Southern Lumberman Article (HLC-D)

“Like Father, Like Son Leadership Runs in Hunt Family,” Southern Lumberman 227 (December 15, 1973), 78.

In the way he measures up to the responsibilities of leadership in forest-based industries, Davis Hunt, of Ruston, Louisiana, is following in his father’s footsteps.

Davis the current president of the SFPA.  His father, Alex T. Hunt Sr., also of Ruston, was president o the SPA in 1961 and 1962.

They are the only living father-son combination who have served as presidents of the association.

Recently retired after a long and productive career, Alex Hunt Sr., is one of the best liked and respected figures of the Southern pine lumber industry.  As president of the SPA he supervised the structuring of programs which were to play a key role in subsequent growth of the South’s forest-based economy.

Professional associates and friends describe him as a “lumberman’s lumberman.”  Good-natured and colorful, but firm and practical when he had to be, Alex was effective as an industry leader because he commanded confidence.  Time and again, he showed a knack for smoothing troubled waters and solving complex problems.

Under his direction, SFPA initiated a major expansion of its trade promotion program, which contributed to the strong come-back of Southern pine lumber in eastern and Midwestern markets during the 1960s.

Alex is down-to-earth, basic and smart, and may have a bit of the Will Rogers personality about him.  W.D. Harrigan of Fulton, Alabama, one of many friends impressed with Alex’s dry sense of humor, once said “if he hadn’t made it as a lumberman, he could have made it big on the stage.

A native of Arkansas, Alex Hunt is the son of a lumberman married into a lumber family.  His wife is the former Alverne Davis, after whom the current president of SFPA is named.

“Chip off the old block”

In many refreshing respects, Davis Hunt is a “chip off the old block.”  Like his father, he knows how to relax a tense atmosphere with a humorous quip.  He can be firm or gentle, whimsical or serious, as the occasion demands.  And he knows how to lead.

Like his father, Davis is a graduate of Georgia Tech, as are his brothers, Alex Jr., and Tommy.  Incidentally, Alex Sr., played football at Tech and acquired the nickname “Pinky” at the time.  Davis didn’t play football at Tech, although Alex Jr. did.  Davis graduated from Tech in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering.

Like his father and brothers, Davis is a career lumberman.  The Hunts are recognized as pioneers of Southern pine plywood manufacture, which has grown rapidly since 1963.  Davis is the current vice president of Hunt Lumber Company of Ruston, now an affiliate of Willamette Industries.

Honors and recognition of Davis’ leadership abilities have been numerous in recent years.  He is a former member of the board of trustees of the American Plywood Association.  He is presently a member of the board of directors of the National Forest Products Association and the American Forest Institute.

Just recently he was election chairman of the Board of Commissioners o the Louisiana Forestry Commission, a governmental body to which he is a relative new-comer.

Like his father, Davis Hunt is an avid outdoorsman.  He plays golf, hunts, and with his family, crews a powers yacht in the Gulf.

And even though Davis didn’t play football at Tech, as Alex Sr. did, he is today just as enthusiastic an alumnus and fan.  In fact, the entire Hunt family takes an intense personal and active interest in the academic and athletic fortunes of their Alma Mater.

In one final respect, it’s a case of father like son.  Both have extremely attractive wives.  Davis is married to former Sandra Gray of Minden, Louisiana.  They have three children, Elizabeth, Davis, and Martha.