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Update: John Flake Joins Daughter’s Real Estate Firm, Flake & Co.

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John Flake, a long-time leader in Arkansas’ commercial real estate industry, said Thursday that he’s “immediately” leaving Flake & Kelley Commercial of Little Rock to join his daughter’s firm, Flake & Co. of Little Rock, which she founded this year.

John Flake will serve as chief real estate advisor for the firm. Jessica Flake Dearnley is the company’s CEO; Thomas Schmidt is co-founder.

“I’m excited to be able to work with my daughter and Thomas Schmidt as they strive to chart their own course in the real estate industry,” John Flake said in a news release. “My job will be to advise, when asked, consult on projects and provide support.”

John Flake founded the original Flake & Co. in 1979. His projects include the 40-story Simmons Bank Building in downtown Little Rock, which opened in 1986.

“My father is a dream addition to any brokerage team,” Dearnley said. “His career spans four decades because he is a man of great character, vision and wisdom. He has been a mentor to many of Arkansas’ business leaders and has been my role model for a lifetime.”

“Working with my daughter has always been very important to me,” John Flake said. “I believe in Jessica’s vision for the company and I want to do everything I can to help her and co-founder Thomas Schmidt succeed.”

Meanwhile, Flake & Kelley Commercial announced that it will change its name to Kelley Commercial Partners.

The company said John Flake’s ownership was distributed among the partners after he sold his interests to join his daughter’s business.

The day-to-day operations of Kelley Commercial Partners will be led by an executive management team led by Hank Kelley with Daryl Peeples, Maggie Hogan and Nicholas Kelley.

Other partners in the firm include Cheryl White, Bill Pendergist, Brooke Miller, Eric Varner, Cynthia Lu and Kevin Pledger.

Kelley and Flake remain partners in various real estate investments.

(George Waldon contributed to this report.)

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