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Amy Smith Hall: Destined to Lead Ebony Construction

By Asia Nail

Sojourner’s Truth Reporter


Amy Smith Hall was tightly gripping her phone the moment her future locked into focus.  The former international flight attendant was living in Atlanta married with two children and five months pregnant when she received news of her father’s unexpected passing.


“It was an emotional time for me,” Hall recalls.  “When I look back on it, Dad passed away on Sunday, I buried him on Thursday, and was president of the family construction company on Monday.”


“People talk about defining moments. That phone call was my defining moment.”


Born and bred in Toledo, OH, Hall graduated from St. Ursula Academy and went on to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education/sports medicine. 

Amy Smith Hall


As she advanced her executive career, Amy lived all over the greater U.S. from NY to TX and AZ.


“I’ve lived all over the world to realize home is where the heart is. People said just sell the business, don’t uproot your family, but my gut said - you’re going home,” recalls Hall.


Newly uncertain of her sight unseen business, Hall remembered the most important characteristic her family instilled in her from the onset -  courage.


“I allowed myself to be vulnerable. That is what defining moments are made of.  It took courage to show up when I couldn’t predict or control the outcome.  But I did it,” recalls Hall.


Ebony Construction Company, a Minority Business Enterprise in Sylvania, Ohio, was established in 1986 by Hall’s father, William A. Smith III.  “We are a heavy highway contractor specializing in asphalt paving, milling, trucking and material sales,” shares Hall.


Providing paving services with proven quality and consistency has made Ebony a recognized contractor in the Northwest Ohio region.  In both 2002 and 2008, Ebony was the recipient of Flexible Pavement of Ohio’s Smooth Pavement Award.


As CEO, Amy’s approach to women's leadership is different and refreshing.  Rather than leaning in and adopting the 'boys' rules of the game, she embraces the feminine collective, leading from a place of confidence and empowerment from within.


“I think there is something about being ok with who you are and not having to be who people want you to be.  We must fully embrace who we are as women.  It’s a great time to be a women in business,” states Amy.


For a long time, women were taught to “act like men” and to “play by the rules” to get ahead in business.  But Amy comes from a lineage of pioneers.


 “It was kind of unheard of that my grandparents had their master degrees in the 1920’s. My grandmother Ruth was even on the 1924 Ohio State Women's Championship Soccer Team!  I always think if my ancestors could accomplish so much in those days, with the right attitude, I can make an impact on this world, too.”


Hall’s grandfather, William A. Smith, Jr., was a revered figure in the Toledo African-American community.  Mr. Smith worked on the war board working to keep kids out of the war.  He also helped with race relations, advocating for education and economic stabilization within the black community.  He passed away in 1967 after 20 years as Executive Director of the Frederick Douglas Community Association.  Smith Park was built and dedicated to his memory in 1974.


“My grandfather would be so proud to see the new Dorr St. corridor and the renovations taking place at Smith Park,” Amy shares.


2020 marks the 25th year that the YWCA of Northwest Ohio is recognizing extraordinary women in the community.  These women demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and contribute to the empowerment of women.  Amy will be honored for her outstanding contribution in the area of business at their annual Milestones Awards Luncheon.


“I’m eternally grateful and truly humbled to receive this honor,” states Hall.


Hall currently serves on the ProMedica Paramount Insurance Board of Trustees and sits on the Ohio Contractors Executive Board of Directors - the first black woman to hold her position.  Amy is the mother of three wonderful boys- Joseph, Grant and Kellen.




The 25th Annual Milestone Awards will take place at the Seagate Center in downtown Toledo (TBA).  All proceeds from the luncheon will benefit more than 23,000 women and families who utilize the social service programs of the YWCA.




Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/19/20 16:26:10 -0400.

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