How does one decide what name to choose when going out on their own to start a new business? After all, it may be the easiest yet one of the most difficult decisions to make when starting a company. I was faced with such a decision while in my late twenties with my parents supporting my decision to make a move from a career in credit and collections to real estate. It all started when my wife and I bought our first investment property and formed a company named Black Diamond Capital, LLC. The name was suggested by my father because of my love and passion for snow skiing. Not giving it a second thought, I agreed that the name was perfect. A few years later I went into the real estate appraisal profession and started my own appraisal company. A name change was in order but I didn’t want to drop the company name that my father came up with. As a result, the new company was named Alamance Appraisals-Black Diamond Capital, LLC – DBA as Alamance Appraisals. Several years later when I opened up my own real estate firm, another name change was in order so the company was renamed to Alamance Appraisals-Black Diamond Real Estate, LLC. – DBA as Alamance Appraisals, and DBA as Black Diamond Real Estate.
Now that you know the story behind the name Black Diamond Real Estate, what about my nickname, Bert, where did it come from and how did it stick? Some forty years ago or so, when I was a kid, my parents hired George DeLoache to teach me how to play tennis and look after me and my brother when they were not home. George was the best, not only did he teach me a lot about tennis, he even took me to his family’s outlet store, when it was located across the interstate, and gave me a Peter Frampton screen print t-shirt. Simply put, George was cool and someone I very much looked up to. So being his sidekick, he one day out of the blue just started calling me Bert. I thought how creative and original, I now had my own identity since I was being called everything from Bob, to Rob, to Robert. I didn’t know any Berts and my father goes by Bob, my cousin goes by Rob, and I felt being called Robert was just too long of a name. Being called Bert was perfect. Next thing I know, my best at the time, Bubba, started calling me Bert along with his parents and grandfather. From there the nickname stuck and took off by the time I finished middle school. I’ll still answer to any of those names, but my friends call me Bert, and I go by Bert when I meet new people.