In 1911, Mercer Moorman Parrish, Sr. (M.M. Parrish, Sr.) moved from Owensboro, KY to Gainesville Florida -- the fourth largest city in Florida at the time. He quickly persuaded his father, James Howard Parrish, to join him in Florida. Together they formed the father/son real estate business of James H. & M.M. Parrish, Realtors.
The two prospered in real estate while building a leading insurance business, too.
In the 1930’s, M.M. Parrish Sr.’s sons, M.M. Parrish, Jr. and H. Parrish, carried on the family businesses. They founded a residential development and construction company, developed many local neighborhoods and built a wide range of housing types throughout Gainesville and Alachua County. M.M. Parrish, Jr. also established a commercial construction company which was involved in the building or renovation of many Gainesville landmarks like the Thomas Center and the University of Florida Football Stadium’s South End Zone.
M.M. Parrish, Jr. was influential in bringing new industry and business to Gainesville, and like his father, would play a central role in shaping the City’s growth and development. In the early 1950’s, he was dubbed “Mr. Real Estate” by the Gainesville Sun for all the hours he dedicated to the industry and community.
H. Parrish died in 1971 and the insurance business was sold soon thereafter. Jim Parrish, H. Parrish’s youngest son, joined the real estate brokerage company following his father’s death, working to grow the small business into the full service operation it is today. Under Jim’s leadership, the company affiliated with the prestigious Coldwell Banker brand in 1982 – one of the first companies in the state of Florida to do so. The construction business was sold in the early 1980’s as M.M. Parrish, Jr. approached retirement, leaving Jim Parrish at the helm of the real estate business to pursue his interest in industry leadership at local, state and national levels – ultimately serving as President of the Florida Association of Realtors in 1989 and working closely with the FL legislature to draft growth management regulations for the state.
In 1999, following graduation from Wofford College, J. Parrish, Jr. (Jim’s son), began working with his father in the family real estate business. In 2000, just 8 short months after J. Parrish began his real estate career, Jim Parrish suffered a fatal heart attack at age 52, leaving wife Susan Parrish as the first female owner of the company. Over the next several years, Susan helped guide the company as her son worked to gain the skills, knowledge and credibility to effectively lead the organization through the Great Recession – a challenging time for the industry and the family.
In 2011, to kick-off the next 100 years, Susan and J. Parrish partnered with Beau Beery and Beau’s father-in-law, Todd Rainsberger, to grow the commercial real estate division and help chart the company’s course for the future. After achieving extraordinary sales goals for himself and the company through his affiliation with the Coldwell Banker Commercial brand, Beau Beery opened his own brokerage company specializing in Multi-Family sales and consulting. While he is no longer (officially) a partner in the company, Beau remains a valuable resource and close confidant for company leadership. J. Parrish continues to oversee the entire operation. Susan is the matriarch of the company and trumpets the importance of community service and support of important charitable causes. Todd, though without a formal title, offers ‘big picture’ leadership and remains a valuable partner. Overall operation of the company is a group affair.
In January of 2013, Michael Kitchens, a 24-year industry veteran and 7th generation resident of Gainesville, was hired as President of the company.
The company operates from two locations in Gainesville Florida with over 80 Sales Associates ready to assist. After more than a century in business through some of the most challenging and rewarding times, the company is poised to move strongly into the future — serving the greater Gainesville real estate market with the highest level of service.