Right at Home in Gainesville

Ken Kurdziel, a partner at James Moore & Co., looked up to his father, a California accountant who told him the best businessman needs an accounting degree. Because of the suit, the tire, creating things and serving people, Kurdziel wanted to be a businessman since that young age. Now, Kurdziel has spent 19 years at the Gainesville-based firm that is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Kurdziel has grown from a junior partner to the resident expert on serving universities. What brought him to Gainesville? Sparks flew when he met a girl on vacation in England. He enrolled in the University of Florida, the same school the girl was attending. Although the relationship fizzled out, Kurdziel felt right at home in Gainesville. “There’s no better place to live than Gainesville, Fla.,” he said.

Kurdziel met his future wife here in Gainesville. She was born in Alachua General Hospital, and her Gainesville roots became his. When her parents learned Kurdziel was looking for a job, they sent him to a family friend who was a senior partner at James Moore & Co. The firm prepares taxes, does financial consulting and does business with universities all over the state. The firm has some of Florida’s big-name businesses as clients, but Kurdziel said any average Joe who wants to get his taxes done is welcome. “I feel honestly like a member of a larger family here,” he said. “My personal goal is continuing to see this company thrive.”

 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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