Jay Salas worked as a child to help provide for his mom and himself, starting a lawn mowing business that made him $800 a month to help pay bills and buy food. He recalls a pivotal moment in his childhood when he promised himself to make a difference, to someday fully provide for his family. When he grew up, he found he had the skills to be an entrepreneur. He has owned several businesses, but he has always given the profits back to the community. He saw the need and had the vision to create an office to promote financial literacy, now known as the Office of Financial Empowerment, which is a hub for anti-poverty and economic mobility initiatives in Denver. In addition, he and his wife recently created their own family foundation that supports opportunities for low-income, first generation students to access higher education and come out debt free. Jay also uses family land in New Mexico to host hunting trips in his free time, for Wounded Warriors, kids from the community and fathers that are out of prison trying to reconcile with their families.
The Colorado Rockies Adult Leadership Award was created in 2002 to recognize individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the Hispanic community through community involvement, the promotion of family values and personal achievements. Eligible recipients are Colorado residents, do not need to be of Hispanic heritage but must be actively involved in the Hispanic community. The winner's name is placed on a plaque displayed inside Coors Field at Gate C, and the 2018 winner will also receive Season Tickets for the Rockies' 2019 season.