Jerry graduated from San Marin High School in 1977. He was the valedictorian and the student body president at San Marin his senior year. Jerry received his undergraduate degree in History from Stanford University in 1981. As part of his college experience, Jerry spent one year abroad on the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship at the University of Bologna in Italy.

While living in Bologna, Jerry started up two professional football teams. After graduating from Stanford, Jerry returned to Italy to play and coach on one of the teams for several years. He was voted by the sportswriters as the Player of the Year in 1984 and his team, the Stiassi Doves, won the Italian National Championship in 1985. While playing football in Italy, Jerry also had his own radio talk show and he started up a company, Touchdown S.R.L., to import Hawaiian shirts and American t-shirts.

In 1986 Jerry graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Masters in Business Administration. As with his brother Steve, Jerry was recognized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for performance with high distinction for placing within the top 120 scores in the country of the more than 70,000 individuals taking the uniform CPA examination in November, 1986. Jerry also received the Elijah Watt Sells Award from the AICPA.

In 1986 Jerry joined KPMG Peat Marwick in San Francisco as a tax senior. He left KPMG in late 1989 as a tax manager to join his brother Steve at Ghirardo CPA. Since that time, Jerry and Steve have worked together to grow the tax, accounting and consult practice.

Jerry lives in Novato with his wife Laura and their daughter Cristina and son James Edward. He met Laura, who was born and raised in Italy, while he was studying on the Rotary scholarship in 1980.

Growing up in Marin, Jerry is very committed to the local community. He coaches youth sports and is actively involved as Executive Pastor and Chairman of the Board at Lighthouse Christian Church.

Jerry is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Ignacio, and one of the charter members of the Rotary Club of Ignacio Foundation. He was a Board member in various capacities for the Ignacio Club for over 15 years. In 1999, Jerry was the chairperson of the Ignacio Rotary’s Monte Carlo night, which provided funding to numerous local charities. Jerry was involved for several years as the leader of the Interact Club, a community service group at Novato High School. He has also volunteered at the Homeward Bound shelter and worked with the Novato Police Department on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program on behalf of the Ignacio Rotary Club.