Kerry Hayes, Memphis, TN

Principal, Key Public Strategies

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Kerry Hayes is the Principal of Key Public Strategies, where he develops and executes strategic communication campaigns for clients, rooted in the belief that information can unlock the potential of great cities and urban places.

Prior to founding KPS in 2015, Kerry was the Director of Public Relations for Doug Carpenter & Associates, where his clients included the Crosstown Development Project, Tennessee Brewery Untapped, the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, and Livable Memphis, among others.  Kerry was previously Special Assistant to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. for nearly three years, joining his administration after serving as the Communications Director for Wharton’s 2009 campaign. His portfolio there included blight abatement, bicycle and pedestrian issues, volunteer service, and other projects related to talent retention, economic development, and livability.

His professional background in non-profit fund development and marketing includes work with Kroc Center, a 100,000-square-foot recreation, education, worship, and arts center; the Soulsville Foundation, a music and education organization in South Memphis; and Marwen, an after-school visual arts program for underserved Chicago adolescents.

  • Community organizing / civic engagement

  • Advocacy

  • Grantwriting

  • Other forms of fundraising

  • Communications/PR/Media

  • Storytelling/Public Speaking

  • Permitting/navigating regulatory requirements

  • Leadership development / organizational strategy

  • Tactical urbanism

  • Activating vacant lots / vacant spaces

  • Other: social media, web copywriting


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