IMGP0879_1194895999Michael Hayes is Special Projects Coordinator for Kentucky Highlands. He was responsible for establishment and overall administration of the Kentucky Highlands Empowerment Zone, one of the three original rural designations in the United States. This $40 million, 15-year federal experiment focused on locally based planning and execution of economic and community development initiatives. Michael is also responsible for coordinating and management of the several loan funds totaling more than $15 million, as well as preparing and evaluating business proposals, making investment decisions, closing loans, and marketing. Prior to coming to Kentucky Highlands, Michael was an Investment Banker for First Kentucky Securities Corporation where he was responsible for arranging financial packages for public and private sector bond issues. Prior to that, Michael worked for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in various capacities including Executive Director of the Office of International Marketing and the Chief Representative in the Far East Representative Office in Tokyo, Japan where he was responsible for promoting Kentucky as a location for manufacturing investment to Japanese companies and assisting Kentucky companies research and market products in the Japanese economy.

Michael has also been Executive Director of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Authority in Glasgow, Kentucky and Assistant Director of the Cumberland Valley Area Development District in London, Kentucky.

Michael has Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. This included study at the Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico. He also has a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning with a specialization in Spatial Economics and Physical Planning from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He has completed and conducted various work related training and conferences.