Advanced Praise for:
The HALLMAN LEGACY: Impact of the Hallman Family in Waterloo Region
John G. Fast
Everyone’s heard the term “family business” but not all fully grasp the unique challenges this corporate hybrid poses. Here’s a fascinating look at an ultra-successful family business that transformed its local landscape through construction and the long-term care sector. It’s a business book but also an analysis of complex family dynamics and how philanthropy can be a lengthening shadow of personal values. Although one might not be surprised by the inherent complexity of these dynamics, what might raise appreciative eyebrows is the book’s uncommon candor. “How,” readers may wonder, “did they let the author say this?” It’s a few-holds-barred story showing powerful personalities of common kinship striving together to meet community needs and bolster local initiatives.
You’ll see how the Hallman clan’s robust entrepreneurship joined hands with compassionate stewardship to build one of Canada’s largest philanthropic trusts. The result has empowered more than a hundred organizations serving critical social, educational and mental health needs of children and families.
Along the way are insights galore, with crosscutting themes interacting in fascinating ways – cars, construction, sports, land development and eldercare, to name a few.
– Wally Kroeker, retired editor of The Marketplace magazine
What a thoroughly enjoyable read. And what a gift – not only to the Hallman family but to those of us working in family businesses who are awed both by the incredible achievements over a lifetime and the example of perseverance through some incredible complex, if not only too human family dynamics.
– Family business member.
What a precious treasure John Fast and Jim Hallman have given to the Region of Waterloo and beyond. The Hallman Legacy captures the complexities of how one family has shaped so much of the success and quality of life in Waterloo Region. This is a story of real people with courageous vision, power and wealth who have never lost their humility or their commitment to social good and service to others. It is a must-read epic love story of the Hallman’s and their community.
– Cathy Brothers, CEO of Capacity Canada
The Hallman Legacy succeeds wonderfully in conveying the exceptional legacy of the family while explaining how the business succeeded so well in Waterloo Region. A region that was transformed by the housing Lyle and his family built. The book provides an excellent portrait of Jim, describing how he has done a wonderful job of making a good thing, the Foundation, a great institution.
– John English, former MP, official biographer of Lester Pearson and award winning biographer of Pierre Trudeau; Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo
This captivating saga weaves a historical account that is better than fiction. The candid expose includes challenging personalities, turbulent relationships, and gripping tragedies. Through three generations, beginning with Grandfather Anson, the Hallman family has displayed a near immutable “DNA” that champions integrity, diligence, discipline, frugality, and self-sacrifice. An abiding mantra is – keep doing better. Almost mystically, one encounters an alchemy in which the customary trapping of family fortune is converted into the remarkable Lyle S. Hallman Foundation with its astounding financial assets and noble pursuits. Its far-reaching, Waterloo Region impact, embraces transformative support of higher education and health care, rescuing disenfranchised, needy individuals, and promoting organizations that instil a vision of hope within the community.
This story offers a real-world case study that will undoubtedly be dissected in fields of psychology, sociology, and business management. Hopefully, though, the template of this legacy will be indelibly imprinted upon successive Hallman generations to – “Earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.” (John Wesley).
– Jake J. Thiessen, Ph.D. First Hallman Director, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
All history is personal. And The Hallman Legacy is personal to all who live in Waterloo Region. The Hallman legacy describes the values and commitment of four generations of the Hallman family with all of the complex passions, tragedies, struggles, and commitments that come to define their lives. To read this account as outlined by John Fast is to be overwhelmed by how the Hallman’s sense of community and civic values shaped their concerns for improving the community in ways that few of us could ever have realized. Like the Hallman legacy, this is a book that will stand the test of time and enrich those who read it.
– Kenneth McLaughlin, author, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo
I am delighted to see this important memoir of the Hallmans. They were such key leaders and builders in the Waterloo region and set such an inspiring example for so many others during a crucial time as Waterloo was emerging as Canada’s leader in innovation. One story illustrates this observation. I had just arrived in Waterloo to join the University. Lyle had just made the largest gift the University had ever received. It was $2 million. His focus was on health and promoting healthy living. From those discussions came the Lyle Hallman Health Centre in our Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The Faculty was on the cusp of take off and with this gift over the next decade, it simply flourished. But Lyle’s leadership also inspired the entire University. Its custom since its founding was to run a major capital campaign once every decade. During the campaigns of the two previous decades the University raised approximately $60 million. During the campaign for the first decade from the year 2000 with Lyle’s gift as a foundation stone the University raised 11 times that amount – over $660 million. The University never looked back; nor did the Waterloo region. Thus, are great institutions and great communities built. Great leaders make a difference. Lyle was one of these giants.
– The Right Honourable David Johnston28th Governor General of Canada (2010 to 2017)
This book on the Hallman Legacy provides a strong narrative together with absorbingly interesting details that provide very good insight about the family dynamics. I found the book honest and accurate while also being sympathetic to the complexity of their story.
– Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Waterloo Region