Jay Mandarino, President and Founder of CJ’s SKATEPARK is a passionate old-school skater who first started skateboarding in the mid-1970s.
The downtown “street skater” soon became famous for being the first person in the world to jump over a Ferrari in front of the Eaton Centre in 1976 and later placed 3rd in the Slalom competition and 5th for Freestyle in the 1979 Pepsi Canadian Skateboarding National Championships held at the CNE.
Over the years, Jay has skated with or met Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Steve Olson, Ryan Sheckler and Tony Hawk to name a few. For 15 years he was also a certified ski instructor and freestyle judge with the Canadian Ski Association. But skateboarding and skiing aren’t his only passions.
Jay is on the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO) and its “Stay in School” program. Currently, Jay is co-founder of the LDAO Learning & Leadership Corporate Annual Breakfast event that has raised over a million dollars. Jay, as a young adult faced many challenges including attempted suicide at ages 8 and 9 as a result of poor self-esteem and a lack of coordination related to his own learning disabilities, ADHD and Dyslexia. Jay has invested in this Not-For-Profit facility to help all young people and children overcome their own challenges or disabilities to foster a better sense of self-esteem and confidence in themselves.
He has developed a mentoring program that allows kids to help other kids with any kind of learning challenge.
“Jay’s philanthropic work has been acknowledged in many editorial articles, letters of praise and with numerous awards including three medals – the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, recognizing individuals who, through exceptional long-term efforts, have made outstanding contributions to their communities, and the Order of International Ambassadors Medal.” . And in 2013 he was named Printer of the Year by Graphic Monthly Canada for all of his achievements with The CJ Group of Companies.