“Conviction, Cooperation & Commitment,” the theme for the 30th annual Seneca Industrial and Economic Development annual dinner and awards program, mirrors the philosophy Coach Mike Hallett and his coaching staff have employed to turn around Heidelberg’s football program.
In the years prior to Hallett’s arrival, Heidelberg’s football program was broken. In the seven years since, the team has gone 34-27, including a 9-1 season in 2012 and its first appearance in the Division III playoffs in 40 years. Perhaps more importantly, the collective GPA of the team has risen steadily.
Calling him “the right man for the job,” President Rob Huntington, who is serving as the chairman of the SIEDC board, introduced Hallett as the keynote speaker for the dinner, which drew 140 business and economic development representatives to Camden Falls Thursday night.
“He has always been about building and maintaining a total program, on and off the field,” Huntington said. “He has established the kind of program and leadership we want for our student-athletes.”
With his holistic approach, Hallett focuses on preparing young men to reach their full potential athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. Success on the field is stressed equally with success in the classroom and contributions in the community.
Hallett began his remarks by congratulating the winners of the 2013 SIEDC awards and those who are committed to economic development and growth in the community,
“There is a great parallel with what we do with our program and what you all do on a daily basis,” Hallett told the 140 business and economic development representatives gathered at Camden falls Thursday night.
When he arrived at Heidelberg, Hallett first had to get buy-in. “That first team meeting … the office and the staff were a train wreck,” he said. “Our seniors had gone 0-30, but our juniors were 0-20 and our sophomores were 0-10, so I knew we had a fighting chance.”
“Our mission as coaches was to help our players go to places they can’t take themselves. If they were finished products, they wouldn’t’ need me. … They all looked at me like I was insane,” he joked.
But Hallett had a plan, and over time, pride in the program had re-emerged. Winning ensued. Each season has been another step forward where individual personal growth – just like economic development – continues on an upward climb.
Hallett also shared his take on cooperation and what it takes to be part of any team, including six components:
- Have a common goal, much like successful businesses
- Be great communicators, which leads to quick, effective problem solving
- Implement a highly organized system with complex planning
- Have great support and guidance from all components of the organization
- Have great respect for everyone in the organization
- Be adaptable
“We focus a lot on leadership, setting a great example, communicating in a positive way and having great care and love for one another,” he said.
Commitment, Hallett added, draws teams together and fosters a family atmosphere. “You want people who are totally committed.
“Success is the destination, effort is the engine and work is the fuel to keep your motor running.”
As he spoke, Hallett frequently turned to a table of eight ‘Berg student-athletes to his right who were chosen to represent Heidelberg at the event.
During the event, SIEDC honored six individuals and companies for their contributions to business prosperity in Seneca County. This year’s winners were:
- President’s Award – Stephen N. Favor
- Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Bailiwick’s Coffee Company
- Partnership in Development Award – Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services
- Economic Development Award – Toledo Molding & Die Co.
- Outstanding Business Award – Coppus Motors
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Kuebler Shoes