CALIFORNIA-HAWAII ELKS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT 2021-2022
Jay Larkins was initiated into the Santa Clarita Lodge #2379 in August 1994. In January 1995 Jay was appointed to finish the lodge year as Lodge Esquire, proceeding through the chairs and becoming Exalted Ruler in October 1996 due to the passing, while in office, of Exalted Ruler Jim Delaney. After serving 18 months as Exalted Ruler, under C.H.E.A. Presidents Sim Nathan and then Tim Martin, Jay was elected to the Santa Clarita Lodge Board of Trustees and after serving the final year as Chairman of the Board, elected Lodge Secretary.
He was elected as Vice President and then President of the Roving Elks Kamper Klub. He has served on, and continues to serve as chairman of, many lodge committees including Auditing, Investigation, BLT, Soccer Shoot, Hoop Shoot, Membership, Ritual Training, Super Bowl, Easter and President of the Past Exalted Rulers Association.
In 1997, Jay became Chairman of the Metropolitan District Elks 4th of July Parade entry in the Santa Clarita Parade and to this day guides the handing out of 15,000 flags every 4th of July along the parade route. The entry has earned many awards over the years including ‘Best of Theme’, which is the top parade award.
In 1998, he also established, and continues to chair, the Elks Memorial Day ‘Hot Dogs for Scouts’ at the local memorial park that feeds all of the scouts and their families who donate their time placing over 5,800 American Flags on the gravesites of the veterans entered in the park. Many years the lodge committee has fed over 1,000 people during the event.
Jay began serving the Metropolitan District while the Esteemed Leading Knight as an officer in the Metropolitan District Knights Association. A year later, as Exalted Ruler, he served as President of the Exalted Rulers Association. He also served on many district committees including Soccer, Ritual, and Ritual Training.
He was honored to serve as Esquire to District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Bob Brennan and Auditor to District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Bill Howell.
In 2003 Jay was appointed Association Vice President for the Metropolitan District under President Doug Larsen. He became a member of the Elks Luncheon Club at the Presidents official visit to the Club.
In 2005, he was appointed to serve as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler with Esquire Frank Farquharson and Auditor Past District Deputy Chuck Schaefer and served with Grand Exalted Ruler Jim Grillo after being sworn in at the Chicago Grand Lodge Convention.
Jay became a Certified Ritualistic Floor Judge, Word Judge and Calculator in 1999. As Tri-District Ritual Training Chairman he served the San Gabriel Valley District, Inland District and Metropolitan District for 3 years.
From 1999 to 2018, Jay served as the head coach of the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge Ritual Team with 13 Metropolitan District wins and 4 C.H.E.A. Ritualistic Championships.
He served 3 years on the C.H.E.A. Board of Trustees, the last year as Vice Chairman, and served on the C.H.E.M.P.I. Board of Trustees, the last year as Chairman.
Jay is a Founding Member of the Santa Clarita Elks Foundation and serves as the Secretary of the Elks of Los Angeles Foundation that lists the C.H.E.A. Major Project as one of its beneficiaries annually.
He is a Past ‘Tall Elk’ and ‘Elk of the Year’ at the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge where he is currently serving as the Lodge Advisor.
In March of 2021, the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge voted to honor Jay’s service to his lodge over 28 years with Honorary Life Membership.
Jay was elected First Vice President of the California-Hawaii Elks Association in Fresno in May 2019.
His professional career has taken him from directing the local news on a small television station in East Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia as an original member of the staff at CNN2, now called CNN Headline News (HLN). He then moved to help start The Weather Channel, leaving there for California and a job starting the syndicated television show ‘Hard Copy’ on the Famed Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood. Next Jay moved to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ where he was the longtime Director earning the show its First Emmy Nomination and Win. Jay and Ginger started their own production company in 2014 and have partnered with ‘The Dan Patrick Show’, ‘The Rich Eisen Show’ and Hallmark Channels ‘Home and Family’. Also, the company has been part of the startup of 5 shows, ‘Laughs’ on FOX, ‘Entertainment Tonight in Dubai’, Directv NFL Fantasy Zone, Emmy Nominated ‘Crime Watch Daily’ and Emmy Nominated and Emmy Winner ‘DailyMailTV’ where he was Emmy Nominated for Directing in 2018.
In the entertainment industry, Jay maintains memberships and participates in several professional organizations. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Motion Picture and Television Editors Guild, and the Directors Guild of America.
Jay and his wife Ginger, a 20 plus year Elk, Past Elk of the Year, and Past Emblem Club President, met in Atlanta. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Daughter Mindy, a member of Santa Clarita Lodge, and John Lawley live in Birmingham, Alabama with two children Taylor and Brady. Son Casey lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with children Piper, Sebastian and Elliott and wife Stephanie.
Jay and Ginger are children of Elks. Ginger’s father, Henry Knighten Sr., was a Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler from the Decatur – Stone Mountain, Georgia Lodge #1602 and installed Jay as Exalted Ruler in 1997. Jay’s father, Tom, was a member of the Kingsport, Tennessee Lodge. As a young man, Jay played for the Elks sponsored little league baseball team and participated in the Elks National Hoop Shoot program. Growing up and attending all of his school years through college in the Volunteer State led to his love of the color Orange and his support of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.
Ginger, Jay and their family are indeed… Living… “A Wonderful and Blessed Life”.