Hal Richards is a native Texan, a Fightin’ Texas Aggie, a successful businessman, a dedicated community leader, and a loving husband, father and grandfather. Born in El Paso, Hal spent most of his formative years moving from place-to-place while his father served in the U.S. Army and later worked as a petroleum engineer. In 1966, the family settled in Garland where Hal attended Junior High and High School.
At an early age, Hal learned the meaning of a hard day’s work. When he was 14, he bussed tables at a steak house, worked in high school cleaning the parking lot and break room at a bank, dug ditches on a phone cable crew, and worked summers as a garbage man for the City of Garland. These laboring jobs, mostly in the Texas heat, gave him a great appreciation for the education he was pursuing. It also helped make him a better employer later in life.
In 1975, Hal received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, and a year and a half later earned an M.B.A. While attending Texas A&M, he was in the Corps of Cadets and was elected to the Graduate Student Council.
In 1981, Hal and his family moved to Kaufman County where he went on to own and operate two successful area businesses – the Ford and New Holland equipment dealership and Catalytic Heater Company (CATCO). He sold the tractor dealership in 2001, and today CATCO is a thriving family business.
In 2005, Hal was elected as a volunteer member of the Terrell City Council, and was subsequently elected mayor. On his first day in office, he had the “Reserved for Mayor” sign removed from the city hall parking lot to set the tone for the his tenure as mayor and encourage a culture of customer service and humble leadership. This served him well as he helped guide the city through a difficult period following the “great recession” of 2008-2009.
Hal has also spent several years as an Assistant Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of America. He served on the Board of Directors of the Terrell State Hospital Volunteer Services Council, is a director and past president of the Terrell Rotary Club, is a past Chairman of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce, and served one year as President of the Kaufman County Leadership Council.
Hal and his wife, Christi, a retired elementary school teacher who taught in both Forney and Terrell ISD’s, are the proud parents of three sons, Jason, Travis, and Chad. Jason and his wife, Susan, also made Hal and Christi grandparents for the first time in September of 2017 with the birth of their first child, Claire. The Richards’ are active in their Church, and Hal is also a licensed pilot who is enthusiastic about aviation and aviation history.