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November 16 2014

James "Jay" Bailey, CEO, Southeast Region for HOPE Recognized for the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Award

Operation HOPE CEO James “Jay” Bailey was saluted last week as one of Atlanta’s leaders, in Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2014 40 Under 40 Awards. Jay was selected from more than 600 nominations for the award, now in its 11th year.

This award salutes an energetic and vibrant class of leaders who exemplify service through responsibility in their everyday lives, from their dynamic and impactful professional roles to their myriad methods of making the Atlanta community better than ever.

With advice from his barber, James 'Jay' Bailey started his own car stereo-installation business at 16. That taught him the value of physics and math, which led to graduation from the University of Georgia, corporate jobs, and eventually owning a highly lucrative real estate business. He lost it all in the recession.

Now as the CEO for the Southeast Region of Operation HOPE, a global non-profit dedicated to making free enterprise work for all, he's improved the financial literacy and economic standing of about 87,000 adults and children.

"People in underserved neighborhoods, like mine in South DeKalb, don't know the rules of finance. They don't have mentors. They never got the memo. I'm passionate about mentorship, eradicating poverty and providing opportunities for all," said Bailey.

Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs, Chick-fil-A Inc., and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, has worked with Bailey on projects like the HOPE Business in a Box program to teach young people about entrepreneurship, finance and the value of education.

HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant expressed his pride and admiration fr Jay, saying “Proud of James Bailey, and what he and his team are doing to uplift the least of these, in Atlanta and surrounding areas.”