John “Jay” Banks ‘80 exemplifies an excellent business professional and prime-time leader in the public administration, real estate, and utility industry. He began his spectacular career journey by starting as an investigator for Mayor Ed Koch. In 1990, Jay became an Infrastructure Unit Coordinator for the New York City Council. He was soon promoted to Deputy Director, managing 50 people in the Finance Division while supervising every aspect of the City Council’s Budget interaction with the Mayor’s Office. In 2001, Banks became Chief of Staff to the Council Speaker, the first African American ever to hold that position. As Chief of Staff, his responsibilities included setting the Council’s legislative priorities negotiating the City of New York budget with the NYC Mayor’s office while managing a staff of more than 400 legal, financial, land use, and administrative employees.
After leaving the New York City Council, John became the Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Con Edison. And after 13 years with Con Edison, he was appointed as the President of the 123-year-old Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the first African American to ever hold this title. He has served on the Boards of the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), as Vice-Chair of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission, as Vice-Chair of Manhattan College, the New York Foundling Hospital, and the Pelham Picture House. John is also a generous donor to Salesian, funding tuition aid for deserving African-American students.
John “Jay” Banks was a friend to all on-campus at Salesian. He played on the Salesian Basketball team for three years, participated in the Drama and Camera Club, and rounded out his extra-curricular activities with membership on the Student Council. Many Salesian alumni aspire to be like John “Jay” Banks as he represents our school to the fullest extent of our mission statement – a home, a school, a parish, and a playground.
Photo: Steve Remich for The Wall Street Journal