In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks with Steve Harlan, Founder of Harlan Enterprises. LLC, as he shares how he rose through the ranks at KPMG, the role he played on the DC Financial Control Board in turning around Washington DC’s finances and his commitment to the community.
Also mentioned in this episode:
John Veihmeyer, former Global Chairman of KPMG
Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington DC Delegate to US House of Representatives
Marion Barry, former Washington DC Mayor
Anthony Williams, former Washington DC Mayor
Linda Rabbit, Founder and Board Chair of Rand Construction
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:
More information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website:
Welcome to Partnering Leadership. I am so excited to be speaking with Steve Harlan. He's a partner in Harlan enterprises, a specialized real estate investment firm. Before that he spent most of his career with KPMG, where he was managing partner of the Washington DC office, and eventually vice chairman of the global firm, responsible for all international operations.
Steve has been very involved with many different organizations including counsel for court excellence, being president of greater Washington board of trade, involved in community foundation of greater Washington, and a founding chairman of leadership greater Washington. He has also won numerous awards, including Washingtonian of the year.
Steve was also appointed in 1995 to DC's financial control board, which helped turn around the finances of the city. Now, if you enjoy these conversations, I would appreciate it if you tell at least one other person about the Partnering Leadership podcast, you can send them to partneringleadership.com.
And for those of you that are Apple fans, Apple is the only one that really cares about reviews. So please make sure to go to your Apple podcasts or partnering leadership.com and put a rating and review for the podcast. Now here's my conversation with Steve Harlan.
Steve Harlan, welcome to Partnering Leadership. I am thrilled to have you join me today.
Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity.
You have been one of the most significant people in many people's lives in this community and this region including myself which is why I am thrilled to have a conversation with you to find out a little bit more about you and get a chance to share some of your story with more people in our region and way beyond.
Steve, obviously where we grow up and how we grow up has a big impact on who we become. Whereabouts did you grow up and how did that contribute to the kind of leader that you became?
Steve Harlan :
Well, thank you for having me I am a creative person I grew up in Saint Louis Missouri South Saint Louis. Our family didn't have a lot of money but we got by. And I went to grade school and high school there.
I am reminded of that part of my life and years later I went back to high school reunion and in a high school reunion they cast out their yearbooks from the class that you were in and everybody had their picture in the yearbook and had all the things that they were involved in.
My picture was on the yearbook but not one activity did I participate in high school. I was a total slug if you will but I rationalize that by saying I always had a job after school so I love school and I want to work.
I did what the young guys do on all kinds of job, part time jobs like that soda jerk, ushering in movie theater, work in a bread factory, I worked at a Saint Louis Zoo, always doing something like that so I are rationalized my lack of high school activity that way but later in life I found it really pays off to be active so I've changed that reproach to life.
And I grew up, graduated from high school, went to work for a year and got a little money. I went to Southern Illinois University. The reason I selected that, that was the lowest price school I could find in the region. Carbondale Illinois, it was a small school at that time,it's now, it's a huge school.
And while I was there, I kind of ran out of money and then listed in the army. And enlisted in the part of the signal corps which was the army security agency which was a communications, reconnaissance and secure company.
We were copying codes from all over the world and I am studied to be a code copier at a low level company level. And I went to Fort Devens Massachusetts to study them for six months and was sent to Korea, living in Korea and copying codes. We're working tricks, you know, you're working eight hours, you're off the rest of the day and evening and you move those around. But you have a lot of time and I saw a sign on the bulletin board in Korea, in our company, that they wanted an accountant for the club. “Keep the books for the NCO club”.
So I put my name down and I figured out that I wasn't an accountant at all. I didn't know first thing about keeping a set of books so I figured out that I needed some help from somebody. I've found a guy that was studying for the CPA exam and I said I want you to teach me how to keep a set of books. And I said why didn't you apply for the job? It pays pretty well and he said, I'm studying I don't have time to do that. So, he taught me how to keep a very rudimentary set of books and the unit was then transferred from Korea to Japan.
Commanding officer came in and said "Harlan, if you like stand in the Far East for a year you can run the club". And I said "run the club?" and he said "you know you got to move it from Korea, you gotta get a seat over in Japan. We're going into a garrison kind of a structure, you're gonna have to hire people and you're gonna have to run the club. And that was the greatest opportunity, I think, of my life. I've never run anything ever before and I was given this opportunity and it was a wonderful opportunity and I find out something there.
