09/30/2002

A Day in the Life of Larry Soehren

Making a Difference

Contributors: James Earl  
 

Up Close and Personal

 

Larry, what do you enjoy about your involvement with BOMA?

I really love talking to people around our industry, and around our country. How we do business isn’t drastically different from Manhattan to Spokane or Boise, ID. There may be more zeros in the numbers depending on your market, but overall it’s the same type of industry. There are a broad number of people out there that share the daily challenges of that.

What challenges do you anticipate for the industry?

From an industry standpoint, our biggest challenge is the economy. The fundamentals are there; now we have to restore confidence.

What tool do you rely on the most?

I have been a Palm geek for several years. I have a wireless Palm Pilot that lets me – while I’m out on the road – check my e-mail, flight availabilities, weather conditions, just so I can stay informed of what’s going on.

What’s your least favorite buzzword?

One-off. I’ve never understood what that meant. Trendy words tend to drive me crazy.

Some people just can’t say no. Larry Soehren is one of them. As the vice president of Spokane’s Kiemle & Hagood Co. and the 51st president of Washington, D.C.-based BOMA International, Larry has the drive of a born leader with a heart of solid gold. His sense of community, desire to make a difference, and love of people made him a natural choice for the presidency of BOMA – and it didn’t hurt that Soehren loves to volunteer.

“I kept raising my hand and volunteering to serve on committees. It just seemed like a natural progression that led me to the presidency, although I denied that. Most of the time others said to me, ‘You’ll be president someday.’ I said, ‘No, I won’t.’ Now here I am,” says Soehren about his 2002-2003 term.

When Soehren isn’t assuming the role of BOMA president, he can be found overseeing the management operations at Kiemle & Hagood Co., a full-service commercial real estate company. Not only does he serve as vice president for the firm, he is also one of the business’ three owners.

Following his graduation from Eastern Washington University with a BA in business administration, Soehren landed a job as property manager with the company he’s now spent nearly 20 years serving. “It’s just been a great, rewarding career – it was interesting that I didn’t know it even existed before I got the job,” he says jokingly.

Soehren prides himself on understanding and responding to the needs of employees, clients, and the community. “I love being able to work internally, helping our staff members and people on our team advance and grow and make a successful living for themselves. And I like working with our customers and clients – helping them achieve their goals. I think that’s the most rewarding part,” he says.

The company’s contract with the city of Spokane to manage the single-family home rehabilitation program – although outside the norm for a real estate company – has exposed Soehren to the rewards of positively impacting others’ lives. Kiemle & Hagood Co. believes in giving back to the city and citizens of Spokane and others in need. “I get some joy by being able to affect some people’s lives by either making their home more livable or giving them a home in the sense of subsidized housing in a multi-family complex,” Soehren explains.

Over the course of his career, Soehren has had many highlights – one of which has

been his involvement with Spokane’s downtown revitalization since 1986. “I was the founding chair of the organization that put together our business improvement district downtown that now wins awards across the country and is looked to as a model. Being part of that turnaround was exciting,” he says proudly.

BOMA President, Kiemle & Hagood VP, community leader, colleague, friend, and family man: In each role, Larry Soehren is stretching the limits, advocating change, and making a difference.

Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildings.com) is senior editor at Buildings magazine.

 


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