Founder of Excalibur Seasoning remembered as visionary leader
Gerald “Jerry” Hall, the founder of Excalibur Seasoning, Co., died on Saturday, June 9, 2018. He was 83 years old.
In 1986, Hall launched Excalibur, a premier provider of meat & seafood seasonings, rubs and sauces, in Pekin, Illinois. He guided the company with his principled approach to building both a business and strong personal relationships until passing the baton to President & CEO Tom Hornstein in 2010.
“Jerry was our inspiration,” remembers Hornstein. “He had a vision for what Excalibur should be – a family-owned company folks could rely on for quality products. And he always put the customer first. He knew we would sink or swim based on customer satisfaction. A fellow military man, Jerry was an infamous stickler for hitting delivery deadlines. Timeliness was a true passion.”
Hall attended Eureka College and got his start in the meat industry working for his dad at the family-owned Hall’s Market until 1967. For the next twenty years, Jerry branched out to selling seasonings for other companies, all while learning the ins and outs of the industry.
Excalibur finished its first year with approximately 10 employees and 50 customers.
“Some 30 years later, here we are that same family-owned business, but now with 87 employees, more than 1,200 customers, two beautiful facilities and blueprints for future expansion,” says Hornstein. “It’s not an exaggeration to say customers across North America rely upon Excalibur for great products, great service and great people.”
Hall was a published author, writing three editions of “Sausage Made Easy.” He was also heavily involved in the National Seasoning Manufacturers Association, previously serving as its president. Hall also received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Meat Processors.
Hall, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, was an active member of Rotary International and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was a past Grand Marshall of the Marigold Festival Parade in Pekin and a generous supporter of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.