I found that the most powerful phrase in the English language, looking back over my career, is the phrase "I need your help". And I found a master sergeant who was running a club about 30 miles away, it was just outstanding, we were in southern Hampshire, there were a lot of military around there.
And I went up to him and I said, Sergeant, I've done some investigation on how to run clubs and I read the rules and the laws and I see that there's a lot of club managers who've gone to jail because they were selling whiskey on the black market or cigarettes or whatever. This was in the mid fifties, this is right after the Korean War was over, before Vietnam.
So, I said I need your help and he helped me. He taught me where the mining fields were in this whole thing and how to really run a successful club, and how do you buy entertainment, where do you get it? How do you buy food? Where do you get it? And those kinds of things. So, I had a great experience.
I came back, went to University of Missouri, studied accounting. That's what I figured I was fairly good at, and did well there and finally went and graduated and thought I'd go on the real estate business. And got married, had a baby, and found out that the real estate business is not a business, there's a lot of front end cash.
So I needed a job and so I went to St. Louis and went in the Peat Marwick at that time.I talked to them before deciding to go into real estate business. The managing partner there and I said look, my real estate thing is not working out for me so well, will you hire me? And he said he would, he paid me the princely sum of $400 a month, $4,800 a year. I have a wife and a baby. It was not a lot of money but it worked out well.
I spent thirty three years with Peat Marwick KPMG. I had a great, lot of fun and a lot of career. And I found out some other things that really helped me was that, in order to be successful, you gotta figure out how do you make yourself a little different than the rest of the crowd.
I had an experience where I gained a little bit of knowledge about computers. Well this is in the early sixties. And I started writing our executive office in New York, this is after I became an audit partner, young audit partner. I said we've got a lot of savings loan clients here and burrows company is doing a beta test site on online accounting.
Online accounting had not been there. Prior to that, everybody had a passport and things like that, but online accounting was happening and I said, my perspective on our clients dealing with burrows, it's going to change our audit approach so we need to be getting on this thing and figure it.
And I wrote a couple letters and finally the guy that was running an audit practice asked me to come in New York and said I want you to run the - we want you to be the first partner in charge of computer auditing. And I tell you that it was a one eyed in the land of the blind, alright. Figured okay now what do I do?
So, I went over to IBM and I said, I need your help. And we need to train up several hundred young auditors. I'll pick the auditors, I want people that were gonna be successful and had a career there. Didn't wanna waste a lot of training on folks who weren't going to be successful or who were not career minded. And we started with classes of thirty five, forty and we trained up a lot of computer audit specialists and totally changed the way the firm was approaching audit concepts.
So that worked well, I did that for five years and then they said "okay, now what do you want to do?" and I said "I wanna run an office." They said, "So where do you wanna run it?" I said, "Anywhere you send me, I'm wide open." I'd like not to go to Detroit. I didn't like Detroit very well.
So they said "We need a new managing partner in Washington." And I came down here as managing partner in 1975 and it was just wonderful.
I found that Washington greeted newcomers with open arms. And one of the first things that happened to me here Mahan is I was here about a week and a half or two weeks, and I got a call and said, would I accept a meeting with the incoming and outgoing presidents -two guys- as the board of trade at that time.
So they came in and welcomed me and so, we're happier here. But we have a favor to ask. And I answered, well, really? Yeah. We'd like you to give us a young executive to run our jobs program for this someone. I said, "well, okay, what does that entail? who's going to pay the young executives?" And they looked at me and said, "you are."
They wanted a loan executive for several months. And I said, "I don't know the folks very well at all." I said, "if you'll give me a couple of weeks to figure out who might be successful, I don't want to send somebody over there that wasn't going to be successful." And we got that done.
From that moment on that crowd at the board of trade just helped me at every turn and I was the first accountant ever to be a president of the board of trade -now they call it a chairman- but the president of the board of trade.
So it was a wonderful, wonderful experience and had a great time. We built it up pretty well. We went to I guess what we've got here, we had a couple of hundred people and I was transferred back to New York in 1987.
