Meet the Team: Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes joined the Alliance in 2012 as an intern and has worked her way to her current position as Vice President of Business Development. As a Vice President of Business Development, Laura is responsible for identifying business opportunities, building key partner relationships and marketing the region to both domestic and international companies.
Prior to serving as Vice President of Business Development, Laura has served as the Director of Business Development as well as the Director of Research, where she honed her skills in data collection, analysis and dissemination. Laura received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Roanoke College and a Masters of Public Administration from Old Dominion University.
How has the region of Hampton Roads helped shape your career?
I learned about the economic development industry while a graduated assistant at Old Dominion University. I assisted with the CREED Real Estate Market Review. The job introduced me to the field and to many of the local players within the region.
I interned with James City County for one summer and found the job to be fun and rewarding. I set my sights on this new career path, which led me to interning with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. I have been with HREDA since the summer of 2012 and have very much enjoyed it. I started in the research department, before transitioning to the business development side.
Why were you excited to be a part of the Alliance Team?
I enjoy meeting with companies and assisting them during their decision-making process. Our region has so much to offer and it is fun to introduce our assets to companies not familiar with our region. It is exciting to be part of projects that can help reshape and strengthen our community.
What are some of your favorite restaurants, hobbies or activities for when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending as much time with my loved ones as possible. Two of my biggest joys are my miniature schnauzer’s, Elizabeth and Lilly. We enjoy festivals, day trips to the beach and weekends in Wintergreen.
What do you love about Hampton Roads?
I love the variety of lifestyles within the region. I currently live in Downtown Norfolk, where I can go days without using a car. But I enjoy spending time at the beach and many of our charming and vibrant towns.
How familiar are you with the Hampton Roads area?
Hampton Roads is my hometown. I was raised in Williamsburg; however, I have family living in nearly every locality of the region. So, you could say I know the region very well.