HR “Bum” Bright was a local Dallas businessman who, at the heighth of his career, owned a bank, an oil company and the Dallas Cowboys. By 1990, he was one of the richest men in the state of Texas. Then the oil crunch hit, the real estate market crumbled, savings and loans needed to be rescued by the government and the Dallas Cowboys experienced a lull with the firing of legendary coach Tom Landry.
Coopers & Lybrand was a member of the “Big Eight” accounting firms as they were known in the 1980s. They have since merged with Price Waterhouse, also “Big Eight”, to form Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), a “Big Four” accounting firm.
Based out of St. Louis, Forrest Ford was a full service consulting company which started a Dallas branch in 1988.
Based out of Denver, Colorado, CIBER (Consulting in Business, Engineering and Research) maintained a Dallas branch of between 30 and 50 employees.
Andersen Consulting had recently separated from Arthur Andersen upon my arrival in May of 1994, though we shared office space in Nations Bank Tower in downtown Dallas (the building with the green neon silhouette).
Originally formed to aid retired Baptist Ministers with their pensions, the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention grew to a net worth of around $3 billion by the early 1980s with $3 million in annual growth. They were second only to the Methodist Pension Board in Chicago in size among not for profit religious pension companies at the time.
When I was hired by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in the fall of 1986 I had never even heard of the “Big Eight” accounting firms but my wife had, being she was an administrative assistant for the CIO of Convex Computer Company (a Cray rival in the scientific processing arena). I was brought on board for the City of Dallas Water Utilities project where I was handed over the AR sub-system.
My first position after graduation from college, Information Retrieval Methods (IRM) near Farmers Branch in northwest Dallas, hired me as an entry-level programmer in October of 1983. IRM was a marketing software service company with clients including Nabisco and ALCOA, but their main client was Philip Morris with a custom system DATAVEND, tailored specifically for the tobacco vendor.