Last week, GCP hosted Shay Hawkins for a Morning Conversation, a series sponsored by PNC. Hawkins is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Opportunity Funds Association, an organization that connects capital to overlooked areas to improve lives, create opportunities, and ensure long-term economic growth.
Before co-founding the Association, Hawkins was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and served as senior tax and economic policy advisor to Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a Senate Finance Committee member. Hawkins was Senator Scott’s lead policy advisor throughout the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, becoming a driving force behind the Opportunity Zones provision. Since its enactment, Hawkins has worked with the Treasury Department to develop implementing regulations for Opportunity Zones that will rapidly deploy capital into distressed urban and rural communities.
Having Hawkins in Cleveland was a valuable touchpoint for members and potential OZ investors and projects. He gave a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the incentive and its rules. Hawkins also heard firsthand about OpportunityCLE—an effort spearheaded by GCP and several other community stakeholders to connect investors to prospective projects in our region.
Hawkins is a native of Cleveland, earning his BA 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.