WHERE SHAY COMES FROM
Born in Cleveland Ohio, Shay was raised in Cleveland's east suburbs with his sisters and brother by Eddie and Norma Hawkins, Pastor and First Lady of Good Shepherd Baptist Church. Shay's parents modeled Christian charity and emphasized the duty to personally demonstrate love to ones neighbors. In addition to his family, Shay was blessed with Church members, coaches, and teachers, that developed his mind, nurtured his talents, and built his character as he grew into an adult. Shay later earned his undergraduate degree in economics from The Ohio State University, his MBA from Columbia Business School as a Credit Suisse First Boston Fellow, and his JD from the Moritz College of Law at OSU.
Prior to serving as a Tax and Trade Counsel on Capitol Hill, Shay spent five years as an investment banker with an international firm, and later worked as a field organizer for an organization that advance the principles of entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and personal responsibility in Ohio's Latino community.Today, Shay serves and President of the Opportunity Funds Association, a 501c6 dedicated to bringing investment capital into America's most distressed communities.
A THRIVING CAREER
Today, Shay serves and President of the Opportunity Funds Association, a 501c6 dedicated to bringing investment capital into America's most distressed communities. Before co-founding the Opportunity Funds Association, Shay Hawkins was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Energy , Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and the senior tax and economic policy advisor to Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a Senate Finance Committee Member.
Shay served as Senator Scott’s lead policy advisor throughout the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). During the legislative process, Shay was the driving force behind the Opportunity Zones provision working with House and Senate Conferees, the White House, and other key stakeholders to ensure its inclusion in the final package. Since enactment, Shay has worked with Treasury to develop implementing regulations for Opportunity Zones that will rapidly deploy capital into distressed urban and rural communities. Shay got his start on Capitol Hill as Legislative Fellow to Representative Jim Renacci, (R-OH 16) where he was part of a team of tax attorney’s that developed a comprehensive tax reform plan.
Here in the Cleveland area, Shay spent six years as an adjunct Instructor of Economics at Cuyahoga Community College teaching economics to students aged 16 to 60. Shay also served with the Cuyahoga County Transition Advisory Group in 2010 after voters approved a new Charter for Cuyahoga County the previous November.