I ran the office in Washington for 12 years and at that time, I just loved the city, loved the people, loved the opportunities, and we grew up to over 800 people in the office and it was a successful office. It was just a great experience. The people were great. We worked hard at training. Our people worked hard at making great selections of people.
And it really turned out, one of the great successes that I think is John Veihmeyer, for instance. Hired him, he worked for me. He became a partner and became managing partner of the office. Then ended up running all of KPMG worldwide.
That to me is my greatest success is bringing young people along and helping them be successful because one thing I do know is that if you'll help someone be successful, I can't explain it, but it comes back multiple times. It really does. And you don't have to ask for it. You just keep helping people and those people and others will turn around and help you. And it works.
So I've learned a couple of interesting things. One is don't be afraid to ask for help. And in fact, that's a great thing. Just tell people "I need your help" and the other is help a lot of people.
You have done a fabulous job of that, Steve, and I would love to get into some of your involvement and the help that you've provided to so many organizations and so many people.
But you also mentioned the fact that in the army, you saw the opportunity to run the club at KPMG early on. You saw the opportunity to look into computers they're using accounting. So what was it in you to run after those type of opportunities before then we get involved in the conversation around your contribution to the community.
One of the first guys I ever worked for Peat Marwick in St. Louis was a wonderful new partner when he hired me and I worked for him. He said, one, advice I give you. One thing I know is you gotta be enthusiastic about what you do in life. You've gotta have a lot of you intercept. You gotta feel like it's important and make it important to yourself. And in order to get the enthusiasm, you've got to act enthusiastic. So to be enthusiastic, you act enthusiastic. And pretty soon that it happens. And it happens and I can't explain it.
So I listen to that and I've been trying to do that all my life, you see an opportunity, be enthusiastic, go after it. If you think it's going to help you or help someone else, do it.
You have done a fabulous job of that into community here, back to 1985, you were selected as Washingtonian of the year. And then a couple of years later on, you were the founding chairman of Leadership Greater Washington, which over the years has become so much bigger and so impactful in this region.
Help me understand your thinking, initially, in founding this organization called Leadership Greater Washington.
It wasn't an original idea for us in Washington, we searched around, several of us, searched around and then the board of trade was very active in thinking about leadership and Washington. And I was active with that. And we found that leadership Washington had a very successful chapter, if you will.
The leadership concept had a very successful approach down in Atlanta. 87' was the first year we had leadership in Washington, and that was the year I transferred to New York to run our international operations. So, from 75 days, I ran the office here and then I went back to New York.
But the last great thing that I was involved with was leadership Washington for that first class. And I went to, not all of that sessions, but I went to a lot of them and it was a wonderful class. In fact, I understand that some of the folks in that initial class are still very close friends and meet regularly.
They are, and they do. Yes.
Think about that. That's 33 years ago. That's amazing to me, those lasting bonds, those lasting friendships work. And every time you're a president or a chairman or something, they give you a little bit of an award and they gave me an award and they called it "The Stevie" award.
What it was, was a white cube ball with a black tie on a little piece of wood with a black tie. And I still got that award. It was so much fun. And those guys, you know, it was just a wonderful experience and it's served, I think, it's a good beginning foundation. It has been vastly improved.
What you all are doing on leadership Washington now is way beyond what we started out with, but you've taken it to this day, outstanding level. I just, I’m amazed at all the good things you guys are doing.
Improving on systems is important. Steve, that said, the vision and the initial vision is by itself was a leap for this region and something that you were involved in making happen. Getting things started is a lot harder than keeping them rolling so I appreciate your kind words.
Now, you still stayed involved in the community, and DC, for some people that might not be familiar, was having a lot of financial and other issues and problems. When in 1995, DC had the choice between two different things. There was option one, for the city to become in essence, a federal receivership, and then option two, was to establish a control board, which is what was preferred by everyone, the residents in DC and Ellan Holmes Norton.
You were one of the people that was appointed by president Clinton to be part of that control board and were the vice chairman of the control board. So what brought about the control board? And then we can talk about some of the challenges and obviously the successes that the control board had in turning around the finances of the city.
Oh, it was an interesting time for the city, the city with the grossly mismanaged financially. It was a time when Mayor Barry had, prior to then, had been arrested and was tried and convicted on a misdemeanor and he was sent to jail and he spent so many months in jail, I guess. And he came back and he was reelected mayor and the same election cycle that did that, elected the Republicans to take over the house of representatives, Clinton white house, and the Republicans are now in charge of that house of representatives.
