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Get to Know Hopeton Hay

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Each month, Get to Know… will feature two members of UT System Administration’s talented staff as they offer insights into their lives in and out of the office. Each new edition will be published here.

Hopeton Hay, UT System's executive director of the Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), with his wife Leslie (left) and his daughter Maya on vacation in New Orleans.
Hopeton Hay with his wife, Leslie, and daughter, Maya, enjoying Cafe Du
Monde in New Orleans.

Hopeton Hay

Executive Director
Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)

What are your primary job responsibilities?

In leading the Office of Historically Underutilized Business Programs I facilitate compliance with the Policy of The University of Texas System to promote full and equal opportunity for all businesses to supply the goods and services needed by UT System Administration and UT institutions. I oversee compliance with HUB reporting, and marketing and outreach efforts for HUB participation, and other requirements established by Texas state law and administrative code.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Informing historically underutilized businesses about contracting opportunities available at UT System administration and how to pursue them. In fulfilling our mission, we often collaborate with our institutions to educate HUBs about upcoming opportunities and our procurement processes. One example is the Annual UT Systemwide HUB Procurement Opportunity Webinar where procurement and HUB staff from all of our institutions and UT System Administration provide key information on how to do business with them. This year’s webinar is April 24, from 9 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending, you can register here. We also exhibit at annual HUB events sponsored by other organizations like the annual Doing Business Texas Style Spot Bid Fair and HUB Expo in Irving, Texas, which is sponsored by the Texas Comptroller, the Statewide HUB Office, the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council, the Texas Department of Information Resources and UT Austin.

What is your proudest work moment?

My proudest work moment was when I organized a training program to prepare HUB firms to work on UT System-managed major capital projects in 2008. Originally called the Model Contractor Development Program, it was based on curriculum established by the Surety and Fidelity Association of America and featured seven training classes covering everything from surety bonding to project management. We later refined the curriculum to be more UT System focused with only four training classes lasting three hours each. Now called the UT System Construction Subcontractor Training Classes, the classes cover safety and the Rolling Owner Controlled Insurance Program, project administration, construction technology, contracting opportunities on the capital project being featured and other areas.  We partner with the Office of Capital Projects, the Office of Risk Management and general contractors with contracting opportunities on our project to deliver training to prepare firms to pursue and work on our major capital projects. 

What is a fact about you that may surprise your colleagues?

Along with Scott Montgomery and Molly Odintz, I edited a collection of crime short stories, Austin Noir, that was published in May 2023. It featured 14 stories set in different neighborhoods in Austin of which 13 were written by local writers. Also, I moderated a panel discussion about the book with my fellow editors and signed books at the Texas Book Festival last November. I met my fellow editors when they were booksellers in the crime fiction section at BookPeople, and they would come on my book show on KAZI 88.7 FM once a month and provide crime fiction recommendations.

What do you do to disconnect or de-stress?

I enjoy traveling with my family, and just about anything to do with science fiction and fantasy — reading and listening to books, watching TV shows and movies, and listening to podcasts about science fiction and fantasy shows and movies. A few of my favorite shows are Shōgun (F/X), Star Wars: Andor (Disney+), 3 Body Problem (Netflix). Some favorite books include Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull, Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce, and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. And a few podcasts include The Watch, Decoding TV and The Business.