Hayes Barnard, an American entrepreneur, business owner, and philanthropist, will deliver the keynote address for the 140th Commencement of The University of Texas at Austin.
He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of GoodLeap, the largest financial technology company in the U.S. focused on sustainability. He is also the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of GivePower, an award-winning nonprofit providing clean electricity and safe drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in underserved communities around the world. In 2020, Hayes founded GoodFinch, an asset management company specializing in sustainable investments.
Hayes has led GoodLeap to its current scale, with more than $50 billion in loan volume since inception and a private market valuation of $12 billion. GoodLeap’s proprietary software and financing tools are used by tens of thousands of contractors and manufacturers to offer a broad suite of sustainable solutions – including solar panels, battery storage, efficient roofing, windows, lighting, HVAC systems, and more – to millions of homeowners across the U.S. GoodLeap partners with the largest suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers to help grow their businesses and deliver energy independence and sustainability to the U.S. homeowner. In 2022, GoodLeap was ranked #30 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list and #10 on the Forbes Fintech 50.
Since Hayes founded GivePower in 2013, the organization has touched the lives of more than 700,000 people across 24 countries by partnering with more than 160 solar companies to deploy clean energy solutions. GivePower was awarded the Global Water Award in Dubai in 2020 and Kenya’s Energy Globe Award in 2021 for its life-saving Solar Water Farm technology, which provides clean water access for people in critical need across the developing world.
Prior to GoodLeap, Hayes founded, scaled, and sold multiple businesses in the sustainability and finance sectors, including Paramount Solar, which was acquired by SolarCity in 2013. Hayes served as SolarCity’s Chief Revenue Officer from 2013 to 2017, spearheading the company’s growth from 1,000 employees to more than 17,000 employees while increasing solar deployment from 10 megawatts to 100 megawatts per month, becoming the U.S. solar industry leader until selling to Tesla. Hayes began his career in technology, spending nearly a decade at Oracle working in software enterprise sales. Hayes credits his time at Oracle with helping him understand the power and potential of software to unlock transformational growth.
As an only-child raised by a single mother in the suburb of Creve Coeur, Missouri, Hayes learned early on that the key to success is hard work in the face of adversity. Inspired by his mother Dede’s relentlessly positive mindset and compassion for the underdog, Hayes was inspired to serve those who need help the most, which remains his dearest goal and most significant mission. Hayes graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in Business Management and Marketing. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Jessica and their three children.