LAKELAND, FL (February 13, 2013) – Eddie Hall filed papers on Monday, February 11th to become a candidate for the Lakeland City Commission, At Large # 1 position. Hall is the second person to file paperwork for the At Large seat being vacated by Howard Wiggs. Mr. Wiggs is not seeking re-election due to term limits and his campaign for Mayor. Hall states, “I love Lakeland! I have lived, worked and been involved with many activities in the Lakeland area for the past 41 years. I have seen the City of Lakeland grow over this time period, having lived in the north Lakeland area for 27 years and in the south area for the past 14.” He added, “Lakeland has a very diverse community and I want to serve as a representative for ALL the citizens of Lakeland. I will bring the same drive and determination I have always had to the office of City Commissioner when representing the people of our community.”
Hall was born in Kalkaska, Michigan in 1964 and raised on his family’s farm until age 8 when they moved to north Lakeland. Several weeks after moving to the Lake Gibson area, Hall was struck by a car traveling approximately 70 mph, leaving him a paraplegic for life. Hall said, “The doctors were amazed that I survived the accident and declared it a miracle.” Having multiple fractures and concussions, he went through several operations after the accident and was able to return home, even though the doctors felt there was no hope for a normal future.
Hall returned to the Polk County School system at Padgett Elementary as the first wheelchair bound student and participated with all the other children. Determined not to allow his disability to prevent him from leading a normal life, Hall learned to become quite proficient with his wheel chair. His determination helped him to earn letters in three sports (football, basketball and track) at Lake Gibson Senior High (LGSH) while serving as team manager. He became known as “Fast Eddie” for his ability to respond quickly to player requests. After graduating from LGHS, he went on to Polk Community College where he obtained his Associates of Science degree in Computer Engineering and was an equipment manager with the basketball team.
One of Hall’s goals was to work for Publix Supermarkets. In 1984, his dream came true when he started a successful career with Publix in the Dispatch Department. Upon completing 10 years of service working in Lakeland Dispatch, he was promoted to the Corporate Distribution and Warehousing Division working as a Systems Administrator for the Transportation Routing system. In this capacity, he served all Publix distribution centers in the southeast United States and traveled to Miami, Atlanta, Tennessee and other locations.
He participated in a number of committees for Publix during this time as well as representing Publix on the Orlando and Tampa Bay Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Polk County Transportation Planning Organization. In 2000, he was promoted to Inventory Control Manager for Publix Dairy processing where he was responsible for the purchasing of ALL products for the Plant. Hall is the first wheelchair employee employed at Publix. He has spent his entire adult life as an advocate for the disabled and mobility impaired. Hall said, “It is an Honor and Privilege to be a part of the Publix Family.”
He retired with distinction from Publix in 2010 after 26 years of service and is now employed part-time as a Lead Sales Generator with the South Lakeland Home Depot store. After many years as a local pioneer and advocate, Hall wants to continue serving the local community. He will use his many years of experience of working in the corporate world and on issues for persons with disabilities to serve ALL of the citizens of Lakeland. Hall is married and has two children, Evert and Edilson. His wife Katty is from Babahoyo, Ecuador.
Eddie Hall Volunteer activities in Lakeland and Polk County:
Lakeland Sister Cities International – Chairman, Babahoyo, Ecuador Committee
Polk County Transportation Planning Organization – Board Member, Disabled Representative
Polk County Transportation Planning Organization- Citizen Advisory Council, City of Lakeland Representative
Lakeland Housing Authority - Commissioner
Polk County Council Parent Teacher Association - Treasurer
Polk County Schools – Exceptional Student Education – Executive Board and Advisory Council
Polk County Schools - Jesse Keene Elementary School Student Advisory Council
Home Depot Diversity Committee
Lakeland Physically Handicap Club, former President
Lakeland Handicap Bowling Club, former President
Lakeland Jaycees, former Director