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First job: Nails under a hot tin roof

CBA CEO Richard Hunt

Dec. 1, 2017
By William Ehart

As a high-school senior in southwestern Louisiana, Richard Hunt figured he was going to college.

He just didn’t figure how strongly he’d feel about it until he found himself working under a hot tin roof for $3.80 an hour to help pay for it.

“The first job I remember that really taught me the value of life was when I was building roof trusses under a tin roof in the middle of the Louisiana summer,” said Hunt, now CEO of the $12 million-revenue Consumer Bankers Association.

Lumber for the 20-foot-long frames had to be measured, cut at an angle with a hand saw and nailed and stapled together, all under a structure housing about 100 other workers with no air conditioning.

There were more than a few hammer-meet-thumb moments and one or two trips to the emergency room.

“I remember a bell that would ring to start work, another one to give us a 10-minute break and another for a 35-minute lunch,” he said.