Hillary HughesCFA, ASA

Managing Director
Cedar Rapids, IA

Hillary Hughes joined Prairie Capital Advisors in 2011 and is a shareholder in the firm. She provides strategic insights to assist ESOP Trustees, business owners and boards of directors to address long-term ownership transaction goals. Hillary has been highly involved in the structuring and valuation related to employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) on behalf of ESOP Trustees as well as business owners. Hillary provides financial advisory services to clients ranging from small family-owned businesses to large multi-national conglomerates. She specializes in the valuation of businesses and business interests for purposes of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), ESOPs, gift and estate planning and strategic planning. Hillary is a leader in Prairie’s ESOP trust-side practice, overseeing project teams and driving initiatives to enhance the company’s overall performance.

In addition, Hillary is a frequent speaker in forums around the country on topics including valuation, ESOPs and ownership transition planning. She is a member of The ESOP Association Valuation Advisory Committee and is the immediate past president of the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter.

Hillary is active in her community and is a member of the Linn County Conservation Board. In addition, she sits on the board of directors of two private companies, a financial services provider and a distributor. Hillary is a member of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan Advisory Panel.

Hillary has received several awards throughout her career. She was awarded the Membership Recruitment Award to a Professional Member from The ESOP Association (“TEA”) for her efforts in driving membership for the association. Additionally, Hillary was recognized as a Top 40 Under Forty Honoree by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (“NACVA”) in 2017. In 2018, she was of a HER Women of Achievement Award presented by HER Magazine. In 2020, she was honored with the Americas Rising Dealmakers Award from M&A Atlas. In 2022, she received the Emerging Leaders Award from M&A Advisors. Most recently, in 2024, Hillary was recognized with the Top Woman Leader & Dealmaker of the Year Award by M&A Atlas.

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