The Legacy Lives On: UniqueHR - The Bend Magazine

The Legacy Lives On: UniqueHR

Garry Bradford celebrated a big milestone. UniqueHR, the company he began in 1991, has been in business for more than 30 years

Photography by Lillian Reitz

Garry Bradford celebrated a big milestone. UniqueHR, the company he began in 1991, has been in business for more than 30 years. 

UniqueHR is a Professional Employer Organization that offers the services of a large corporation along with the personalized experience of a family-owned business. UniqueHR provides small and mid-sized companies with essential services including employee benefits, workers’ compensation, payroll, risk management and more. Considering how much valuable time, money, and risk these functions can otherwise cost a business, UniqueHR is a crucial partner that enables businesses to sustain and thrive. Headquartered in Corpus Christi, it has a nationwide footprint, with offices and clients across the country. It serves clients in a variety of industries who range in size, from those with few employees to those with a workforce of hundreds.

When asked about success factors that contributed to the business having been successful for three decades, Garry cites two very important aspects. The first is the solid infrastructure of team members who specialize in key roles. 

“How our company is structured is important. We have full-time CPAs on board to focus on payroll and other financial concerns. We have a general counsel that helps us with the rules and regulations. There are multiple people in our human resources department to ensure regulatory compliance as it relates to employment law. We invest heavily in software and technology, and we work very closely with the advisory board of the company behind our software.”

But most importantly, Garry says, “It’s all about our people. Our team here is special. People are our passion, we care deeply about our employees and clients.” 

“The Bradfords treat everyone like family,” said Theresa Carlberg, Marketing Manager of UniqueHR. Part of the reason for that lies in the fact UniqueHR itself is a family business. Garry’s wife, Rebecca, started the company with him in 1991. Garry’s son, Chris Bradford, joined the family business in 1996. He began in operations and now holds the position of Senior Vice President.

“I know it sounds cliché, but the family mentality is one of our main focuses here,” said Chris. “I’ve watched kids grow to have their own kids and become grandparents, watched graduates become industry experts and witnessed people surprise themselves by realizing their full potential.”

Getting to work with family gives Chris an opportunity to see sides of his father that most children don’t get to see. “My father has decades of military and corporate experience, yet he demonstrates the benevolence of a caring parent. Having a mentor who commands integrity and discipline to those levels has been the best gift in my development that anyone could give,” said Chris. “Of course, working with family can be a challenge at times, but it has definitely been worth it.”

And in turn, Garry is proud of the professional that his son has become. “Chris is extremely bright, he brings new insight into the company, futuristic thinking, and great leadership. I am confident that he will be able to steer the team to new levels I could only have dreamed of.”

With father and son upholding a family-oriented service model for their employees and clients alike, it’s clear that UniqueHR will continue to see more milestones in its future. “Celebrating 30 years is a big deal, especially for a family-owned business in Corpus Christi,” said Carlberg. “They have built quite a legacy by helping others.” 

With an impressive history and abundant present-day results, the Bradford family also reflects on the future, and the distinct experience of it having a family-operated business. “We’re still in the middle of it all,” said Chris, “I know one day I will look back and realize how fortunate I was to be able to share the rare experience of running such an amazing company with family.”