Today marks the 30-year milestone of our esteemed leader and CEO, Bill Hagaman, being a WithumSmith+Brown Partner!
Indeed, on July 1, 1985, a young Bill Hagaman was promoted to partner, after having quickly moved up the ranks upon starting as a staff accountant in 1980. Early on we knew we had a winner. Soon after Bill became partner, we opened the Red Bank office with Ivan Brown (one of our founding partners) being appointed as Partner-in-Charge, giving Bill the opportunity to be the new New Brunswick office PIC, despite his junior age. We had faith in his leadership abilities even then.
Bill was our seventh partner in the history of the firm and was promoted faster than any other staff accountant, including Dan and me, but we don’t hold a grudge. With seven being the number most associated with good luck, we certainly believe WithumSmith+Brown has been lucky to have Bill as part of our leadership team for three decades, becoming the Managing Partner in 2010.
Now for a few lighter insights into Bill’s history with the firm…
- Ivan shares how Bill was late for his very first job interview with the firm, as the then-receptionist gave Bill questionable directions to the office. Regardless, he made quite an impression with Ivan and was offered the position.
- Dan recalls driving Bill around to our other offices (Somerville and Princeton) on his first day of work to meet with me, Len Smith and Doug Sonier (two other founding partners), and clearly remembers a noticeable limp in Bill’s step, which to this day Bill disputes. Dan believes this young and tall staff accountant has “ a problem” and questions whether or not he should report this “problem” to Fred Withum. He decides not to and “the limp” is cured in a matter of a few weeks.
- Bill was known in the office way back when for his great impression of Steve Martin’s SNL character “King Tut”; we have to laugh just thinking about it. It really was good.
- At our April 16 golf outing, just before making partner, Bill was playing with Len and Ivan. At a par 3, while Fred was eyeing his putt on the green, Len and Ivan encouraged Bill to go ahead and tee off… at which time Bill smacks a line drive right into Fred’s leg! Surprisingly, that did not impact his promotion later that year.
Ah, there are so many more good memories which we just can’t share in a firm-wide email. But this we can share:
Bill, we thank you not only for your leadership during the past 30 years, but also for your friendship. We’ve had many laughs and likely just as many challenges. But in the true Withum spirit, we have overcome all obstacles, working together with our partner group to build a successful practice, providing a bright future for everyone at the firm.
Please join us in congratulating our friend and colleague Bill Hagaman on this noteworthy occasion.