Mike Hale [TE, 1972] received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Wilson College of Textiles during the NC State Alumni Association’s annual Evening of Stars Gala held Oct. 27. Recipients of this award have excelled in their careers, made a difference in their communities and given back to their alma mater.
After receiving a degree in Textile Engineering from the Wilson College of Textiles in 1972, Michael Hale joined the nonwovens division of Johnson & Johnson, playing an influential role in global technology development and business management. After joining Polymer Group Inc.. (PGI) in 1995, Hale acted as general manager of North America and Europe and vice president of North American Operations and Supply Chain; he became chief operating officer in 2007. Under his leadership, the company became a global force in nonwoven products and doubled its revenue to become a $2 billion company during times when other textile companies were faltering.
Hale played a key role in building the first entangled-fiber fabric plant in the world in Benson, N.C. He served as a director for the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry and the National Safety Council. Hale retired from PGI in 2015. He serves on the board of the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) and has held the positions of vice president, treasurer and chair of the Foundation’s Investment Committee. While at PGI, he provided intern and employment opportunities for NC State students and graduates. With his wife, Jean, Hale established an endowment to support students. He has helped to guide the NCTF into a new era of improved effectiveness and management and worked alongside Dean David Hinks and staff to complete their current Wilson College of Textiles strategic plan.
“Mike Hale epitomizes the ‘Think and Do’ drive, energy and collaborative spirit of Wilson College of Textiles alumni who have used their education as a springboard to national and international leadership in the fiber and textiles industry. His passion to give back to the Wilson College of Textiles is infectious. We are so proud to call him one of our treasured alumni,” said Hinks.