Harlan Langtry Morrison, S.E.C.: Biography

Harlan (Hal) Morrison was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, as the second of 3 siblings. He grew up in a Detroit suburb, Melvindale, which was the adjoining town to the Henry Ford Rouge River automobile “ore to assembly” plant. This 2000-acre site, 1.5 miles wide and 1 mile long, consisted of 93 buildings totaling over 15 million square feet of floor space, crisscrossed by 120 miles of conveyers.

Hal attended elementary, junior- and high school within about eight blocks of his home in a positive, small-town atmosphere. He did well through school and was admitted to University of Michigan in January 1957, immediately after graduating from Melvindale High School in a class of less than 50 students. He was not destined to continue his studies in Ann Arbor, receiving a Congressional Appointment to the United States Naval Academy, and he ventured to Annapolis, Maryland, entering on July 1, 1957, as a midshipman. Acquiring a rigorous, well-rounded level of education, both academically and practically, he graduated in June 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy, Hal entered the Naval Surface Warfare specialty and served on cruisers and destroyers, traveling around the world by sea, and retired after almost 24 years of commissioned service.

In addition to extended training cruises as a midshipman in USS Ross (DD 563) in the north Atlantic Ocean and on USS Newport News (CA 148) in the Mediterranean Sea, after commissioning, Hal served in permanent duty on USS Fiske (DDR 842), USS Luce (DLG 7), USS Albany (CG 10), USS Jouett (CG 29), and USS Sterrett (CG 31), and as Commanding Officer on USS Dewey (DDG 45). He was also assigned for one year, in country, in Vietnam as the Assistant Senior Advisor to the Commander of the Vietnamese Fleet Command during the US turnover of all naval assets and responsibilities in the region to the Vietnamese.

While deployed at sea away from the homeport, Hal’s ships were principally attached to Naval Carrier Battle Groups in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and in the Mediterranean Sea. He participated in selective operations in the Black Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. He was a participant with US Naval forces during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the 1967 Israeli six-day war in the Mediterranean Sea, and aided in offshore surveillance after the marine barracks in Beirut were attacked in 1982. In the early days of space exploration, he was stationed with other ships along projected satellite tracks for ocean recovery of returning astronauts after splashdown.

Shore duty assignments included US Naval Postgraduate School as a student, receiving a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research/Systems Analysis, and a tour on the Staff of the Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington DC, from which duty he retired as a captain, USN.

Hal used his navy experience and talents for about five additional years in his next endeavors as a consultant to Naval Systems Command offices, assisting in the development of future shipboard weapons systems and tactics.

Hal’s real estate career began in 1967 when he and his wife purchased their first home in Monterey, California. Due to the necessity of family housing, having arrived in Monterey from his last tour in Virginia, and the benefit of a Veterans Administration loan, he decided that it was the opportunity to begin acquiring a modicum of wealth from the real estate market. Hal and Carolyn are living in their seventh home, learning most nuances of balancing family needs and, secondarily, investment needs. Fortunately, each transaction has provided some profit. Notably, one factor—moving from a low-cost housing market to a higher-cost market—required special considerations and negotiating, as did the purchases when interest rates were particularly high. These experiences in the residential market have provided valuable lessons and perspectives throughout Hal’s real estate career.

Hal became an active real estate licensee in 1986, having determined that this would be an appropriate long-term vocation extending even into retirement. He joined a residential real estate company as a part-time agent and, after leaving the consulting employment, expanded his real estate activities full-time.

The diversity of the commercial marketplace captured Hal’s attention, and he began attending more courses at the local level; subsequently, he qualified for and was designated as a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). He also was designated as a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS).

Hal was introduced to the Society of Exchange Counselors through Jim Brondino, S.E.C.; he then attended the Counseling for Action course, which was held in Northern Virginia in the late 90s, and he subsequently received an invitation to attend a S.E.C. meeting. He attended his first meeting in Albany, New York, that year, and continued attending the education and marketing sessions. He became a Candidate in 2000 and a Counselor in 2003. Since his introduction to the S.E.C., Hal has narrowed his focus; now, over 95% of his real estate activities are with S.E.C.s and Candidates, primarily providing financing or joint venturing in others’ projects.

Hal attributes his ultimate satisfaction about being involved with the Society to the friends and relationships he has established and, from that, the honesty and integrity that permeates every transaction. The depth of experience, knowledge, and cooperation among the Society members is phenomenal, and they can be called upon to provide assistance and counsel whenever needed.

In his spare time and as a hobby, Hal likes to grow orchids and, selectively, heirloom plants. Hal also credits playing with his grandchildren as bonus therapy for staying young. Hal has been married to his wife, Carolyn (Mead) Morrison, since 1962. They have 2 adult children and four grandchildren.

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