Grand Marshal

This Year’s Grand Marshal

James J. Houlihan

James J. Houlihan is a graduate of Manhattan Preparatory School (1970) and of Fordham University School of Business (Gabelli School of Business 1974).  Mr. Houlihan represents the fourth of five generations in a family business, Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC, founded in 1891 by his great-grandfather, Daniel Houlihan.  Mr. Houlihan is the managing principal of his multi-faceted commercial real estate firm and has managed its daily operations since becoming a partner in 1987.

Mr. Houlihan is an active partner in GHP Office Realty, LLC, an entity involved in the principal acquisition, management and leasing of office buildings.  He is also a partner in Houlihan Parnes Properties, a commercial property management company and HP Capital, a mortgage service company.

Mr. Houlihan is active in the commercial real estate industry throughout the United States with a main emphasis on the tri-state area.  Mr. Houlihan has been retained by many leading financial, not-for-profits, and educational institutions as both a consultant and agent to manage, lease, acquire, renovate, and sell real estate.  He has been involved in thousands of real estate transactions since the beginning of his career in 1973.   As a principal, he owns many properties throughout the continental United States with his partners.

Mr. Houlihan is the past President and Chairman of the Board of the Apartment Owners Advisory Council of Westchester.  He is the past Chairman of the prestigious Sales Brokers Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York.  In 1999 Mr. Houlihan was a winner of the “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award” from the Real Estate Board of New York and runner up for their 2006 award.

Mr. Houlihan has served as Chairman of the Great Hunger Memorial Committee of Westchester County that created a monument commemorating “An Gorta Mor”, the period known as The Great Hunger in Ireland (1845-1851).  Mr. Houlihan has been honored as a recipient of the prestigious “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” in 2000 for his varied humanitarian efforts.  He was also named to Irish America’s magazine “Top 100” list in 2001 and to their Top 100 Business list annually from 2006 through 2009.  He received the Irish Arts Center’s “Spirit of Ireland” award in 2001 and the Irish American Building Society award in 2007.

Mr. Houlihan’s speaking engagements have included Columbia University, New York University, Fordham University and the New School for Social Research.

Mr. Houlihan has served on the Westchester County Parks Department Board.  He was the Committee Chairman for the successful fundraising effort for The Rising, a memorial dedicated to the 109 Westchester County residents who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.  The Westchester County Board of Legislators honored him with the first ever Chairman’s Medal of Gratitude in 2004.  Westchester County Parks Department honored Mr. Houlihan with their “Best Friends Award” in 2010.  Mr. Houlihan received the Croagh Patrick award from St. Patrick’s Home at their 80th Anniversary dinner in November,2011.

Mr. Houlihan received the esteemed Martin S. Berger Award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate.  This prestigious award acknowledged Mr. Houlihan for his outstanding accomplishments in the real estate industry and service to his community.  He received this award at the 30th Anniversary of the March of Dimes Real Estate Breakfast in Westchester County in November of 2017.  He was also honored by the Knights of St. Patrick in 2017.

Mr. Houlihan conceived and curated the acclaimed exhibit “The Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior”.  The exhibit originally opened in the fall of 2006 at the Irish Arts Center and traveled to the South Street Seaport Museum in New York, the John J. Burns Library at Boston College, the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, the GAA Museum at Croke Park in Dublin and the University of Limerick.  The exhibit closed after being displayed at the Phoenix Irish Cultural Institute in Arizona in 2013.

Mr. Houlihan and his family have been involved in many charitable endeavors.  Amongst them is the lead gift to create the new baseball field at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.  Additionally, Jim and his family have set up scholarships at Fordham University, Fordham Law School, Fordham School of Social Service, Fairfield University, Manhattan College, Mount St. Vincent College and Mount St. Ursula School in the Bronx.

Mr. Houlihan served as Chairman on the Executive Committee of the President’s Council of Fordham University from 2013 through 2015.  He now serves as a member of the Fordham Board of Trustees.  In 2011, he was honored by Fordham University with the “Fordham Founders Award” at its annual Presidential Scholarship dinner.  Mr. Houlihan served on the Board of WFUV Radio at Fordham University.  He served on the Board of Directors of the Irish Arts Center for approximately 10 years through 2016.

Led by Mr. Houlihan, Houlihan Parnes, Realtors proudly celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2016.

Mr. Houlihan and his wife Pat currently reside in Bronxville, New York and Nantucket, Massachusetts.  They were jointly honored in 2015 by “The Holocaust and Human Rights Commission”  in Westchester County.  They have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren.


  • Houlihan was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas School Development Board in the South Bronx. He started and ran “An Irish Concert” in Riverdale annually (in the 1980’s & 1990’s) for 10 consecutive years on Sunday afternoons at Mt. Saint Vincent College in Riverdale, NY which netted $65,000 – $75,000 per year for the benefit of  St. Thomas Aquinas School.  The concerts featured such well-known acts as the Wolftones, Tommy Maken and Cherish the Ladies.

  • Irish Arts Center – Honoree 2001 and board member from 2006-2017. Made the initial $250,000 donation to start the capital campaign for a new Irish Arts Center,   successfully completed in 2018.  A total of $62,000,000 was raised.

Irish Repertory Theatre – provided free consultation to Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore at request of then, Irish Consul General, Tim O’Connor.  He was responsible for Francis Greenberger giving a lead $1,000,000 donation to the Irish Repertory Theatre that helped them acquire the space that they previously leased.

  • Made the lead seven figure donation for the construction of “Houlihan Field” at Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx used by Fordham University, Fordham Prep and local Bronx sandlot teams during the summer.

  • Retained to represent the Irish Consul General in New York on all real estate matters (2016 to present).

  • Organized and ran 10 group trips to Ireland, starting in 1994 for friends, family and business associates. This year’s trip is in June, 2019 will be the largest ever – 75 people.

  • He is a member of The Knights of St. Patrick.

  • He has been a member Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s of Westchester for 40 plus years.

  • He is on the Board of Directors for the Irish U.S. Council.

  • He has promoted Irish artists in home by hosting fundraisers for the Irish Arts Center and hosting dinners featuring notable Irish musicians such as Gregory Harrington and Ciaran Sheehan.

  • He has an art collection featuring a number of significant Irish artists including, Robert Ballagh, Eamon O’Doherty, etc…

  • Annually sponsors a company float in the White Plains St. Patrick Day Parade.

  • In addition, Mr. Houlihan is a piano player and music historian. He has a keen interest in various forms of Irish music. He is an avid reader of Irish history and literature.