William A. Burgess
CCIM, SIOR
NAI Earle Furman, LLC

Patrick is a unique individual. We met approximately 15 years ago in a commercial real estate classroom setting, where I was a student completing the educational requirements to be accepted as a member in the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, and Patrick was a Senior Instructor. We spent a week in a hotel conference room with various rotating instructors teaching various topics. Our relationship could not have started off on a "wronger" foot. A prior instructor had infuriated me by claiming it was okay to lie under certain circumstances. I, to say it mildly, made it miserable for that instructor for the remaining time in that class questioning, doubting and generally being a class nuisance. Patrick had been warned about me being a royal pain in the fanny and came to class prepared to deal with me. I continued in my bad boy vein during the early part of Patrick's class and he was quite firm with me.

During the first day he asked a question to which I had the right answer. He asked me to speak the answer into the microphone, and I became reluctant. He nailed me with the observation that I seemed to be much more comfortable getting bad attention than good. That evening in my room I began to examine my behavior. During that soul searching period, I had the realization that he was right, and that I had a tendency to challenge authority figures in all areas of my life. I came to class the next day with a change of heart and decided to be quiet regardless of what was said, and behave like a perfect little choir boy for the remainder of the classes.

Patrick continued to put me on the defensive during the second day, which was a reasonable instructor technique with a disruptive student. He had no way of knowing I had a change of heart. During that day my feelings were terribly hurt by his treatment.

On the plane home, I wrote him a letter telling him my feelings. When he received the letter, he contacted me and we talked about my behavior, the reasons for my authority figure challenges and he encouraged me in my growth. He was quite disclosing about his path in life, challenges he experienced and his realizations and eye opening experiences.

We began communicating and sharing typical things good friends do, such as life experiences, books we've enjoyed reading, restaurants, and business advice. Our relationship moved far beyond the typical locker room having a beer together male experience. Despite our east coast/west coast locations and only seeing each other no more than twice a year at our SIOR conventions, we became real with one another, that friendship continues to this day and has become richer as time goes on.

It was interesting to see that Patrick had an open mind towards me, and was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. It's even more interesting to see the result of such openness. Patrick has been a staunch supporter within the SIOR organization, in business and in my life. His friendship, steady advice and caring nature have served to make me a better and more effective person. We get a kick out of sharing our story with mutual friends, both inside and outside the SIOR organization.

Consequently, I hold Patrick in very high regard. He is well known as a top Broker and Instructor, but more importantly, Patrick is a man who cares. He puts his time, money and heart on the line. There are countless individuals in this industry who are better brokers and better people because of Patrick's impact upon their lives.