And the city had lost its credit support from wall street. And was having a hard time and borrowing money. The chief financial officer at that time declared three, six month taxing periods and one year to get the money flowing. In other words, borrowing from the future to pay for past sin. And Congress said, this is the nation's Capital. We can't have that kind of stuff going on.
So they did set up this control board. It did pass both houses of Congress. And gave the president the authority to set up a five-person control board, not dissimilar to what happened in New York and then what happened in Chicago financing severe large cities financial difficulties.
The five of us were appointed. I was the only white guy, the other four are black, just outstanding people. In fact, I was by far the dumbest in the crowd. Andrew Brimmer, a PhD, Harvard economics. I mean, he'd come more in one lifetime than any human being I've ever met. And he was on board of like, United airlines and Bank of America. He was on boards of really large companies and just brilliant guy, just brilliant.
So he was the chairman. I was the vice chairman. The other three, two women and another man -- or there were three men, two women, three Democrats, two Republicans.
And one thing I learned there, it's really interesting. In order to make progress, you have to work together. And seeing this fighting that's going on now in our government, it just tears me up.
What we found was that working together, we worked issues till we could all support the issue. And we never, ever -- I know we were in some very difficult things. For instance, the police had trouble getting fuel for their cars because the oil companies had not been paid for the last shipments.
Finances were in such bad shape in the finance department of the city, the treasury department of the city, they had stacks and stacks of unopened mail that had not been processed, had checks on them. I mean, this thing was just a disaster. Nobody could believe how bad and once you started digging down how bad it was. And so we worked, we had to hire a chief financial officer. That's a great story within itself because the chief financial officer we hired was Tony Williams. And the people that crafted the law that established the control board did something very smart. They said once the control board approves the appointment of a chief financial officer, only the control board could fire him, the Mayor couldn't fire him. The Mayor can hire him, we have to approve that hiring. But once hired, only the control board could fire him.
So we were doing the interviews, the first four, three or four people that came in to apply for the job, we didn't even bother to interview. Their resume was so weak. We get this guy who is coming from St. Louis, by the way, where he was in charge of public housing there and economic development and a graduate degree in Harvard, lawyer. He’s a Harvard Kennedy school graduate, wonderful guy, he was the CFO of the agriculture department at the time.
He applied for this job, and in doing so, he sent the Mayor a letter. The letter said, Mr. Mayor, should you be wise enough to appoint me as chief financial officer, you will be the captain of the ship. I will be merely the navigator. So we got a copy of that letter. Our staff got a copy of the letter and we’re interviewing this guy. I said, Mr. Williams, we got a copy of the letter that you sent to the Mayor. What is this? He's going to be the captain of the ship. You're merely going to be the navigator. Williams looked at me. He said, got me this interview, didn’t it? And once he was appointed, he wanted to play everything very straight. And Barry got so mad at him. Quite frankly, we were very concerned about that relationship. We put security around Williams because we weren't sure how mad Barry was because Williams would not approve some disbursements that Barry wanted to make. And Williams said, no, you're not going to do it. And the Mayor just went ballistic.
So we hired him. And that's the beginning of that whole great story about how Williams became mayor, very successful mayor. And now, he's very successful in the leadership of the federal city council. You talk about leadership, that's leadership. He is just unbelievable.
Anyhow, the years that we had financial control, it worked out well. We were fortunate. We didn't have a pandemic to deal with. We didn't have a major financial crisis that everybody was losing their jobs or anything like that. But we were able to work around and work with the city council and Jack Evans, who was on the council at the time, he was very helpful. And he worked with Williams and they worked with wall street and we ended up- right now, the city passed the best financial rating of any city in this country. And we went from where you couldn't pay your bills to that, during this long period. It was a great experience. We ended up really working well together - this five-person team.
We split up the responsibility. So the five of us work together and they're just wonderful people and I think we were very successful. A lot of people pushed back, they said it wasn't democratic. That's true because we were appointed. People would come up to me and say, you gotta do this, or you ought to do that. I said, why don't you get the president to appoint you to this job and if you do, you can do it your way, until then I'm on it with mine.
