Jay Stein is Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of Stein Mart, Inc., a retail chain offering fashionable, current-season, and branded merchandise at savings below department store prices—sometimes referred to a hybrid between upscale department stores and discounters.
After attending college at NYU and the Sak’s Company training program, Mr. Stein joined his family’s company in 1967, nearly sixty years after his grandfather, Sam Stein, began doing business in Greenville, Mississippi. In 1977, Jay Stein launched the expansion of Stein Mart from its single store in Greenville to neighboring states and ultimately operates over 290 stores from coast to coast, in 30 states.
Jay Stein served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Stein Mart, Inc. from 1977 until 1989, when he was elected to the position of Chairman. After stepping down for several years, he came back to the Chief Executive Officer position again in 2012 to continue to run the company until 2016. Stein Mart’s corporate headquarters moved from Greenville, Mississippi to Jacksonville, Florida in 1984 and the Company offered public stock for the first time in 1992. Stein Mart’s common stock is listed on NASDAQ NMS under the trading symbol SMRT.
Mr. Stein has been active on the local and national levels in charitable, civic and educational endeavors. In Jacksonville, he served on the Board of The National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Stein is a past member of the Mayor’s Select Committee on Ethics in City Government. In 1993, he received the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Mr. Stein is a Trustee Emeritus of the board of directors of three New York Stock Exchange companies: Promus Hotels, American Heritage Life Insurance Company and Barnett Bank all of which have been acquired by larger entities. He was also an Emeritus Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is also a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of New York University. He served as a vice chairman of the Hebrew Union College Board of Governors and was a founding member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He was presidentially appointed to the Council of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. Stein also serves on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has been affiliated with or chaired all the major cultural organizations in Jacksonville and his philanthropy has extended throughout the community.
Mr. Stein and his wife, Deanie, reside in Jacksonville, Florida.