Following graduation from Randolph-Macon College, Jay Pace became Director of Public Relations from 1968 to 1972. He joined the Herald-Progress staff in 1973, became editor in 1978, and then editor/publisher when he purchased the paper and printing company in 1981. Jay Pace was a member of the Board of the Society of Alumni at Randolph-Macon.

Jay Pace was a legendary citizen to the residents of Ashland. He attended every celebration, and could often be found leading a song. With his journalistic skills and sense of humor, he delivered the news of Hanover County twice a week. He was known and respected by small newspapers throughout Virginia. Jay died suddenly in 2004 after a brief illness. There is a statue in his honor at the Plaza by the Dick Gillis Library.