A devoted physician with more than four decades of service in the field of family medicine and an iconic Hattiesburg business and civic leader have been chosen as recipients of this year’s prestigious Hub Award.
The Hub Award committee will bestow Dr. Thomas Eric Hale and Andy Stetelman the recognition Tuesday, Nov. 12 event during a ceremony at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m.
The Hub Award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to the local community and demonstrate a commitment to excellence and dedication to the public good.
“The Hub Award ceremony celebrates leadership, and it is an important and happy occasion to gather annually to applaud two people who have and continue to make a positive difference in our beloved city,” said USM President Emeritus Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, a member of the Hub Award committee. “We’re thrilled to add Dr. Hale and Mr. Stetelman to the list of past recipients, as they have certainly earned this award with outstanding records of service to Hattiesburg.”
Proceeds from support of the Hub Award program over the last four decades have produced more than $500,000 in scholarship funds, benefitting students attending The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University through the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation’s Hub Award Endowment.
To reserve a seat for the 2019 Hub Award ceremony and banquet, contact the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation at (601) 583-6180.
ABOUT THE HUB AWARD
Established in 1979, the Hub Award originated as “Bobby Chain Day,” with a group of community leaders honoring the contributions and service to the community by the late Bobby Chain, a prominent businessman and former mayor of the city, who also served a term on the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. The honor continued annually as the Hub Award, recognizing individuals who followed Chain’s lead in bettering Hattiesburg and the quality of life of its citizens, through their own achievements and commitment to service.
THOMAS ERIC HALE
Hale is a Hattiesburg native and a 1968 graduate of Hattiesburg High School, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biology in 1972, and then earned his M.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1976.
After completing an internship, residency and tenure as chief resident at UMMC from 1977-1979, Hale served there as an associate clinical professor from 1979-2012. He joined the medical staff of Hattiesburg Clinic, P.A. and Forrest General Hospital in 1979.
At FGH, Hale is past president of its medical staff and past chairman of its credentials committee. He served on Hattiesburg Clinic’s board of directors from 1993-2016, and from 2002-2016 was chairman of its finance committee and past chairman of its Building Corporation Board. He was also a member of the Merit Health Wesley Medical Center staff from 1979-2011.
Hale’s professional memberships include those with the American Academy of Family Practice; American Medical Association; Mississippi State Medical Association; South Mississippi Medical Society; Society for Teachers for Family Medicine; and the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians. His professional honors include Forrest General Hospital Physician Mentor of the Year (2009) and Forrest General Doctors’ Hall of Fame (2010).
An active civic leader in his community, Hale is a member of the board of directors for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi and the Salvation Army, and an Eagle Scout, where he also serves on the board of directors for the Pine Burr Area Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of Hattiesburg’s Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, where he serves on its administrative board.
Stetelman, president of London & Stetelman Commercial Realtors, established in 1933, is also a native of Hattiesburg. At age 15, he started working with the family business, performing any work he could as a non-licensed staff member. While attending the University of Southern Mississippi, he passed the Mississippi Real Estate exam, and started working for the company’s property management division.
Stetelman graduated with a degree in paralegal studies and a minor in criminal justice from USM, and continued his career in the family business, presently the fourth generation. He earned his Society of Office and Industry Realtors (SIOR) designation, the highest honor of an office and industrial real estate specialist, one of only three SIOR members in the state. In 1998, he was chosen for Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 class.
Appointed by the last three mayors of Hattiesburg as a member of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, Stetelman has served as its chairman since 1995. He was Hattiesburg’s Realtor of The Year in 1992, and in 2001 became the first Mississippi Commercial Realtor of the Year; in 2003, he was named regional vice president of the Mississippi Association of Realtors, Southern District. In 2017, he was appointed to the city of Hattiesburg Mayor’s Task Force for Planning and Zoning, and served in several capacities with the local, state and national levels of the Realtor Association. He is a founding director of The First Bancshares, Inc., dba, The First National Bank, based in Hattiesburg.
A devoted supporter of USM, Stetelman was a 1999 USM Foundation board member, served on the Southern Miss Real Estate Council in 2003, the USM President’s Advisory Board in 2004, and for the USM Business Advisory Council, including as its treasurer in 2016.
Stetelman has been involved with numerous local civic organizations such as Hattiesburg Kiwanis Club, Metro Club, as a leader for the Troop 93 Boy Scouts, and as a Midtown Merchants Association board member. He attends Parkway Heights United Methodist Church with his wife, Laurie, and has participated in several Honduras Hood Team Mission trips. He has three children, Stephen Stetelman, Sarah Carlson and Kate Robbins, and four grandchildren.