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Bernie Tomkies: Showcasing Leadership Excellence as a North Alabama Realtor

North Alabama has been a hotspot of change and growth in the past year, attracting new home buyers with its economic opportunities, high quality education, and scenic beauty. With that growth, home buyers rely on knowledgeable, community-driven REALTORS® to make the most informed decisions.

Bernie Tomkies represents the best of North Alabama REALTORS with her passion for people and her dedication to the North Alabama community. The Huntsville REALTOR® is noted for her work with local organizations connected with the Alabama Special Olympics and the Miracle League, but gives credit to those who do the daily work.

“Sometimes, a lot of these families don’t even know these programs exist,” she explains. “So it’s about whether we can take them a step further to help them grow their programs. It’s really one good deed fuels another. It’s not really me, it’s people like (Next Step Farms founder and CEO) Robin Kramer and these coaches who go out there every single day and create these programs for the kids. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.”

Tomkies is originally a Texas native; she moved from the Houston suburb of Clear Lake to Huntsville nearly six years ago, getting her real estate license and embarking on a new career. Over the years, the move has led her to fall in love with the Rocket City and eventually join Engel & Volkers as a real estate advisor. 

The move came at a new stage in her life, as she had recently sent her children to college and questioned what life in Huntsville would look like. “You wake up one day and you’re like, ‘Now what?’” she said. 

Her work in community relations with Engel & Volkers answered that question, as she found herself immersed in rewarding work with community projects oriented toward special needs children.  After some time working under Tonya Thomas, she added the title “Vice President of Community Relations” for Engel & Volkers. 

“I’ve discovered Huntsville is a large city for Alabama, but it feels much smaller coming from Houston,” she says. “It’s just getting to know a lot of people. Thomas is very much community oriented and has been in the real estate business for quite some time. Engel & Volkers is a huge supporter of the Special Olympics, so it kind of started with, ‘Can you be our liaison?’ In doing that, you discover a lot of other non-profits.” 

At the start of the year, Tomkies was selected for the 2023 Mickey Phillips REALTORS® for Children Award, which was created to recognize the efforts of a member who has devoted time and resources to unselfishly invest in children through projects or programs focusing on the needs of children.

“It was humbling to even be nominated,” Tomkies said. “And it’s an honor to receive it. I think it’s very thoughtful that people were willing to even nominate me.”

Her passion for community habitually informs her work as she strives to serve her community well; forming these connections is imperative to a thriving community, like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. “It’s just finding all of these separate individuals who pour in community work daily,” she says, “and then trying to connect them together.”

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