College of Business

President, Founder, and CEO of Intero Real Estate Tom Tognoli Selected as 2018 Distinguished Alumnus


Tom Tognoli (BS, Business Administration, '88) hiking in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Photo courtesy of Tom Tognoli.

Every year the College of Business selects one alumnus to celebrate for their professional accomplishments. They embody the spirit of inspired leadership and sustained motivation. Their stories inspire our students and their peers and give us reason to celebrate. Join us in honoring this year’s College of Business Distinguished Alumni award winner.

2018 | Tom Tognoli

Tom Tognoli volunteering with disabled children in Peru.

Tom Tognoli volunteering with disabled children in Peru. Photo courtesy of Tom Tognoli.

Tom Tognoli (BS, Business Administration, '88) is recognized as one of the 100 most powerful people in real estate by the Swanepoel POWER 200, and is a driver and leader in the real estate industry. 

Tom is a man passionate about having a positive impact on the lives of everyone he comes in contact with. He is a Bay Area native, family man, business leader, and fitness buff. Anyone who has met Tom would say he is one of the most motivating, inspiring, and passionate people they have ever met. Tom is backed by over 25 years of real estate experience, from being a top producing agent to being one of the founding partners and leaders of Intero. He is an advocate of personal and professional growth and development, and he inspires everyone at Intero by example. This leadership style has become a defining characteristic of the Intero culture and continues to drive Intero’s reputation as one of the premier real estate companies in the nation. 

Tom pinpoints Intero’s culture of innovation, education and the Intero Foundation as the main factors that set Intero apart from the pack. Tom is convinced that Intero's progressive initiatives will continue to attract and create top producing real estate agents for years to come. 

Along with many Intero agents, employees, and leaders, Tom is a proponent for overall healthy living. Before most even wake up for the workday, Tom is busy challenging his mind and body while encouraging the Intero team to do the same. He has also been instrumental in establishing relationships with wellness and fitness companies to improve the overall health of the Intero team. 

As the author of Intero’s wildly popular Monday Morning Mojo blog followed by tens of thousands of readers around the world, Tom has the opportunity each week to explore and share principles of success, happiness, discipline, and more. His enthusiasm in creating an atmosphere centered on Intero's core values is evident by his ongoing commitment to innovation and personal growth. Tom believes that once you get your F5 (Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness & Finance) in alignment, everything else falls into place. When he is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, whether it’s a weekend hike with his wife Lynn, playing baseball with son Nick, or riding mountain bikes with son Tommy.

Tom sat down for an interview with Chico State in January 2018. Here is what he had to say:

What career advice do you have for young alums? What do you wish you had known?

Success is a team sport. You can never underestimate the value of the people you surround yourself with. You can't be successful, in my opinion, all by yourself. It requires other people to rally around you and be a support structure through every stage of life, from high school, to college, to professionally. That is number one. 

More tactical kinds of things, you constantly need to be giving yourself a check-up from the neck up, filling your head with positive, inspiring things to help keep you positive and focused through all the ups and downs of being successful and not successful along the way.

What do you value most in life?

My faith and my family. At the end of the day, they are my biggest cheerleaders, and it's why I do what I do. When you talk about faith, I look at Intero and just the opportunity that I have to make an impact. I look at everything I do as my ministry. It's my opportunity to help guide people and make a difference.

Family is obvious, I married my high school sweetheart and have two amazing kids. At this point in my life, I get up every single day to do things not for me, but for my family. 

What is your greatest accomplishment or wildest ambition?

My greatest accomplishment: Getting my degree from Chico State. It only took 35 years. On a professional level, building Intero from scratch and building it from Berkshire Hathaway. On a more personal level it would be marrying my wife, being married for over 25 years and having two amazing kids. My bucket list is to continue to try to have a positive impact on other people and help them accomplish what's important in their lives, and be positive.

Kelsey Horne
College of Business
California State University, Chico

Glenn Hall

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