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Jay Dearborn
Jay Dearborn
President, Corporate Payments

Jay joined WEX in 2016, bringing to the company more than 15 years of experience driving strategic growth, marketing and operational performance improvement. As president of corporate payments, Jay is responsible for WEX’s virtual card and other payments solutions. He previously served as WEX’s VP of strategy.

Prior to joining WEX in January 2016, Jay was a principal at McKinsey & Company, where he helped private and public organizations set their strategic direction, including technology deployment and process redesign to support long-term growth. Previously, at American Express, Jay was responsible for elements of the merchant marketing organization and corporate strategic planning.

Jay holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He also has a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He is active with FocusMaine, Junior Achievement of Maine and the United Way.

 

What brought you to WEX?

This is not the type of place for someone who’s looking to just punch in their 40 hours a week. It’s a growth company playing at the intersection of technology, payments and data—all applied to unique B2B environments. WEX is small, nimble, on the front of its feet and leaning into the legacy markets that are ripe for innovation. If you look at our growth trajectory, we’re doubling in size every five years. That creates excitement within the day-to-day work and because of the new opportunities for people.

 

What gets you excited about what you’re doing?

There are three things that get me really excited about where we are right now and my role within it. One is that it’s a very opportunity-ripe environment. In every conversation I have with our customers or soon-to-be customers, we talk about ample opportunity—tons and tons of opportunities for us to be working together.

Two, at WEX we have a set of tools that we’ve built over the past decade that allow us to unlock those opportunities unlike anyone else in the market.

And, three, there’s a team that’s been built here that’s radically smart and competitive and driven—and very comfortable getting their hands dirty to help our customers get to that opportunity.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Probably the most salient piece of advice, and the one that I always harp on when I talk with young people, is to seek out those leaders whom you want to emulate and learn as much as you can from them.

Learn how they think, learn how they see the world, and where they see opportunities and risks. Learn to analyze the way they analyze the world. Learn to make relationships in the way that they make relationships, and then seek to emulate that as your career progresses. And on that concept of apprenticeship, it’s not just about finding one or two mentors. It’s about finding 10 to 20 so that you get the breadth of different approaches. You learn so much more quickly if you find people you want to emulate and then you work really closely with them.

One other thing, too: Don’t let your profession become a slog. When you figure out how to make it fun and you work with great people and you laugh deeply and you wake up in the morning excited to go to work, you tend to unlock opportunity, both within the teams that you work with and with customers and clients. So have fun. Keep a buoyant attitude.

 

What are your personal passions outside of work?

First and foremost, I have a family. I’ve got a 6-year-old and a 4-year old, and when we moved to Maine two years ago they thought they’d moved to Disney World. My wife, Nisha, and I love introducing them to new experiences, of which there are plenty here in the great outdoors of Maine. So lots of time with family is No. 1. I also ski and bike a ton. I very much enjoy being outside and doing outdoor activities and outdoor sports.

And I’m really passionate around economic development. During my McKinsey career, I actually spent quite a bit of time helping countries and regions and cities develop their economies, which is often how the private sector, the government and the social sector work together to unlock economic growth. It’s something I’m very passionate about here in Maine, as well as in the work I do with local nonprofits such as FocusMaine.