Great Women of Texas 2019: Sharon Hayes

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Sharon Hayes

City Manager, City of Weatherford

Sharon Hayes has served her beloved city of Weatherford in a plethora of capacities since 1985, and soon she will retire from her position as city manager, which she’s held since May 2015.

She started as pretreatment coordinator, and has since been city sanitarian, superintendent of treatment, department manager for environmental services and treatment, and assistant director of utilities before being appointed as deputy director of utilities.

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She was subsequently promoted to director of utilities before becoming assistant city manager and then city manager.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Tarleton State University, a master’s of science in environmental science from TCU, and a masters of public administration from the University of North Texas. She is a member of the International City Managers Association, Texas City Managers Association and serves on the Texas Public Power Association board of directors and is a past president.

She is also past president of the North Central Texas Chapter of the Texas Section of American Water Works, as well as a past president of the Texas Association of Clean Water Agencies. She has also had published work in several professional trade publications.

 She and her husband, Wayne, have two children. Phillip is an attorney in Dallas, and Tiffany is a schoolteacher in the Weatherford ISD.

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–  Rick Mauch


What advice would you give young women rising to a position of prominence?

I started my career 34 years ago in a male-dominated field in a male-dominated organization. I did not expect everything to change to fit me. I recognized the importance of a diversity. I listened and learned to identify and distinguish. I did not abandon my ideas, but found that it was easy to get buy-in when I made it clear we were on the same “team.”

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Be prepared for the job, project confidence, and control one’s emotions. Learn to listen to others to understand the situation, but do not hesitate to voice your opinion when you are fully aware. It is a balancing act, but it is important to be professional as well as easy to relate to.

Lastly, when the time comes, mentor someone. You will have risen to where you are because someone invested in you at some point in your life. Return the favor.

Who is the most significant role model and/or mentor in your life?

My dad. He was a great role model, very positive and hard-working and always kept things in perspective.

What book, movie, TV series or play influenced you growing up? Why?

A couple stand out. I did not realize that either impacted me until I was older. The first was I Love Lucy.It always made me laugh and as I grew up, I realized how important laughter is. Over the years, I have learned that laughter draws people together, inspires hope and strengthens relationships.

The second influence would have to be the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. I think the significance of it passed me by when I was younger, but now it serves as a reminder of how we can all impact the lives of those with whom we come in contact. It is not always necessary to spend all our time trying to do great big things; sometimes it is more important to do small things great.

What would you like for us to know that we might not know to ask?

I will be retiring soon. Many people are asking me what I plan to do next. The truth is, I really do not have an answer yet. However, I do believe that my second act is about finding significance. I am not interested in earning a salary or getting credit, but finding that role, or roles, where I can continue to be of service.