James E. "Jay" McKee has been teaching at Champlain College since 1978. Prior to coming to Champlain, he worked as Director of Local Marketing for Smugglers' Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, VT. Champlain College was one of his clients for season passes and badges.
Jay grew up in Buffalo, New York where he worked in the concert/ ticket industry. Before that, for three years in the early seventies, he was the business manager of one of the largest ski clubs in the nation.
He served his country in the New York National Guard through which he attended Officer Candidate School. His active duty stints included flood and blizzard duty in New York State.
Upon arrival at Champlain, Jay became immersed in business courses. From the beginning, he took a special interest in Marketing. Among the courses Professor McKee has taught are: Marketing, Advertising, Marketing Field Experience, Advanced Advertising and the senior capstone course for Management Majors.
Professor McKee is proud of the success of his former students, many of whom live and work in Chittenden County.
Jay was involved at the beginning and literally "wrote the guidelines" for Champlain's successful internship program, in which he continues to teach. He began a speaker series with no budget which grew and became the successful BYOBiz Speaker Series.
In the early 1980's Jay became involved in The Marketing Group, which advises local non-profits. In the last twenty years The Kelley Marketing Group has been housed at Champlain College and Jay has managed it. Each month a different local non-profit is selected to be the focus of a brain-storming session. Local marketing professionals donate their time and expertise. The sessions are open to students.
During his latest sabbatical, Jay became a Certified Professional Marketer through the American Marketing Association, one of only a few hundred in the United States at that time.
Twice during his career, once in 1997 and once again in 2011, Jay completed internships himself with local Marketing /Advertising firms. Among other things, he was asked to brainstorm for ideas, attend meetings, write copy, conduct research, take photos, do voice work and work on a dimensional display.
Since 1985 Jay has led bicycle tours during the summer and fall, first for Vermont Bicycle Touring Company (VBT) and, more recently (1998), for Bike Vermont (now named Discovery Bicycle Tours.) He has led bicycle tours in many states and provinces and he has spent part of nineteen consecutive summers in Ireland leading bicycle tours.
Jay's community involvement includes: The Chamber of Commerce, Lake Champlain Discovery Days, the Discover Jazz Festival, First Night Burlington. He was a founding member of The Burlington Irish Heritage Festival.
Among his interests are: combating childhood obesity, renewable energy and land trusts.
Always one to work with local businesses in his classes, his students came up with the slogan, "Classically Confident" for Middlebury based Beau Ties of Vermont. As a result, Jay has a bow tie named after him — "the McKee." In 2012-13 Jay's classes heard from and discussed Lake Champlain Chocolates, Fiddlehead Brewery, Lake Champlain Cruises, Boyden Valley Winery, Earl's Cyclery and Fitness, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Fuse Marketing, Burton, JKD Design, Darn Tough Vermont, Native Energy, National Life of Vermont among others.