A little over two years ago, Pam Hall was at the top of her game. She had been the president of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce for 18 years. Before that, she had been the co-owner of a successful engineering consulting firm and is a proud wife and mother. Hall had a long list of accomplishments under her belt and was looking for more. Then, suddenly, her whole world changed — she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
For Hall, her work is a journey, one she wouldn’t trade for anything else. Hall first got involved with the Chamber as a board member while working for Floyd Browne Engineering. When the position of president opened, she decided to resign and sold her share of the company.
Since becoming president, Hall said she has learned so much, as the Chamber not only serves 575 members but also pushes for new legislation.
“A lot of what we do is advocate for issues that will help create a climate in Marion County that is conducive to business success,” she said.
Some of the most recent issues that the Chamber has lobbied for include the combined dispatch center, which became a reality in 2016; and a combined health department between the city and the rest of the county, a project that took eight years to complete.
“The biggest thing that I have learned from all this, is that change is slow and one must not get discouraged!” Hall said.
Now, Hall has taken on new projects, including working toward the elimination of the estimated 1,000 blighted properties within the county and a county-wide efficient emergency response system. Hall said that in her line of work, there is always something going on, keeping her busy most days.
“As major life events have transpired over the past few years in both my personal and professional life, it really gives you something to live for,” she said.
And, her work has not gone unnoticed. In 2017, she received the Athena Award from the Marion Women’s Business Council and, at this year’s Chamber annual meeting, “The Pam Hall Betterment for Marion Award” was unveiled.
“It was a complete surprise to me and they plan on awarding it every year,” Hall said. “The reality is, I love doing this every day and, even when I am working from home, I’m pouring myself into our business community.”
She is active with the MarionMade! community pride initiative, serving on its steering committee, and has helped to form and guide a bipartisan network of leaders from small legacy cities, including Marion, in Ohio.
“We are calling ourselves ‘Reinvention Cities,’ because we are all in the process of building on our industrial pasts to create brighter futures,” she said. “In Marion, local leaders are being creative, forging new collaborations, and taking risks. Marion has always been a city of makers and doers, and our future relies on this heritage. If we want to see a more vibrant downtown, attractive corridors of business, and healthy neighborhoods, we must fuel the spirit of innovation and industry that built this city.”