Joe Hayes grew up in a family of entrepreneurs — and started his first business, Eau du Joe Bodyworks, in second grade, making body products and selling them at a farmers market. While in high school, he used those earnings to start another company, offering DJ services for events that range from school dances to weddings.
“He developed an interest in music, so he purchased equipment so he could DJ dances. No dances? No problem. Joe secured the venue, got chaperones and security, invited guests and produced his own dance,” says Mary Gorman, who met Hayes through Midday Rotary, which sponsors the school’s Interact Club. “Word soon got around and he had regular gigs for people of all ages.”
After participating twice in the summer Business Week program — where he won the highest achievement, a PEMCO Foundation scholarship, his first year — Hayes became an ambassador to promote the program, and later a social media intern for Business Week at Gonzaga University.
“It was a huge honor for me,” he says of the PEMCO award, which he received when he was a sophomore and at the same time as his team placed first in the competition.
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His entrepreneurial savvy landed him on the television show “Biz Kids” in 2009, and has also helped him get hired for projects ranging from photography to e-commerce websites.
Hayes’ long list of activities includes DECA (including area and state competitions), ASB, concert choir (where he is president), ski racing on an elite team and varsity golf. He is also heavily involved with Interact Club, volunteering time for various community service activities, and was selected as Rotary’s Student of the Month.
“I have had the opportunity to watch him blossom into one of the strongest leaders I have had the privilege to work with,” says Kelly Indahl, ASB adviser. “Joe Hayes exemplifies the spirit, pride and professionalism that are imperative for success in today's business world.”
A talented videographer, Hayes has produced numerous videos, including one for an anti-bullying campaign. He also started a sign-waving campaign, with two other students, at a Gig Harbor intersection — with positive signs such as “Honk if you love someone.”
Hayes plans to study business at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and is contemplating the idea of a minor in computer science. He hopes to later pursue an MBA degree and work for a major social networking company before eventually launching his own startup.
“I love data and statistics and I think social networking is a super-growing field,” he says.
“Entrepreneurship is a good fit for me.”
Category: Business and entrepreneurship
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Ted and Elizabeth Hayes
Activities/Achievements: 4 AP/Honors classes; DECA area and state competitor; Washington Business Week 1st place team, ambassador, photography intern at Gonzaga; created two businesses; featured on PBS Biz Kids; hired as DJ, video producer, photographer and ski race coach; ASB technology officer; Interact Club technology officer; concert choir president; volunteer service for various events and organizations; Mid-Day Rotary Student of the Month; varsity golf; elite team ski racer and alternate for junior Olympics; jujitsu
Favorite teacher: Wayne Lackman, choir. “His positive attitude lifts me when I am down. He encourages me to be the best version of myself, on and off the stage.”
Best thing about high school: “The opportunity to become involved in great leadership and business programs; great teachers; wide variety of resources and a strong choral program that teaches many life skills.”