Last Thursday’s feature showcased some of Sanford’s big businesses from a century ago.
Today we honor the memory of Mr. Hal Siler, a 25-year Executive Vice President of the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, and the individual most responsible recruiting many of the leading corporations presently based in Sanford and Lee County. During his leadership tenure, Mr. Siler had a hand in bringing over 60 industries to the local business community.
Cited in a recent Sanford Herald tribute article as “one of the most influential figures in Sanford history,” Mr. Siler was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Herald in 1974 and again 2 decades later in 1994. Mr. Siler was named North Carolina Chamber Executive of the Year in 1981, in recognition of his many industrial recruitments and was recipient of the first annual Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce Dedicated Service Award in 2016.
Among the notable companies that established operations in the area due to Mr. Siler’s engagement are Coty, Moen. Magneti Marelli, Eaton, Allis-Chalmers, Pentair and GKN. Mr. Siler also played a role in development of the Raleigh Executive Jetport, significant expansions at Central Carolina Community College, creation of the US 421 bypass and the merger of Sanford area and Lee County Schools. Sanford is exceptionally well-positioned with resources for water and wastewater – two more projects Mr. Siler was involved with.
Mr. Siler was never interested in claiming credit for his many accomplishments. He had a humble and dedicated personality that his many friends and colleagues felt was a reflection of the qualities that made him such an exceptional and inspiring person.
Mr. Siler was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Sanford and taught a sign-language Sunday School class for the deaf for over 40 years. He also served on the Board of Trustees at Central Carolina Community College and the Sanford Railroad House Historical Association. Mr. Siler was also a veteran of World War II, where he served as a Sergeant of Guards during the infamous Nuremberg trials.
A land surveyor by trade and an exceptional artist, Mr. Siler passed away on July 10 at the age of 90. He leaves behind countless people who benefited from his friendship and his dedication to Sanford and central North Carolina. Our community is a much better place today because of the contributions made by Hal Siler over the past 5 decades.