Growing up a Navy brat exposes a child to many experiences and a well-rounded childhood. They get to see and live in different parts of the country and sometimes the world. They make friends on the fly, and learn to adapt quickly to an ever evolving and fluid life. Born in Norfolk, Va., Carl Haley was raised with that unique perspective. After high school in Slidell, La., Carl enlisted in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, and eventually was honored as infantryman of the year. Surprising everyone, except those who knew him well, he later became a member of the Special Forces. After service, he attended Mississippi State University and George Mason University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.
With an unparalleled drive and capacity to succeed in seemingly unrelated industries, Carl worked for Sallie Mae for eight years before starting AIM Healthcare. In 2009 he and his partners sold the business, which led to Carl investing in several businesses and founding Grand Avenue Worldwide, a ground transportation service for the greater Nashville area and beyond, where he serves as president and chief executive officer.
Nashville has been good to Carl and he has reciprocated in kind by giving back to the community that has treated him so well. He met his wife Connie, a certified life coach in Nashville, and together the pair has had a significant impact on Nashville, economically and philanthropically.
Giving back and leading the charge is a way of life for the Haleys. Among the many organizations in which he is involved, Carl is on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony, the Board of Battle of Franklin Trust, and sits on the Boards of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Boys Scouts of Middle Tennessee. Of course, when leadership comes naturally, good things happen to you and to those you serve.
In 2012 Carl was named the Philanthropist of the Year by the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Awards also include a Bronze Anvil in 2013 from the Public Relations Society of America for his leadership in the “It City” public relations campaign.
Carl started hunting right around his junior year of high school in Louisiana where he put a significant dent in the local duck population. As faith and passion so often combine in great leaders, it was his church community in Tennessee that helped shape Carl’s passion for hunting. Good hunting and good friendship are many times inseparable. It was Carl’s good fortune that he met a couple of good ol’ boys at church who pulled him into the fold, involving him in their seasonal hunts.
Today Carl is heavily involved in conservation and deer management on his own farm in Franklin, Tenn., and at his hunt club in southern Kentucky. Carl has managed to turn his hobby into an opportunity to raise much needed funds by hosting the annual Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt. He feels that our hunting habitat must be well cared for to make it sustainable in the future. Carl states, “If we aren’t careful with the resources God gave us, future generations of hunters won’t have much to hunt, and I want them to be able to enjoy the privilege of hunting the way I do. I feel it is my duty to do my part.”
Carl is a Nashville host of the upcoming 2015 Hunters’ Leadership Forum National Luncheon on Apr. 10, and he and Connie are serving on the Host Committee for the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Nashville, Apr. 10-12. The NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum was a natural fit for Carl as it embodies all that he believes with regard to hunting, and the future of hunting in the United States. It gives him a forum from which to lead, something that comes naturally to Carl. Leading by setting an exemplary example is the Haley way and why the NRA Hunter’s Leadership Forum President’s Founders Club welcomes both Carl and Connie to the family.