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Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Business

Ted J Duckworth, 36 is President of Duckworth Realty, Inc. in Jackson.

Ted Duckworth had not been on his own for long when the Deposit Guaranty corporate offices in downtown Jackson and Shreveport, LA became available. The commercial real estate group turned in his greatest career challenge, particularly after bank management changed hands twice before the transaction was complete.

"During the process of these acquisitions, it became clear that the seller and lender were going to have many requests in order to close the transaction," said Duckworth. "I had the responsibility of keeping the equity together, along with a difficult seller and demanding lender. I overcame the challenges by remaining focused, entrusting the services of my friend and attorney Steve Hendrix who had closed many deals of this type, and having faith that in the end, hard work pays off.

"When we started the acquisition, Deposit Guaranty Bank owned the property and we were very friendly with them. After we made our offer, within a few weeks, the bank went under contract for a merger with First American Bank in Nashville. Well, the properties went off the market. Several months later, First American calls with, are you still interested? and of course, we said yes. But now we had competition. After many weeks of negotiating, we were the successful bidders. After we closed, the bank was merged into AmSouth. So the challenges of keeping investors interested for six months prior to even going under contract was quite difficult. Once under contact to purchase, the challenges of due diligence, seller, lender, management, etc., became the work of each day."

A native of Jackson, Duckworth earned a business administration degree from Mississippi State University in 1988, focusing on real estate and mortgage finance. He considered a career as an architect, but decided to follow his father's footsteps, "I always wanted to work in the field with him," he said.

Duckworth quickly established himself among his peers. Claiborne Frazier, president of Frazier Construction and Development Inc. in Ridgeland, has certainly played a role in the economic progress of Mississippi, particularly in Hinds, Madison and Rankin county areas. His involvement in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and the International Council of Shopping Centers has enable the development of major business and shopping areas that have contributed greatly to the economy."

Stephen L. Butler, vice president of Engel Realty Company in Birmingham, Ala., wrote: "I have known Ted since 2000, when we sold an office building to him and his and his group of partners. After the sale, Ted saw fit to hire my company to continue with management of the building. I was immediately impressed with Ted's professionalism, integrity and honesty. My company has since been involved with Ted in the purchase of two additional real estate ventures as partners."

Duckworth is a board member of Downtown Jackson Partners and has been involved in numerous community service projects. For fun, Duckworth and his children, Palmer and Alex, go four-wheeling in the woods, boating in the Gulf of Mexico, or "just hang and be silly," he said.

"Our children attend the same school and it is great to see the attention and guidance Ted provides to his two children'" said Robert H. Alexander Jr., CPA/ABV, shareholder of Horne CPA Group in Jackson. "It is always difficult to manage the demands of running your own company and spending the proper time with young children. Ted seems to handle that very well".

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