton Rotary Club and as an active member of First Church of the Nazarene, just to name a few, Zornes is the epitome of a hardworking, selfless citizen.

“Jay is very passionate about Ironton and does want it to move forward. That drives much of the volunteer work that he does,” said Bret Hensley, the other partner at Creative Financial Solutions Inc.

“He has a great sense of humor. … He likes to tell jokes and stories. He is very charismatic and usually the center of attention of any group. Jay likes to play himself down and compliment others, usually in a joking or exaggerated way about how much smarter or better looking someone else is.”

And that may be at the heart of what makes Jay such a great person: It isn’t about him.

This message was driven home recently during a few civic club meetings where I was reminded at how Jay is able to do so much in the community while still keeping his family first.

For Zornes and his wife Bekki, parenthood has been a long process.

Jay joked the other day that his wife is in her 36th month of pregnancy.

The Zornes family adopted a little girl, Lilly Brannigan, from China in 2005. They are in the process of adopting another child from there, and though it has been a three-year long process, they hope to bring home the new addition by the end of the year.

Seeing how Jay beams when he shares photos of Lilly or talks about the long process of this second adoption truly offers a window into what makes him tick. Seeing how proud he is of his hometown and the things going on in the community offers that same level of insight.

Recently, Zornes and I were among the Rotarians who handed out dictionaries to all the third-grade students in Lawrence County as part of the civic club’s literacy initiative.

As we left each room, Jay left the students at Whitwell with one simple message: “Go Tigers!”

These students seemed impressed with his enthusiasm and passion. All Ironton residents should have that same level of admiration.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.