Our Team

Jane A. Hays

Managing Director

Jane is approaching three decades of leadership in all aspects of The Downey Group’s services. Her practice focus is effectively using life and disability insurance for wealth creation and protection, business succession and continuity, and philanthropy. Jane has exceptional knowledge of the advanced life and disability insurance marketplace, as well as strong relationships with industry leaders. She understands sound trends, evolving technology, products, distribution channels, and regulations that may impact and present opportunities for our clients.

Jane is a longtime Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and member of many professional and civic organizations. Formerly a practicing attorney, she was principal outside counsel to the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS.) With gubernatorial appointment, she then served for a decade on the Board of Trustees of SURS, and for several more years as Vice Chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Jane is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and of the University of Illinois College of Law (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif).

Jane is now a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Illinois, and of the Board of Directors, Governance, and Finance and Audit Committees of Clark-Lindsey Village, a non-profit, residential life care community in Urbana, Illinois. She is also co-chair of the Advisory Board of University of Illinois Laboratory High School, and is an alumna of the school. Jane has served in governance leadership with many organizations, including The Carle Foundation, a large downstate Illinois health care enterprise; the Illinois Humanities Council, the statewide humanities nonprofit based in Chicago; and the United Way of Champaign County. She has written, spoken, and taught for many audiences and for the University of Illinois College of Law.

Jane lives in Champaign, Chicago, and in SW Florida, with her husband, Dave Downey. She feels that her family is her greatest blessing, especially her grandsons.

CA Insurance License # 0C57460