Mark Farrell is the founder of Killashee Investments and the president of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I was born in Binghamton, New York and was one of six children. I went to James Madison University, where I majored in accounting and played baseball. I obtained my CPA license in Virginia and started my career in Virginia Beach. A job relocated me to Orlando, and that is how I got to Florida. I moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1987 and began my career in commercial real estate development.
What’s the story of how Killashee Investments started?
I started Killashee Investments in 2007 after a 17-year career as president and CEO of a large multifamily development company. The company’s name, Killashee, is named after an area in Ireland where my ancestors came from. I started with no business plan but was available for hire. The market collapsed and then it came time to come up with a business plan!
When you reflect on the past 10 to 11 years of business, what are you most proud of?
Starting a real estate company at the beginning of the Great Recession and surviving. Going several years without a paycheck was a challenge and required me to pull out every arrow in my quiver. Every year since I started Killashee has been the company’s best year. This past year, we were recognized as the 10th fastest growing company in North Florida. I truly have become a better person and thank my wife Lori for believing in me.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
To continue to lead our company to be the best commercial brokerage company in North Florida. Also, I want to complete my newest development, JTB apartments. JTB is a 350-unit, five-story luxury apartment complex located near St. Johns Town Center. Leasing should begin in January 2019. I am also under contract and in design, with my partners out of Texas, for a 370-unit development in the same area.
What’s it mean to you to be president of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach?
It is an honor that I truly cherish. I have to pinch myself knowing that I am leading an organization whose members are the pillars of the community. I am following tremendous past presidents and realize the magnitude of the responsibility of being president. The breadth of the community that our club serves is amazing. This enables me to meet so many wonderful individuals at the Beaches that serve those less fortunate.
What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra?
Everything. I love the lifestyle that comes with a beach resort community. I enjoy the small-town feel, the casual dress and the fine dining. As a child, our family spent the summers at the New Jersey Shore. Each time I go to the beach, it reminds me of my childhood. I love the Ponte Vedra schools and all the school activities that our kids enjoyed. The families and friends I have met while living here makes it easy to call Ponte Vedra Beach my home. Best of all, having my mom, brother and sister living here is the icing on the cake!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Now that we are empty nesters, I love spending time with my wife, Lori. We have a lot of fun together, whether it is going to the beach, the movies, working out or a quiet dinner. She is my best friend and I can’t spend enough time with her. We enjoy visiting our children in Atlanta, Tallahassee and Gainesville. When the whole family is together, there is a lot of laughing and great times. I took up golf two years ago and really enjoy the quiet time on the course. My game needs a lot of improvement but that one shot a round keeps me coming back. I think they call that potential!