New president takes over chamber reins

Staff Photo: Crystal Tatum. Local businessman Hunter Hall has been tapped as the new president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

Staff Photo: Crystal Tatum. Local businessman Hunter Hall has been tapped as the new president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

COVINGTON -- Hunter Hall has jumped with both feet right into his new role as president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

His hiring was announced to Chamber staff and the public on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, he was already at work, fielding calls, visiting with well-wishers and getting up to speed on his new job.

Hall said his goal for the next couple of months is to ask a lot of questions and listen before formulating a strategic plan that establishes a mission statement and sets long-term goals for the Chamber.

"I operate under the philosophy that organizations tend to overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in three years," he said. "I think we have a great bone structure in this community to do great things and grow the business sector and quality of life, and that requires intentionality, persistence and a plan."

One of Hall's firsts actions as president will be to form a new committee called the Chairman's Committee that will include all former chairs of the Chamber Board of Directors. The committee will meet quarterly.

While working in real estate and development, Hall said he encountered people from all over the state and country who knew about Covington.

"That's because we have such great roots and history," he said. "From the Chamber's standpoint, that history was built on past leadership -- their business ideas, acumen and integrity. As a seven-year resident, I wanted to draw on their experience, their history, their success and understand them so as I lay out a strategy we can move forward and build on that."

Another goal is to serve and grow the Chamber's membership.

"I want to understand the needs of the membership. I want us to be a value add to these businesses. I want to ask, 'What can we do to help you succeed?'" he said.

Born and reared in Houston, Texas, Hall graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in business education. He spent 11 years in the non-profit sector working for Campus Crusade for Christ. He was responsible for the launch of multiple new ventures that pioneered new opportunities for the organization.

In each venture, Hall was responsible for raising the required capital and human resources to start and sustain each project. He also oversaw the downsizing, reorganization and subsequent re-starts of chapters across Texas, Colorado and Arkansas. He has training in leadership development, executive coaching, strategic planning, public speaking, team building and implementation of short- and long-range goals.

Hall moved to Newton County seven years ago and was hired as the senior vice president and chief operating officer for Greyland Development Group, a local real estate development firm. He directed the acquisition, development, marketing and management of more than 1,300 residential lots and more than 500,000 square feet of industrial properties and supervised multiple office rental properties.

He is a founding partner with Solucion Consulting, a firm that specializes in strategic and financial solutions to business start ups and businesses in transition.

Hall serves on the board of directors for Main Street Covington and is chairman of its economic development subcommittee. He is a member of Eastridge Community Church and a Little League coach.

He and his wife of 15 years, Shelly, have four children: Jackson, 12; Steadman, 9; Holden, 6; and Lauren, 3.