You know, I wouldn't run him for anything and we could call some tough shots, but all of our votes were unanimous, all of them, can you believe that? All of them unanimous except for one. And Andrew Brimmer voted against the four of us on a particular issue.
He held a press conference two weeks later, he said, "I reflected on that, my teammates were exactly right and I'm changing my vote." I mean, could you see that today, buddy? That is wonderful. I mean, it just was a fantastic experience. So I look back on that era that was successful, very proud to be part of that team, and I think Washington is far better off because of it.
It's a testament to the character and the leadership of the individuals involved, where I imagine, as you said, each one of the individuals, you were all very successful, but willing to work with each other for the betterment of the city. And one of the reasons the city is doing so well so many years later, was that much of the groundwork was laid for a turnaround with five people, along with many others, including Tony Williams, having done their share for the turnaround of the city. So it's an incredible leadership story in and of itself.
Thank you, but you’re exactly right. I mean, it was just exciting to be involved. And I was real proud I have responsibility for the police department. What does a broken down accountant know about policing, but you go to New York, had a great system then we went up and studied that and we looked what was happening in Chicago and a couple of other places.
Finally, I hired Chuck Ramsey, the police chief and that really worked out well. He is absolutely - he's the best. And it went on, he left here and went over to Philadelphia and ran now a much larger place. He's doing a, I guess, CBS or one of the major networks as him as an on-air adviser. Ramsy's outstanding.
Steve, all the while that you were doing this, you stayed involved in many organizations, contributing whether it's Heroes, Inc., Washington police foundation, US Marine Corps foundation, community foundation, and I recall a breakfast that you arranged at the Jefferson hotel with another magnificent leader that I'm going to have on this podcast at some point, Ken Sparks. You introduced this young kid, that back then happened to be me to the federal city council and to Ken.
So you have given a lot to many organizations and you have given a lot to a lot of individuals in the community. You alluded to it earlier, but I want to get more of your thoughts and insights on the why, what has been the drive for you to do so much for so many, both organizations and individuals in the community.
I believe that the more you give, the more you get, as long as it's positive. If it's positive and you stay positive, that helps you stay positive. And there's always some negative thing floating around trying to knock you off track, everybody's got that. Everybody's got it. And the more you help others, the more others will help you. The more you give, the more you get. And it's worked out my life that way. I'm fortunate enough to be asked to be involved in a number of organizations. And I always tried to do my best and sometimes I was way over my head, like being the first partner in charge of computer auditing, or trying to keep a set of books that I didn't know what a set of books looked like. Don't worry about that stuff, that'll work out, go reach for it, go do it and help others.
So Steve, I know a lot of wonderful people came through the KPMG offices here in Washington, and you were known for finding and developing great talent too.
Well, I'll tell you, we were lucky, we had great recruiters and we offered a good program and it wasn't all just in accounting.
I hired a woman to be my secretary at one time. She worked there for a while and then the woman that was handling some of our public relations work, left to start the business journal she does. Esther Smith was the first editor of the business journal and I said, Esther, you can't leave me, I need you. She said, you don't need me. I said, why is that? She says, you got the best PR person in your office. Who's that? I said, and she said, Linda Rabbit. I said, she's my secretary. She said, no, you gotta give her the job. And I did. And she did a bang up job at that.
She came to me one day and she said that I want to be a partner. I said, well you can't be a partner. You're not an accountant. You don't know anything about computers, those are the two big things that we seem to need around here, people know those. And she said, well, I don't really care about being a partner. I just want to make as much money as you make. I say, you don't know how much money I make, and said, but I got a pretty good idea. And I said, well, you're going to have to find something else to do for work, and she said, all right I will.
And about three months later, she came back and said, I found it, and I said, what are you going to do? And she says, I'm going into the construction business. And I said, what do you know about construction? She said, absolutely nothing, but I can learn. And she went out, she found some folks that helped her to get started.
It was interesting, but it wasn't always a positive time for it. She had some rough patches. But now she - I mean her company and she, I mean, they'll do over $400 million a year, but it just shows you how helping people and we're still good friends. We're still great friends, her family, our son and her husband are friends and in fact, he does some investing with our son on multi-family investments. So it's great to watch that blossom, that helping people, and because people helped you and it's just wonderful.
