Chris Hale has been at the helm of Victory Media as CEO and co-founder since 2001, overseeing the strategic direction and growth of the company through new product development, partnerships and advocacy. Under his leadership, Victory Media has grown revenues 15x since its inception and employs over 50 people. A nationally recognized thought leader in matters relating to veteran employment, education, and entrepreneurship, Chris’ mission is to help service members, veterans, military spouses and high school students successfully transition to the next step in their professional lives.
The G.I. Jobs® brand and Military Friendly® Employers list he created in 2003 flourish today, serving as corporate America’s benchmark for military recruiting and hiring practices. Since that time, Chris has driven the expansion of Military Friendly® ratings to include post-secondary schools, supplier diversity programs, and corporate social responsibility and commitment to the military community.
Chris is also a pioneer in the veteran-owned business community. He created the Vetrepreneur of the Year® program in 2006, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) in 2007 and a national “Buy Veteran” campaign in 2011. Building on the success of Vetrepreneur of the Year®, Chris created the Military Spouse of the Year® program in 2008, which today provides a representative democracy and voice for our nation’s 1.1 million military spouses.
Chris earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. A nine-year Navy veteran, he has served on the Military Affairs Council of Western Pennsylvania, and taught entrepreneurship classes to veterans through Robert Morris University. He resides in the Pittsburgh area with his wife and three children.
The cars I have owned the last 10 years: Currently drive a 2007 Silverado. Before that, drove a 96 Jeep Cherokee for 12 years.
Guilty pleasure: Peanut M&Ms.
Favorite movie: Tie between Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter.
Favorite celebrity: Robert Duvall
Oddest job: Mission Commander on a P-3C Orion tracking a Russian submarine in the Arctic Circle.
Believe it or not: I have gone to a Michael Buble concert before.
On my nightstand: Chewed bubble gum.
Favorite sports team: Quaker Valley 11-yr old baseball all-star team
Did you serve? Yes. Naval Academy then U.S. Navy active duty for 9 years from 1991-2000, P-3C Orion Naval Flight Officer, selected for Lieutenant Commander (O-4), NAS Pensacola FL, Mather AFB Sacramento CA, NAS Jacksonville FL, NRD Pittsburgh, deployed to Iceland, Sicily, Europe and the Med.
Military connections: Father Air Force 4 yrs, Grandfather Navy 3 yrs in WW2, 2 cousins served Navy and Air Force.