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RISMEDIA, April 27, 2010—Robert W. Merrick, Owner and CEO of Latter & Blum, Inc./Realtors, announced that the company has hired Richard Haase as President of the firm’s Residential Division. Haase, a 33-year veteran of the real estate industry, has served for the past eight years as General Manager of Prudential Gardner Realtors.

“My first thought was of Rick,” said Merrick of the search for candidates for the position, viewed by many as one of the premier residential real estate positions in the Gulf South.

“Eventually we did have the opportunity to speak, and everything I have learned about Rick since then confirmed that he was the candidate who would best fit our organization. He has been a tremendous competitor at Prudential, but at the same time he is viewed with respect by everyone within the Latter & Blum family of companies.

“By joining Latter & Blum, Rick will be applying his breadth of experience and knowledge to help take Latter & Blum to a new level of success.”

“The company has a longstanding and well-earned reputation for excellence in real estate,” said Haase. “In addition, their commitment to cultural, social and charitable causes makes them an incredibly strong, full services Real Estate brand in the markets the company serves.”

Haase added, “If you live in the Gulf South and work in real estate sales, Latter & Blum is a great place to be. To be able to join a company that is a long standing, powerful force not just in New Orleans but in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, and across the Mississippi Gulf South is an incredible opportunity.”

“The most important role our search team envisioned the president playing is helping our agents sell more real estate through enhanced sales support systems and services to our clients,” said Merrick. “Everyone in our organization who has been involved in vetting Rick for the job has come away convinced that he is the best candidate to do exactly that.”

Haase said his immediate goal is to reach out to the over 1,000 Latter & Blum agents and staff across the region and to seek their support and input in moving the company forward. “I hold a belief that none of us are as smart as all of us and together we’ll create the greatest opportunity for success for our clients,” Haase said.

“Bob’s primary concern during the entire vetting process has been ‘what can we do together that will provide greater opportunities for success for our Managers and Sales Associates,’” said Haase. “That says a great deal about his commitment to the people who have made Latter & Blum the success it is.

With large property management and commercial brokerage operations as well as residential sales, Haase said he felt the opportunity for growth at Latter & Blum is significant.

“We have components here unlike any other company in the region,” said Haase. “I believe by working more closely with NAI Latter & Blum (the company’s commercial brokerage arm) and Latter & Blum Property Management, we can create opportunities and synergies for our residential agents that have not been fully taken advantage of to this point.”

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