September 21, 1947 ~ September 8, 2020 (age 72)
Jay Kimbrough, former Executive Director of the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies / The Texas Commission on Private Security, passed away on September 8, 2020.
“Jay was always honest, many times very tough, but always respectful of us and our industry. Often times we agreed to disagree, but we always worked together and remained friends.”Michael Samulin
“He was indeed an industry friend, even when we disagreed. They don’t make men like that anymore!!!”Malcolm Reed
Jay T. Kimbrough epitomized the U.S. Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis – always faithful – which is how he lived his life in faithful service to the people of Texas. This service was framed by his two outlooks on life: That every day be lived with purpose, and that no one – no man, woman, or child – gets left behind.
A Marine grunt who rose to the ranks of Chief of Staff to a Texas governor, Jay Kimbrough never forgot his humble roots, nor his purpose in life. He was always “Joe Shit the Rag Man,” the least important person in any meeting – to no one but himself.
Jay was seriously wounded in Vietnam in 1967 and returned to Texas to recover.
Jay was awarded the Purple Heart for his Marine Corps service in Vietnam.
In his civilian life, Kimbrough would go on to serve Bee County as a county attorney and county judge and then was recruited by the Governor to “fix” several Texas State agencies including TBPIBPSA / The Texas Commission on Private Security. Eventually he would rise to serve as Deputy Chancellor of Texas A&M University System, following his service in the Perry Administration as Homeland Security Director, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief of Staff. Kimbrough also served as director of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and in a variety of roles in federal, state, and local government since 1966.
Jay T. Kimbrough was born on September 21, 1947 to Lois Virginia Shotwell and Jayson Truett Kimbrough, who preceded him in death. He is survived by Ann Kimbrough, his wife of 51 years, daughter Melissa Ann Kimbrough of Conroe, son Brian Kimbrough and wife Lori Kimbrough of Franklin, as well as grandchildren Kennedy Kimbrough, Major Kimbrough, and Dylan Smitherman.
A Visitation will be held from 1-5 pm, on Sunday, September 13, at Hillier of COLLEGE STATION. Graveside Services and Military Honors will begin at 1 PM, on Tuesday, September 15, at Dallas – Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Jay Kimbrough – A personal perspective
I first met Jay Kimbrough shortly after he had become the Executive Director of the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies (to later become the Texas Commission on Private Security) – he had been brought in by the Governor to “fix” the agency. I sat next to him at a TBFAA annual convention luncheon (I was on the TBFAA board at the time). Everyone was a bit intimidated by him as I remember.
The next thing I knew I was contacted by the Governor’s Office of Appointments about the new Private Security Board alarm industry representative seat. It all happened pretty fast. From that point forward Jay worked closely with Ben Nix (then Chairman of the Private Security Board and a representative of the Private Investigators industry), George Craig (then Vice-Chairman of the PSB and soon to be Chairman and a representative of the Guard industry) and me – the” newby” from the alarm industry. Well, with industry leaders like Malcolm Reed, Rodney Hooker, Rex Adams, Chip Bird and many other “leaders” from our industry, and our lobbyist Ron Kessler, we set forth to “fix” the agency. Not only did we fix the agency, but our industry group set a new standard for participation in the legislative process as it related to our industry.
We forged (and I do mean FORGED) great relationships with our respective legislators and visited with them often. As a result, the private security industry was a part of the regulatory process, not a victim of that process. Through the next few Executive Directors of the agency we had constant communication to provide direction to the agency to improve how our industry interacted with the citizens of Texas – for the protection of those citizens. We (the agency and the industry) did what I call “great government” work in that we worked together for the betterment of the citizens of Texas, of which the industry is a part. Jay was always honest, many times very tough, but always respectful of us and our industry.
Often times we agreed to disagree, but we always worked together and remained friends.
Jay, you will be missed.