Dr. Eve Hall, president and chief executive officer of the newly revived African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, is the recipient of the 2015 BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award.
“I am honored,” Hall said of the recognition. “The day I received the call happened to be one of those days where I was really pushing through the day. Like all leaders, you just have those days where you’re questioning, ‘Can you really do this? Can you really pull this off and take it to the next level?’ Receiving that call was just another spark of encouragement and motivation to say, ‘OK, girl, you’re on the right track.’”
Hall is a longtime leader and advocate in the education, nonprofit and government sectors. She has earned a reputation as a “builder” and one who inspires and demonstrates the power of strong programs and partnerships to create change and opportunities that positively impact the lives of others.
The Milwaukee native took the helm at the African American Chamber in April 2012, following a 10-year career at Thurgood Marshall College Fund, where she most recently served as chief innovation officer.
As a member organization, the African American Chamber’s No. 1 priority is providing value to its members, according to Hall. Overall, its four pillars of service are: access to capital; advocacy; business development; and entrepreneurship.
“I have always been very committed to promoting the positive, and being in this role has further catapulted my ability to focus on an area that really helps to determine the economic viability of our communities, as well as the city, county and state,” Hall said. “The way the community, board, staff and consultants have embraced me and trusted me to move this organization forward has meant the world to my ability to succeed thus far.”
Throughout her career, Hall has also been the vice president of public affairs at Family Service of Milwaukee; Milwaukee Public Schools’ School to Work director; and director of former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s Milwaukee office. In 2014, Hall was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to serve on the University of Wisconsin System board of regents. She also serves on the Governor’s Task Force on Minority Unemployment.
She is a member of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s Local Business Action Team, the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Future Workforce Committee, and the Make a Difference-Wisconsin Advisory Council.
“She brings so much passion for our mission,” said Brenda Campbell, executive director of Make A Difference-Wisconsin. “She is a very well-connected person and understands the power of networking. She’s made some real critical introductions for the organization and for me. I really see her as a mentor in many ways.”
Additionally, Hall is the co-founder of the African American Women’s Project Fund, held in the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee.
Hall will receive the award at the BizTimes Women in Business Breakfast, to be held at the BizExpo at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino on Wednesday, May 20.
To other women leaders, Hall would say to stay true to your passion.
“Do not feel that you have to know everything, but be able to find resources through others,” she said. “And, finally, make sure that you surround yourself with a support pool of family, friends and colleagues…Have that place you can go where you know you are accepted and loved unconditionally, where people will support you, but also tell you the truth.”