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Tom Farris

Jay Pharis


Jay is a native of the Texas Panhandle, growing up in Dalhart (go Wolves!). He attended college at the University of Texas where he received a Master of Science degree in structural engineering. In 1989 while in Dalhart for the summer, Jay began dating Michelle Trayler. To Jay’s considerable good fortune, Michelle agreed to a long-term deal and they were married in December of 1991. They spent their early married years in Austin and Corpus Christi before moving to Amarillo in 2000.

In 2018, Jay joined the Eldership group at Southwest. Jay is also the current president of Pharis Structural Engineers and serves on the West Texas A&M Engineering Advisory Board. Michelle has a long tenure in elementary education and presently serves as a dyslexia intervention specialist for Amarillo ISD.

Jay and Michelle are proud parents of their two children. Keslie is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in music at the University of Wisconsin. Trenton is attending Kansas State University and working toward a master’s degree in landscape architecture.

Jay's Q&A...
What is an interesting fact about you?

I helped construct a concrete canoe at the University of Texas and rowed the canoe in competitions at Sea World Orlando and Buffalo, New York.

What are your hobbies?

Mountain biking, hiking, golfing

What do you do for a living?

Structural engineering

Greatest accomplishment?

Still to come

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

Back to Thailand to visit my missionary friend Udorn

Favorite foods?

Harley Burger and fries from Golden Light

Favorite music?

Any oboe solo performed by my daughter Keslie or horn solo performed by my son Trenton

Favorite vacation?

Trip to Greece with my son and brother

Favorite book (other than the Bible)?

The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith

Favorite Bible verse?

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”

Mac or PC?


If you could share just one of Jesus' teachings with someone what would it be?

The sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5-7)

Favorite moment at Southwest?

Baptizing my two children (I guess that’s two moments)

What do you love about Southwest?

Love First

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