Entrepreneurs at heart.


30 offices. 700 minds. No matter where you are, Hays Companies is your single-source for “peace of mind.”

Jim Hays


Carolyn Schaefer

President, Private Client Division

Steve Lerum


Mike Egan

COO, President

Mary Raveling

President, Property Casualty Group

Bill Mershon


Meet Jim Hays

If someone told you that you could network your way to a friendship with Neil Armstrong, what would your response be? Disbelief, probably. But a different way of thinking has always been a hallmark for our founder and CEO, Jim Hays.

Jim grew up in a predominantly blue collar neighborhood of Minneapolis – an environment where it wasn’t typical to believe that a strong work ethic and staying humble would eventually lead you to meeting and forming a relationship with one of your childhood idols.

When asked how he achieved it, Jim’s response was telling: “I set about to meet him—and befriended him by never asking them for anything.” It was this same singular focus and determination that helped shape the company that we have become.

A passionate history buff, Jim’s interests are largely outside the world of insurance (though in his opinion, insurance is the hidden gem of American business). He continues to explore new ways to innovate, never wanting to settle for the status quo.

Today, Jim continues to serve as the guiding force in our organization, inspiring our entrepreneurial drive and commitment to excellence.

Best Advice: Work as hard as you can at what you’re doing, and good things will come.


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