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HOUSTON-Real estate veteran J. Patrick Duffy has moved from Colliers Arnold in Florida to take the helm as president with Colliers International’s Houston office. Duffy, who stepped into his new role on Jan. 19, is replacing J. Fred Baca, who ends his seven-year tenure with the firm.

As he makes the transition to Houston, Duffy brings with him more than 25 years of experience from Colliers Arnold, a Tampa, FL firm he helped build into a regional real estate powerhouse. Duffy also sits on the board of Colliers USA, a position in which he provides governance for Colliers offices throughout North America.

“The last time I made a move was when I left college and started with Colliers Arnold,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I’m not one for flitting from job to job. I buy into a system and have a long-term view on it.”

Duffy candidly acknowledges he left his position of president with Colliers Arnold because of differences with CEO Lee Arnold. He says the parting with Arnold was amicable and “he and I are, and will continue to be, good friends.”

The decision to come to Houston came about for two reasons. First, he wanted to leave the state so as not to perpetuate any negative impact with Colliers Arnold. If he’d remained in Florida, he says, it’s likely some Colliers Arnolds staff might have followed him. “I wanted to start someplace fresh,” he adds.

The second reason is because Houston is south of the Mason-Dixon line, something Duffy says his wife appreciated. “The offers to move to Cincinnati or Pennsylvania didn’t appeal to my Floridian wife,” he remarks.

Though it’s too soon to tell what, exactly, he’ll focus on in his new position, he says he’d like to see the retail practice grow. In terms of growth in other areas, Duffy says he’ll wait until he’s been on board for a couple of months.

There are, however, many directions in which he can go. The opportunity for growth in the Houston area, and Texas, for that matter, is there, he adds. “I have a great relationship with Mark Noble, who runs the Colliers Dallas office, and we’re talking about how to fill in the gap between Houston and Dallas,” he comments. “There won’t be any lack of opportunity to grow, but we want smart growth, that takes into account our core competencies.”

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