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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Most Influential Women: Courtney Hayes

AGFinancial

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Whether bringing together co-workers, students or corporate clients, meaningful connection is the capstone of Courtney Hayes’ life. It’s part of what makes her an effective leader as corporate legal counsel at AGFinancial.

Hayes leads through service and often is an adviser to other teams within the company.

“The main reason I went to law school was to help people,” Hayes says. “I have learned that building a solid team is the most effective way to achieve the vision. I believe you build a team by being in it together and serving one another.”

Hayes’ corporate legal team consists entirely of women who she says are clear communicators and help one another with work/life balance. Hayes has worked with her current team for 16 years, and she credits this to her open-door policy and creating an environment where everyone feels valued.

“I was greatly blessed by a family who loved and encouraged me that I could do anything I set my mind to,” Hayes says. “If I can pay a little of the love and encouragement I received forward, it would change the lives of so many.”

Hayes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from William Jewell College and earned a law degree, as well as master’s of law in taxation, from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has been employed with AGFinancial since 2005. Hayes is civically involved with the Junior League, Leadership Springfield and I Pour Life. Although Hayes has earned accolades including Missouri Lawyers Media’s In-House Counsel Award and Women’s Justice Award, she says her proudest moments are at Evangel University coaching the Enactus team, mentoring pre-law students and teaching business law as an adjunct professor.

“I am proud when the student who barely could speak publicly on day one of class is the best presenter at the mock trial at the end of the semester,” she says. “I love having the opportunity to encourage students to dream big and then get the internship or job they never thought would be possible.”

She also invests in teaching the Jobs for Life program with Victory Mission & Ministry, assisting people who have formerly been incarcerated to reintegrate.

“Once these students graduate the class, they all have a resume, a life plan and, most importantly, a job,” she says. “While my part is so very small in their journey, we have both been forever impacted.”

Hayes looks forward to continuing to grow her career, but she measures milestones by lives touched more than anything. She is particularly passionate about bringing light to the issue of high suicidality among lawyers.

“I want to stand out and be approachable to walk alongside those who need a friend,” she says. “I want to be the one available to lighten the load when it is too much for someone to bear. I want the future of law professionals in the greater Springfield area to be healthy and successful.”

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