I'm actually, gonna have a chance to have a conversation with Linda in a few weeks. And she does say a lot about your support early on in getting her business to succeed.
And the fact that a lot of people say the sign of a great teacher is when the students, in some cases even surpasses the master. You have been a great teacher to many impactful people from John going on being global chairman of KPMG to Linda's run construction, many of - countless people in this region and beyond, Steve, and a big part of actually why I do these conversations - podcast conversations so I love hearing that from you.
So if you were to think back and you had a chance to give advice to a younger Steve Harlan or younger leaders with respect to what they should do to aspire, to be impactful and successful as you have been, what advice would you give Steve?
I'd say one, you have to prepare yourself for what you're trying to do, passing the CPA exams, people will say, well, that's a great achievement and no, that's not an achievement, that just gives you a ticket to play in the field. So you've got to figure out what skill level you have to have, what knowledge you have to have, and you'd have to go about gaining that knowledge.
I think the main thing is to try to always be positive. You know, you had talked about, I know you were heavily involved in, for a year, for years of leading Dale Carnegie's efforts here in this area. You are a leader in that.
Another good author, I'd say “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, everybody ought to read that. If you want to be in business, you better get that book and study it, you know, it's worth it. And there's another book and these books were written in the thirties when there was such a depression in this country. When you think about the environment at that time, Napoleon Hill Dale Carnegie wrote these books in the thirties, and they're just classics on how to be successful.
Just Napoleon Hill's book on thinking and grow rich and how you'd have to think through this and how you involve others. It's almost, it's not magic. It just happens to be true. You do these things and do them honestly, and believe in them it'll happen. I can't tell you how it happens, I don't know how it happens, but it happens and it's wonderful.
That's wonderful. Hearing it from you, by the way, Dale Carnegie was also a graduate of University of Missouri. So you have that in common.
No, I'd forgotten that. You're exactly right. He grew up in a small town in upstate Missouri.
Brilliant advice from a person that has lived it, Steve. You have impacted a lot of individual's lives, a lot of organizations and arguably this entire region by setting DC, which is at the core of this region straight financially. So you have shown through your behaviors what leadership is all about.
I hope so. I'm getting a little long for tooth now. Let's see where this next chapter takes me.
Your energy and enthusiasm still inspires me. I really appreciate you joining me for this conversation on Partnering Leadership. Thank you so much, Steve Harland,
Always a pleasure. I hope somebody enjoys it as well. Thank you.
Founder of Harlan Enterprises. LLC,
Stephen D. Harlan is a partner in Harlan Enterprises. LLC, a specialized real estate investment firm. Prior to joining Harlan Enterprises in 2001, Stephen was chairman of the real estate firm H.G. Smithy, and prior to this position, he was Vice Chairman of KPMG Peat Marwick, responsible for its international business. Stephen served on KPMG’s International Council, Board of Directors and Management Committee. He also served as Chairman of KPMG’s International Strategic Planning Committee. Before assuming his Vice Chairman responsibilities in 1987, he served for twelve years as the Managing Partner of KPMG’s Washington, D.C., operating office.
After graduating in 1959 from the University of Missouri, Mr. Harlan joined Peat Marwick’s St. Louis office. In 1970, he transferred to Peat Marwick’s Executive Office in New York to become partner in charge of computer auditing for the Firm. He became partner in charge of auditing and long-range planning and research activities in 1973.
Mr. Harlan serves on the “for profit” boards of ING Direct Bank, Sunrise Senior Living and Harris Interactive, and on the “not-for-profit” boards of Heroes Inc., MedStar Health, Loughran Foundation, Washington Police Foundation and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. He is past chairman of the Council for Court Excellence, founding Chairman of Leadership Washington, past president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the National Capital Area Health Care Coalition, the Community Foundation of Greater Washington, and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
In 1995, President Clinton appointed Mr. Harlan to the District of Columbia Financial Responsibilities and Management Assistance Authority (D.C. Control Board). He served as Vice Chairman of the Board until his term expired in 1998.
Mr. Harlan was named a 1985 Washingtonian of the Year and, in 1988, the Greater Washington Board of Trade named him “Man of the Years”. In 1997, he was named to the Washington Business Hall of Fame and in 2002; he received the prestigious Globe and Anchor award for civic contribution from the United States Marine Corps Foundation.