Congratulations to Ron Burgert, chief financial officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies, for receiving the 2010 CFO Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dallas Business Journal. He was presented the accolade at the Dallas Business Journal’s 2010 CFO of the Year Awards luncheon held recently at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas. Lisa Bormaster, publisher of the Dallas Business Journal; Juan Elizondo, editor of the Dallas Business Journal; George R. Carlton, shareholder, Godwin Ronquillo PC; and Robert C. Wiegand, shareholder, Godwin Ronquillo PC presented the award. Ron reflected about his 33 years at Ebby Halliday, Realtors and thanked everyone for their support leading up to this award.
“First and foremost I would like to thank Ebby Halliday,” says Ron. “There isn’t a better business leader or mentor and I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend my career with her.” More than 40 members of the Ebby Halliday Home Team, as well as business associates, and Ron’s wife, Kay, were in attendance in support of this career milestone.
“Ron’s contributions are many and our company has been the benefactor of his strong fiscal guidance these many years,” says Ebby Halliday. “I am so pleased about this much-deserved award.”
Ebby Halliday Companies, celebrating its 65th anniversary, is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in Texas and 8th in the Nation. The company operates 30 sales offices and three brands including Ebby Halliday Realtors, Ellen Terry Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates. It also has mortgage and personal insurance businesses.
Click here to see photos from the event on the Ebby Halliday Facebook Page.
Below is the article that appeared in the Dallas Business Journal’s CFO of the Year special section.
CFO of the Year Winner – Ron Burgert, Ebby Halliday Companies
Dallas Business Journal – by Bill Hethcock
Ron Burgert is a rarity in these days of job hopping, layoffs and corporate restructuring.
The chief financial officer of Ebby Halliday Cos. has been at the same job, in the same position, for 33 years.
“I wouldn’t know how to fill out a resume,” he says.
Burgert’s family ties to the venerable Dallas-based real estate company run even deeper. Burgert’s father, Raymond F. Burgert, who was also a CFO, served on the board of directors, helping with the company’s extensive expansion in the 1970s.
Burgert calls his decision to join the company the best choice he’s ever made. But the job hasn’t always been easy.
Exhibit A in the hard-times file was the real estate downturn in the 1980s, he says. A change in tax laws in 1986 that removed tax shelters and reduced incentives to buy homes, along with the savings-and-loan crisis and high interest rates, forced Burgert and the company to make tough decisions and cut costs.
Exhibit B continues to unfold, three years after the home mortgage crisis helped spark a severe recession, with business failures, high unemployment, foreclosures and lower property values across the board.
While the North Texas economy and the state overall are better off than most of the country, the real estate industry won’t fully recover without stronger job growth and more confidence that people will keep the jobs they have, Burgert says.
“Real estate is generally the largest investment a family will make in their lifetime,” he says. “It gets back to, ‘Can you afford to buy a house?’ People will hesitate to make that major commitment as long as they fear losing their job.”
Burgert’s first job was a paper route, starting when he was 10 years old. He liked the independence that earning his own money brought and the discipline the job instilled in him by forcing him to wake at 4 a.m. to bike his route.
He was less fond of bad-weather days and the dogs that hounded him as he made his rounds.
“There was this one dog that I swore I’d get even with,” Burgert says. I finally hit him with the paper.”
Burgert graduated in 1966 with an accounting degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas. He worked auditing and other administrative jobs for the U.S. Department of Defense and later worked for defense contractors including Bell Helicopter and LTV Aerospace and Defense before joining Ebby Halliday Realtors.
In his years with Ebby Halliday, Burgert has helped the company expand from six offices to 30, and he’s currently helping to open offices in Richardson, Denton and Mansfield. He remains committed all the while to his top duty: managing the company’s balance sheet so it can serve its clients, the community and the industry, he says.
Making every day count and thriving on change helped Burgert and Ebby Halliday Realtors make it through times like the 1980s and the current economy, he says. Compiling a team made up of the best executives, managers, staff and sales associates has helped the company stay profitable in good times and bad, he adds.