Leveling Up

September 13, 2021
Success Stories


Leveling Up

By Ward Richmond

I write this team update with mixed emotions. (Tears in eyes)

It was 7 years ago when I made my first hire and officially manifested the decision that I would be better off in business and in life via working with a true team instead of operating as a “lone wolf” broker. This realization that I would be better served working together with a team came to me after a major breakthrough session with my executive coach (at the time, the great Travis Carson) back in late 2013. The Colliers leadership thankfully took a liking to me despite my struggling numbers and proactively provided me with a third-party consultant at their expense to try to help me “figure it out” even though 2013 was the worst financial year that I had experienced in many years. Not only was I not making money, I was also working long days and nights trying to manage the little business that I did have in what I now recognize was a very inefficient manner.

As 2013 came to a close, I was overcome with the anxiety and uncertainty that arrives when you are working hard but not making any money. What a nasty combo that can be.

At home, we had our first baby on the way. Meanwhile, my credit card was maxed out. I was closing out my second year at Colliers as I cringed at the state of my revenue production while wondering how in the hell I would be able to buy diapers for my new daughter.

I was still in re-building mode after losing my first major client via a corporate acquisition and the future was looking bleak. I was trying to do everything on my own. I was handling my own business development and marketing efforts while also handling market surveys, financial analysis, construction meetings, BOV’s, proposals, lease negotiations, etc. for the little business that I still had. I was running ragged. On top of that, I was drinking more alcohol than your average Texan – which is a lot.

In September 2014, I hired Cole Hooper and we officially formed our team. This month, Cole celebrates his 7th year as my business partner, and I cannot be more grateful for this guy taking a chance on me when I had no idea what I was doing. I most definitely had decent instincts and was thankfully good enough at the art of persuasion to convince him to join me. He has stood by my side patiently over the years as we worked together as a unit and thankfully “figured it out”! 2014 wound up being a record year.

In 2015, I quit drinking alcohol and Cole and I really started getting down to business. Another record year.

In the years that followed, we hired Zack Rutland, the amazing Kristina “K-Rod” Rodriguez and James “Jimmy the Kid” Ewing. Collectively, we have worked together to establish Core Values, Core Operating Principals as well as extremely well defined (yet ever evolving) processes for Hiring, KPI’s, Marketing and Execution on behalf of our absolutely incredible clients which now includes a deep roster of the most powerful forces to be reckoned with in the world of supply chain.

Today, I write this email to celebrate the successes of our amazing team. Every single one of these amazing humans recently received promotions and I couldn’t be happier.

Unfortunately for us, KRod received the type of promotion that is taking her from Dallas to Virginia. And, instead of managing our team’s operations, she will begin managing operations for multiple offices in the Northeast Region for Colliers. While we will all miss KRod, we are super proud of her, and I can’t wait to see her career as it continues to elevate while still working here at Colliers International!

Jimmy the Kid received a promotion to Senior Associate in the fastest possible time (to the day) that this can be accomplished.

Cole and Zack have both been promoted to Associate Vice Presidents and I can tell you right now that all these guys (including James) are on a warpath to get to Executive VP, and they will be there before they know it.

So, Congrats to all of my incredible teammates who I also consider to be my family! We will be making a new hire announcement shortly regarding K-Rod’s replacement and likely a couple of additional teammates as well so that we can continue to level up as we strive to become the most dominant team in the history of Supply Chain Real Estate. We welcome all the help we can get!

Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”

– James Cameron

Team promotions