Spencer Hays is the majority stockholder and Executive Chairman of the Southwestern Company, a company which for almost 160 years has recruited and trained college students for door to door sales of educational materials. While remaining true to its core mission, the company’s umbrella now includes 14 companies specializing in such areas as fundraising, financial planning, consulting and recruitment.
In addition, the graduate of Texas Christian University is the founder and majority stockholder of the Tom James Company and Senior Executive Chairman of Individualized Apparel Group, which has eight factories, a linen mill, a woolen mill and a worsted mill along with apparel companies such as Oxxford Clothes and Gitman & Company.
He and his wife Marlene are avid collectors, who own one of the most extensive collections of the works of the Nabis (Vuillard and Bonnard) as well as other late 19th and early 20th century works by French and European artists and an extensive collection of French antiques. In furthering American and French cultural ties he and his wife Marlene have generously shared many of their works of art with the French community, including a collection of some of their works of art at the Musée d’Orsay in 2013. They live in Nashville, Tennessee and have apartments in New York and Paris.
Spencer is a founder of American Friends of Musée d’Orsay, as well as a member of the Executive Committee, the Steering Committee and chairman of the Gifts of Art Committee.
For his support of French culture, Hays received the Médaille des Arts et Lettres from the Academie des Beaux Arts de I’Institut de France from the French government and was named an Officier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government.