Bio Detail Background
Sara Hays, Executive Search Recruiter

Sara Hays is a Managing Director within our CEO & Board Practice, based in the Chicago office. She has several decades of experience in business leadership roles as well as more than 30 years of board service spanning public, private and non-profit organizations in a variety of leadership, advisory and committee roles.

Since 2005, Sara has served as a director of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., a global manufacturer of value-added glass products, services and technologies used in the architectural and large-scale optical industries worldwide. She also serves as an independent director for two private companies: ECI US Real Estate Holdings, a family-owned multi-family developer/operator with apartment buildings throughout the Southeast; and Draper & Kramer, a vertically integrated property and financial services company. Sara is the current Chair of the Law Board at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She also currently serves as a director and Immediate Past President of the Chicago Finance Exchange, where she established its Board Access Initiative for female financial leaders.

In addition to her board service, Sara most recently served as principal of SLH Advisors, offering project management and consulting services to companies undertaking complex transactions. Before launching her consulting practice, she was the Managing Director, Operations, and General Counsel of Wrightwood Capital LLC, a commercial real estate finance and investment company. Before that, Sara spent more than 10 years at Hyatt Hotels, ultimately serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel and as a member of Hyatt's Managing Committee. She began her career in private practice focusing on commercial real estate law.

Sara holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, a J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a B.A. in History from Carleton College.

Career Highlights

  • Served as trustee of Carleton College (July 2008–June 2012)
  • Is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Women Corporate Directors, the Chicago Finance Exchange, the Economic Club of Chicago and Lambda Alpha (Ely Chapter)