Jay Rosenfeld

Occupation: CEO & Consultant, Crescent Solutions

First Car: 1966 Chevy Chevelle

Favorite Restaurant: Hoover's Cooking - Austin, TX (great Southern cooking)

What are three things most people don't know about you?

a). I ran my first marathon at 52 - broke 4 hours.  Since then I have run another with the same time and done a 180-mile two-day bike ride from Houston to Austin.

b). My wife and I with another couple started a couples book club five years ago.  The group has read over 50 books in that time - amazing for someone who grew up not liking to read.

c). I have been able to celebrate 50th wedding anniversaries with both sets of grandparents, my parents and my in-laws.  In fact, my parents celebrated a 60th anniversary.  What are the odds of that?

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

Moving to Houston 21 years ago as a Senior Manager with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).  Great opportunity to make partner quicker, but was tough on the family with all of us being lifelong New Orleans residents. It has worked out well in the long run for all of us.

What's your best childhood memory?

Traveling with my parents occasionally and visiting my grandparents.  My grandfather was from Strasbourg, France, and it was fascinating talking with him.  Wish I had been older to appreciate it more.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

There are a lot across history and careers (politics, business, sports, etc.).  One would be John Kennedy (JFK), because of the issues he faced, the fascination about him, and the role the 1960s played in US history and my life.  His assassination was my most remembered moment until the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 impacted my wife’s family and mine beyond belief.  My mother was in a hospital and had to be evacuated after the storm.  We literally could not find her for five days.  We brought her to Houston to join my dad and us.  The family lived with us and in apartments for five months until they could return to New Orleans.  The homes I grew up in and lived in with my wife and children had five feet of water from the floods.  I still get emotional when I visit.  Over 30 years of my life are invested there.  My wife and I are documenting a journal of the experience.  Yet in the end, we are the lucky ones.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

  1. Running - a great mind clearer
  2. Photography - it’s true about a picture being worth a thousand words
  3. My two granddaughters (4 yrs and 7 months) - yes, the girls are a hobby, because they never are a burden and it’s always a treat to be with them

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - his first novel was The Kite Runner. Both very good - about Afghanistan from a male’s perspective in one and a female’s in the other.  Have to wonder how much fact and/or life’s experiences he writes in his books.

My favorite book is Fortunate Son, an autobiography by Lewis Puller, Jr.  His dad was Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in US history.  Lewis tries to follow in his footsteps.  I first saw an interview with him on 60 Minutes.  After you read the book do some research on him, not before.  Impactful.

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

Paris is my favorite, because of the architecture and food.  Being from New Orleans some of the French Quarter architecture is the same and the food there is good, too.  The museums and parks in Paris are great - try Place des Vosges. Mostly locals.

For a place I haven’t been - the Moon!  Would love to have tried space travel to a location, not just orbiting the Earth.

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

Definitely to the victims of Hurricane Katrina who have been unable to get help themselves and have no one looking out for them.

If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

A doctor.  Circumstances when I graduated from undergraduate college did not permit me to pursue a medical career.

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

I was looking for a job while working on my MBA at night school, saw brochures in the placement office and went for it. I had worked eight years already, so I thought I had something to offer compared to a recent undergrad.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

  1. Get comfortable “drinking from a fire hose” - learn as much as you can as quickly as you can.
  2. Get experience - clients are not interested in book sense.  They already have that.
  3. Get comfortable with change and enjoy it.  It’s what you do for your clients.
  4. Realize it takes years to be considered a consultant.