As senior vice president of commercial lending at Salem Five, John Hall is active in helping area businesses get off the ground and shift into expansion mode.
Salem Five provided the first Small Business Administration loan for Traditional Breads, a Lynn-based bakery that has expanded to become a supplier of artisanal breads for restaurants and grocers throughout New England. Salem Five recently provided a loan to refinance their plant facility and upgrade equipment.
“It’s a wonderful success story,” Hall said. “If you go to Legal Sea Foods, you’ve had their bread.”
Hall also has played a role in the growth of Waltham-based startup Cambridge Sound Management, which makes sound masking systems for businesses and institutional environments. Salem Five provided a working capital loan for the company’s ongoing expansion.
“They’ve got some significant growth ahead and they felt we were the bank that would be there for them,” Hall said.
Outside of the office, raising membership in local Rotary Clubs has been a successful priority for Hall.
Membership had been declining for a decade before Hall took over as governor of District 7930 in August 2013. The district, which comprises 48 clubs north and west of Boston, now has close to 2,000 members, with 80 joining under Hall’s leadership.
Hall identified a source of new members in the 17,000 owners of home-based businesses within the District 7930 territory.
“We saw that as an opportunity for them to socialize in their communities and meet other business professionals,” he said.
Hall joined the Salem Rotary Club in 1998, where he helped raise funds to support such causes as scholarship programs and the club’s global initiative to wipe out polio. The club recognized Hall’s service with the Paul Harris Fellow Award, which is given to those who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service and personal volunteer efforts.
Hall also has been active with and is a past president of the Salem Partnership, a public-private group that promotes economic development in the city. The group has been involved with such projects as the current construction a 714-space parking garage at the Salem MBTA station, which will open in October.
A longtime family connection is the source of Hall’s involvement with a youth camp in Maine. Like his father and two uncles, Hall spent part of his summers at Camp O-AT-KA, a nonprofit camp in Sebago that emphasizes character development. Hall became a board member in 2006 after his son enrolled, and will take over as president of the board in August. An Episcopal minister from Lynn founded the camp in 1906 as a retreat for city youths.
“Fortunately, they brought the property in 1906, and now they have 110 acres on Sebago Lake that are worth millions,” Hall said.