Cabinet for Economic Development
Larry Hayes named Secretary for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 07, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  


Secretary of Governor’s Executive Cabinet has served as interim CED secretary since September 2008

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2009)—Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the appointment of Larry Hayes as Secretary of Kentucky’s Economic Development Cabinet. Hayes, who is currently Secretaryof Gov. Beshear's Executive Cabinet, has served as interim economic development cabinet secretary since last September.

“Larry has been a trusted aide and advisor as my Secretary of the Cabinet since I took office nearly two years ago. However, there is nothing more important right now than our efforts to maintain and grow jobs during this trying economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “If you look at his background and his record of creating jobs and strategies for successful economic development, there is simply no one better to lead our efforts than Larry Hayes. His broad range of both public and private sector experience has benefited many areas of the state and I look forward to his continued work in the recruitment and retention of jobs on behalf of Kentucky.”

The Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for creating new jobs and investment in the state. Hayes was one of three finalists forwarded to the Governor by the Economic Development Partnership Board this week. Gov. Beshear interviewed the three finalists this week in person before making the selection.

Hayes will step down as Secretary of the Cabinet, a position he has held since December 2007. Gov. Beshear today announced that Mary Lassiter, the state budget director, will be the new Secretary of the Cabinet. Lassiter, who earns about $150,000 annually, will fill both roles. Gov. Beshear said that while he “hates to lose Larry Hayes from his current role, I am confident that with Mary’s capable and strong leadership, we won’t miss a beat in effectively and efficiently administering this government on behalf of the Commonwealth.”

“Nothing is more important than creating and maintaining jobs for our economy right now,” Hayes said. “We have made progress even in very difficult economic times and, as importantly, we have some very important opportunities on the horizon in areas such as energy and advanced manufacturing – strengths of our state and areas where this Governor has demonstrated incredible leadership. I am very appreciative of Gov. Beshear’s confidence in me and I believe strongly that with his continued leadership and vision we will make a real difference in Kentucky by creating more and better jobs for our people.”

The Economic Development Cabinet is overseen by the Partnership Board, comprised of both private sector and public sector members. As Cabinet Secretary, Hayes will serve as its chief executive officer, in charge of the day-to-day conduct of its affairs. He will report to the partnership board, which has set his annual compensation at $250,000 as part of a three-year contract. The position will receive standard state employee benefits and, unlike previous contracts with former Cabinet secretaries, will contain no performance incentives or other such measures. Moreover, Hayes will continue to take a voluntary 10 percent pay cut as he did as Secretary of the Cabinet for the rest of this year.

In recent months, Hayes has been intimately involved in negotiations with Ford to invest more in its Louisville Assembly plants, maintaining thousands of jobs. He also helped lead efforts to relocate DHL to Northern Kentucky from Ohio, a move that will bring hundreds of jobs back to the state. And Hayes was central to the negotiations to bring the Argonne Federal Laboratory to Kentucky to conduct research into advanced automobile batteries. Argonne, based in Chicago, will be working jointly with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville at a new research center in the state.

While serving in the administration of former Governor Martha Layne Collins in the mid-1980s, Hayes helped lead the efforts to bring Toyota Manufacturing to Georgetown, Ky., a move that has created thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment for the state.

The two other finalists for the Economic Development Secretary were:

·        Chad Newell, who is currently a developer with Newton Oldacre McDonald, a retail development firm in Nashville. Newell previously was executive vice president of the Metropolitan Development Board in Birmingham, Alabama.

·        Rhonda Rice, executive administrator with Innovation Valley, Inc., a regional economic development partnership in East Tennessee, and executive vice president of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership.

“The Partnership Board conducted an extensive national search. Fortunately for Kentucky, the best candidate was in our midst in Larry Hayes,” said Luther Deaton Jr., chairman of Central Bank & Trust Company and vice chair of the Partnership Board. “Larry combines deep experience in both the public and private sectors. He has created jobs. He has run businesses. And he has been an instrumental part of some of Kentucky’s most significant economic successes – from bringing Toyota to Kentucky to the creation of the Greater Louisville Inc. I’m excited about the leadership he brings to the table and the opportunity to work with him as we strive together to move Kentucky forward.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Larry Hayes extensively in recent years,” said Steve St. Angelo, president of Toyota North America. “He understands Kentucky’s important role nationally and internationally in the automotive business as well as the importance of strategic thinking and focused action on behalf of economic development. His leadership is one of the reasons Toyota is in Kentucky. We look forward to working with him and the Governor as they aggressively and thoughtfully lead our economic development efforts during these most challenging of times.”

“Larry Hayes may well be the most honorable, competent person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Nick Nicholson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Keeneland in Lexington. “He has done so much for Kentucky. He worries more about results than who gets the credit. He’s just a wonderful public servant. I don’t think the Governor could have made a better choice than Larry Hayes for the Commonwealth.”

The several-month search for a permanent Economic Development Cabinet Secretary was conducted by the PACE Group, a national executive search firm that has conducted searches for private industry, government and nonprofits in more than 40 states since it was founded in 1993. PACE has regional offices in Chicago, Ill. and Tupelo, Miss.

PACE submitted the names of five finalists to the partnership board at its regular meeting on Wednesday.  Pursuant to KRS 154.10-040, the names of the final three candidates selected by the partnership board were then submitted to the Governor for final selection.

Hayes has a long history of leadership and success in both the public and private sectors. He previously held the same position as Secretary of the Cabinet from 1983-1987 under former Gov. Collins. Before his return to state government, Hayes served as deputy mayor of the city of Louisville under Mayor Jerry Abramson from 2003-2007.

Previously, he was the first head of the organization that would become Greater Louisville Inc., leading the merger of that community’s Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organizations.

In addition to his many years of public service, Hayes also has run and invested in several successful businesses in the warehouse, distribution and banking industries. Hayes lives in Louisville with his wife, Melissa. Hayes has three children and six grandchildren.