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I am often asked where the name Liberty


comes from. The largest bank in Oklahoma City was Liberty Bank, and I had hopes of building a company that would have more breadth than just Bohan and Associates. In addition, Liberty provided me my entrée into business as an entrepreneur, “my liberty.”


Tell us about the changes and growth you have seen with Liberty. When I formed Liberty, I had one employee.


The focus was direct hire “perm placement” to the multifamily industry in Houston, including both on-site and corporate positions. It became quickly apparent that in order to grow, we would need to expand our horizons. Within the first couple of years we began executive search nationally and expanded into the com- mercial (office, industrial, retail) segments of the real estate industry, with all of the focus on direct hire. The firm grew steadily and expanded, and by


1985 we had 19 employees. Then came tax reform, which basically torpedoed the real estate industry and the S&L’s that supported them. Properties had been developed by syndi- cators predicated on potential losses that trans- lated into tax benefits to the investors. When that law was repealed, properties that had been designed to lose money failed and went into foreclosure. This catastrophic event created the need for the RTC, which took the properties that had been foreclosed and resold them at substantial discounts. Many of our most suc- cessful owners and REITs today got their start through the acquisition of RTC property. Liberty really struggled during the late ’80s


but managed to squeak by. In response to the market conditions in 1990, we opened a tem- porary staffing division focusing on on-site personnel in leasing and maintenance. At a client’s suggestion, in 1995, I along with a part- ner, Mary Hubbell, formed Liberty Screening Services, which conducts pre-employment background screening and drug testing on a national basis to a wide array of industries. When we began screening our own tempo- raries, it was a shock to find out that 40 percent of the applicants sitting in our lobby were con- victed felons. In 2005, Liberty expanded its executive


search department to include a division focused on the banking industry. Based on our growth and success in the Houston temporary market, we began to expand our Texas temporary foot- print to Dallas in 2006, San Antonio in 2008 and most recently Austin in 2009. As an aside, in 2011, I along with a partner,


Mr. Gary Wood, formed United Global See BOHAN, Page 70


ABODE AUGUST 2012 45


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