In Focus: Michael B. Lamb
Michael Lamb has earned more than forty years’ experience appraising various types of property as an MAI, SRA, and now Chairman Emeritus at Lamb Hanson Lamb. Getting here has been an unlikely journey. Michael was born in Fort Lewis, Washington, and raised by his mother and grandparents while his father was serving as a medical supply officer at Normandy Beach during The Second World War. In fact, Michael didn’t meet his father until four years of age. The seeds of Michael’s real estate heritage and an internal desire to prove himself were planted in his father’s absence. The oldest of eight siblings, many of them now prolific in various professional sectors, Michael says hard work was an assumption and a conviction from those early years. “I’ve always felt very independent, and part of that is because of the family striding to get ahead. Making something from nothing- that’s what we did.” Michael has always maintained a sense of durability through the ups and downs of owning a business. “It depends on how far you want to go and how hard you want to work.”
Michael maintains deep ties to the local community which has been home for so many years. He still has lunch every Thursday with the same friends he met in eighth grade while growing up on the southeast side of Seattle. When that part of town started to go downhill “the way of Detroit,” Michael and other business people got together with the Chamber of Commerce to turn things around. SEED, a Seattle-based non-profit organization, was formed with Michael as a founding member. Working with Seattle City Hall since the 1970s, SEED has directed more than $200 million into Rainier Valley for community development, affordable housing, and art projects. The non-profit celebrated 40 years of service in 2015.
In his decades of real estate analysis, Michael has appraised everything from the Port of Tacoma to property in Russia. “I was always for big” he says, but acknowledges oversight and review systems at that scale made “life tough.” These days, he savors a newer role supporting his son Patrick who now owns and oversees Lamb Hanson Lamb; a transition Michael credits as “a huge relief.” He is energized to be learning from Lamb Hanson Lamb employees about the firm’s increasing technological capabilities while mentoring the same employees on advanced appraisal methodology. In that way, Michael’s life is an answer to his implicit question: “it depends on how far you want to go and how hard you want to work.” And the answer for Michael is: very far indeed.