Five months after making a notable career move to Little Rock, commercial real estate executive Jessica Flake Dearnley is on the move again.
Buried in the wake of an avalanche of COVID-19 news in March, Dearnley resigned from Flake & Kelley Commercial and started her own business. Dearnley and Thomas Schmidt have formed a new real estate company in Little Rock called Flake & Co. Dearnley will serve as CEO.
Flake & Kelley Commercial announced in October that Dearnley would relocate to the real estate firm’s Little Rock headquarters. Dearnley previously managed the firm’s Northwest Arkansas office in Springdale as principal broker, partner and executive vice president. She joined the Little Rock office Nov. 4 to work alongside her father and company founder, John Flake.
Dearnley did not elaborate on what prompted her exit from the company. Dearnley worked in Northwest Arkansas for 16 years. She joined Flake & Kelley in 2012 and was previously a consultant for Frost PLLC and Chambers Bank. Before that, she was chief operating officer for Midwest Mall Properties. She also holds the designations of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
Additionally, she holds broker licenses in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, with an application pending in Texas.
She earned an undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University and master’s degrees from the University of Miami with a Master of Business in finance and investments and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Arkansas.
Schmidt also worked previously at Flake & Kelley Commercial in Little Rock. His older brother, Philip Schmidt, is a partner/agent in the firm’s Northwest Arkansas office.
Flake & Co. opened its office at 200 River Market Ave. in downtown Little Rock.