Welcome Jay!

Jay Riemersma, executive director of Gateway Mission, is passionate about helping people in his hometown of Holland, Michigan transform their lives. Jay coaches and empowers the executive team of Gateway, as they collaborate to effectively direct operations and steward resources of the nonprofit organization to serve the homeless and hurting in West Michigan.


The board of Gateway Mission named Jay as executive director in February 2023. Prior to his role at Gateway, he worked in nonprofit development for 15 years at a prominent pro-family public policy organization and the nation’s premier faith-based prison ministry.


A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he played football for the Wolverines, Jay began his professional career in 1996, when he was drafted into the NFL as a seventh-round pick with the Buffalo Bills. For nine seasons, he played as a tight end for the Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Shortly after he joined the Bills, Buffalo City Mission, which serves the homeless population in upstate New York, asked Jay to become a spokesperson, which he did throughout his tenure in Buffalo. Jay spoke at chapels for those in desperate need, mentored young men, and raised awareness of their crucial work. Following an injury, his NFL career ended in 2005.


Jay returned to Holland, initially working on-staff as head varsity football coach for Zeeland High School before moving into the nonprofit sector. Since he linked up with Gateway Mission in late 2022, he and the leadership team have sought to adapt and streamline operations to best align Gateway programs with achieving long-term objectives. Jay and his wife, Cara, are parents of three children.