As a long tenured employee at our firm it might be understandable that our recent rebranding has been somewhat emotional for me. In July, we renamed the firm LB Carlson in honor of our founding partner, Lawrence (Lary) B. Carlson. In one way or another Carlson has been part of our name since 1974 so why is this particular change a big deal? We believe Lary’s legacy speaks volumes about who we are and how we go about our business and we proudly display his name to honor that tradition.

It is often said that your words are your brand. As I think of what our firm stands for, Lary’s words and influence shine brightly.

I was taught by Lary at a very young age that your words matter. We make a good part of our living presenting financial information – the “numbers” if you will. Yet over and over again Lary emphasized that words were much more important and had greater influence than the numbers. Lary taught us to be an advocate for our clients in all things and stated you could not be a good advocate unless you are first a good communicator. His passion and advocacy for clients with spoken and written words became infectious and remains a core firm value today

Our words being our brand also announces to the world each and every day the nature of our character. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned working at LB Carlson is that our firm’s character is built to always stand with integrity. There simply was no other way to do business! Lary did it that way and it became natural for all of us.

Trust and concern were Lary’s mantra when it came to dealing with clients. He felt trust had to be earned through exceptional service and once that trust was placed in us as business advisors we had a responsibility to maintain it. A true concern for the welfare of our clients was a virtue that set us apart – and still does today. Lary’s reputation with the business community in this regard was second to none. Our firm philosophy to always go beyond our clients expectations has a direct connection to Lary’s passion for service and his commitment to client success.

Lary also committed time to nurture and develop our greatest internal asset – our staff. I have never had a better mentor – someone who truly cared about my future success yet someone who was not afraid to have the tough conversations that are sometimes needed to help make course corrections. I for one am a much better professional because of Lary and I pray I can live up to that high standard.

I also fondly remember the time spent as Lary’s friend. He was an avid golfer and outdoorsman and he had a passion for politics and the Lord. I was so blessed to be able to join him hunting elk in British Columbia, in Alaska fishing for salmon, on countless golf outings (usually getting beat and losing a friendly wager) and probably most enjoyably having breakfast at least once a month (always at Perkins) talking about faith, family and fun.

Yes the name change is powerful for me. I could not be prouder to have worked alongside Lary and my fellow partners for all these years. My hope is that the legacy of our past and present will remain with the firm well into the future.