Founder and Executive Director
Executive Director Jay Crosby has more than 20 years of experience in education and a lifetime commitment to travel and service. Prior to developing Leadership Exchange, Jay was a teacher and coach at Riverdale Country School, Bronx, NY, and served as the Executive Director of Somarela Fund, a small family foundation whose mission is to advance humanitarian work in southern Africa.
Based in Greenwich, CT, Jay first became interested in education as a high school student at George School, Newtown, PA – a Quaker boarding school. It was here that Jay first realized his commitment to service and identified his calling to become a teacher. Growing up, Jay was fortunate enough to have many wonderful mentors to guide and help him through a challenging adolescence, but it was his father’s influence, by far, that had the greatest impact. Jay learned early on the value of travel, commitment, and empathy. J. Player Crosby worked as a conservationist, humanitarian, and mentor who flew airplanes in southern Africa for environmental groups after a very successful career in international finance. He died suddenly in 2003 of a heart attack while flying his plane. He was a beloved and adventurous man, extremely active, and generous to a fault. The loss of his dad inspired Jay take on the challenge of merging education with travel and service.
Jay currently serves on the board at Bana Ba Letsatsi in Maun, Botswana, and works closely with community organizations throughout the world to identify partner programs and organizations who might benefit from the support of dialogue, exchange, and service, in addition to direct financial aid.
Jay received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and his Master of Education at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.
Board Vice President and Secretary
Ray currently works as the Internship Manager for The Opportunity Network and as an Administrator for the Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund. He is based in East Orange, NJ.
Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University and his Master of Arts degree in Higher Education from New York University. His interest in higher education began as an undergrad working as an Admissions Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students. It was during this time that he understood how some students did not have the same access to college as others. With the guidance of his many mentors, Ray was inspired to begin his life-long mission to serve underprivileged students. As a grad student at NYU, Ray was responsible for reading and making decisions on applications to the Stern School of Business. This experience has greatly enhanced his knowledge of the complex college admissions process.
After graduation, Ray was an Assistant Director and Career Counselor at NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development. There, he helped blue-chip employers with their recruitment strategies of NYU students. In this capacity, Ray also worked directly with the students to help them make informed career decisions. Ray was also responsible for all multicultural career development programming, including diversity breakfasts, networking events, and internship programs.
Warner Lewis is a born and bred New Yorker who joins Leadership Exchange with a deep Rolodex of potential donors and great partnership opportunities.
Currently, Warner is a Vice President and Associate Broker at Halstead Property, handling residential and commercial sales and leasing. He is a Principal in the recently formed LH Team, which has become one of the most productive teams at Halstead, with more than $12m in transactions in its first six months.
Before Halstead, Warner coordinated celebrity events for Livet-Richard + Canon U.S.A and produced television for True Entertainment.
Warner lives with his wife in the East Village near two bars in which he has invested – Mayahuel (Food + Wine rated Top Ten Bar in the World ’10) and a yet to be opened Cuban restaurant and speak easy.
Kent Kildahl was raised in New York City and graduated from Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, NY in 1971. He graduated with Highest Honors in English and History from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1975. After completing a Master’s Degree with First Class Honours at Oxford University in England (English Language and Literature), he did further graduate work in the Ph.D program in English at Yale University. Kent joined the faculty of St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, D.C., in 1981. He taught English, supervised the dormitory, did admissions and college counseling work, and coached varsity lacrosse and football for five years at St. Albans. In 1985, Kent moved to Miss Hall’s School for Girls in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. During the next nine years (1985-1994), he served as English Department Chair, Head of College Counseling, and Assistant Headmaster. He continued to coach lacrosse. From 1994 to 1998, Kent was Secondary School Principal at the International School of Lusaka, a school of 1,000 students comprising 50 nationalities in the central African nation of Zambia. In July of 1998, Kent took over as Head of the Upper School at Riverdale. He has taught English, History, and Constructing America during his tenure at Riverdale, in addition to his administrative responsibilities.