Tanya Forrest Hall ’93
Tanya Forrest Hall ’93 is the executive sales director for the Southeast region of American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), the largest African-American-owned radio network, with more than 300 radio affiliates nationwide and an estimated 25 million listeners.
An accomplished marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in marketing/media strategy, account management, business development, brand messaging, and event and broadcast production, Forrest Hall’s career path is dramatically different from what she envisioned as a freshman at SU.
“I came to SU in 1989 as a biology major, with the intentions of becoming a doctor. But, after taking a few liberal arts classes, I knew I wanted something different,” Forrest Hall says. “I embarked on a discovery that expanded my interest in business, and that’s when I started learning about what interested me instead of what was expected of me. I can truly say that my SU experience expanded my mind academically and taught me much more about myself.”
Forrest Hall describes her years at SU as some of the best of her life and a coming-of-age personally and professionally. She gained an expanded worldview, especially during the Persian Gulf War, and started to envision what her life after SU would look like.
“Professionally, Syracuse University has been my career path GPS,” Forrest Hall says. “SU’s reputation of excellence has assisted me in the hiring process and acquiring various business opportunities. I’ve had amazing mentors, both professors and alumni, who have given me a great deal of guidance.”
After graduating from SU with a degree in retail management, Forrest Hall was accepted in the Bloomingdale’s Department Stores executive training program. During her nearly five years there, her career progressed as she was promoted from manager to buyer, but she was looking for more. While working at Bloomingdales, Forrest Hall attended New York University to study sports marketing and management. From there, she used her mix of retail, marketing, and sports management knowledge to transition to the sports industry as an assistant manager of marketing and operations for Empire Sports and Entertainment, whose clients included Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Louis Harris and Associates (The Harris Poll), and the New Jersey Nets.
Forrest Hall moved on to serve as marketing and operations manager at Newark Sports and Entertainment, Inc. (NSE), a wholly owned subsidiary of YankeeNets, owned by the New Jersey Nets, New York Yankees, New Jersey Devils, and the YES Network. Forrest Hall was responsible for developing and managing a $7.6 million operating budget and organizing community support within Newark for what is now the Prudential Center.
From NSE, Forrest Hall began her initial opportunity with AURN. She first joined AURN as a marketing and promotions manager, responsible for major events, radio remotes, national promotional campaigns, development and placement of media, and the creation of marketing materials. After getting married and moving to Atlanta, Forrest Hall was appointed senior manager of multicultural marketing for the Atlanta Braves, Major League Baseball’s most winning franchise since 1991. There, she directed marketing strategy, diversity strategy, and outreach projects to engage targeted markets and connect the franchise with a more diverse fan base.
Forrest Hall’s career path is dramatically different from what she anticipated during her first days as an SU student, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s grateful to her SU contacts who advised her over the years and believes those connections really make SU stand out. “I’ve made some of my most cherished friendships during my years at SU. So many phenomenal people share the same experience. It seems no matter what move I make, professionally or personally, I can find an SU family member to smooth the way,” she says. “Not all universities afford such opportunities, and it’s truly a blessing.”
A firm believer in the value of shared experiences, Forrest Hall has served on SU’s Sports Management Executive Advisory Council; on the Advisory Board of Día de la Mujer Latina, an organization promoting health awareness to the underserved Latino community; and on the Executive Advisory Board of the National Association for Diversity in Sales and Marketing, a think tank and corporate resource that provides a platform for diversity of thought, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, and lifestyle. She has mentored many college students and tutored Atlanta elementary school students to help them prepare for their CRCT exams.
Forrest Hall remains passionate about SU and says giving back in any capacity helps current and future students. “I bleed Orange, as many of my fellow alums, and think we all have that innate bond. So many SU alums are doing extraordinary things in their respective fields, by staying connected with one another we continue to strengthen our network.”