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Carolyn J. Hays
Instructor, Arts Leadership Program

Carolyn J. Hays, CFRE is a career nonprofit professional with nearly two decades of experience in strategic planning, board development, and both annual and major gift fundraising. Carolyn currently serves as a Director of Development for the CHI Foundations of Texas focusing on philanthropy in the North Houston, South Houston and Memorial Lufkin markets.

Before joining CHI, Carolyn worked for Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) where she created the first Houston-area Arts & Business Council (A&BC), serving the 10-county region. Prior to relocating to Houston, she spent a decade in Washington D.C. working for nationally known nonprofits such as Washington Performing Arts, Washington National Opera and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo.

A proud native of Wyoming, Carolyn received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Arts Degree in Nonprofit Business and Arts Administration from Florida State University. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive through CFRE International and a Certified Governance Trainer through BoardSource. Carolyn currently serves on the fundraising committee for USA Weightlifting and the strategic planning committee for the Greater Houston Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.