Butler Snow attorney Tray Hairston led a roundtable with three of America’s most prominent mayors as part of the National Association of Securities Professionals Annual Conference on Wednesday, Dec. 9. He was joined by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, Ga.), Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, Texas) and Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin (Columbia, S.C.) to discuss the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to their respective cities in addition to specific economic initiatives they have sought to implement in order to overcome or mitigate the pandemic’s effects. The panel discussed how Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) play a critical role in the economic mobility of its students as studies show that nearly 70 percent of HBCU students end up with at least middle-class incomes. The panel also discussed how an individual’s economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, and even food quality, play a role in health disparities in America and how the Texas Medical Center is involved in thwarting those effects. Finally, the panel discussed how highly competitive of an environment that economic developers exist in in terms of relying on traditional approaches to job creation when retaining and attracting new talent are at stake.
Hairston is a member of Butler Snow’s nationally ranked Public Finance, Tax Incentives and Credit Markets Group. He concentrates his practice on public finance and economic development matters, including all types of municipal bond issues, serving as bond counsel for both taxable and tax-exempt financings. He has served as bond counsel for various cities and counties and has worked on transactions totaling more than $100 million.
Hairston previously served as counsel and economic development policy advisor to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. Prior to his legal career, he was also a member of the Global Business Division at the Mississippi Development Authority where he provided project management assistance to companies and consultants looking to locate new businesses in Mississippi. Hairston regularly publishes scholarly legal articles, with his seminal paper titled “The Future of Economic Development, 35 Miss. C.L. Rev. 370 (2017)”. Hairston has served as a lecturer at the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi in the school’s Masters of Economic Development Program.
The Bond Buyer has also recognized Hairston as on its Rising Stars. The publication’s Rising Stars program honors 28 municipal finance professionals under the age of 40 throughout the U.S. whose leadership, collaborative spirit and innovative work with issuers has positively impacted their communities. Rising Stars are nominated by their peers, and submissions are judged by a panel of municipal finance leaders throughout the country and The Bond Buyer’s editorial leadership team. Additional accolades include his TED Talk entitled How to Make Healthcare an Economic Driver.
Hairston is a member of the Butler Snow Executive Committee, the National Association of Bond Lawyers, International Economic Development Council and Southern Economic Development Council. He received his undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, his MBA from Belhaven University and his Juris Doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law.
National Association of Securities Professionals is a not-for-profit organization founded 35 years ago and focuses on serving minorities and women in the finance industry. As a professional organization, NASP serves as a resource for the minority community at large and for the minority professionals within the securities and investments industry by providing opportunities to share information about the securities markets, including functioning as a repository for information regarding current trends, facilitating fundamental educational seminars and creating networking opportunities. One of the more prominent founders of NASP was Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., the former Mayor of Atlanta, GA.
Butler Snow’s Public Finance, Tax Incentives and Credit Markets Group boasts more than 50 attorneys and experienced practitioners from New York to Colorado to form one of the most creative and successful public finance practices in the country. We have developed decades-long relationships with many of our clients largely due to our ability to successfully and efficiently close deals—even the most complex transactions. Our attorneys work seamlessly as a team across 12 offices to provide specialized financing techniques, related tax counsel and other technical debt-structuring knowledge to our clients nationwide.