Bernie Tomkies Receives Mickey Phillips REALTORS® for Children Award

Bernie Tomkies Receives Mickey Phillips REALTORS® for Children Award

Bernie Tomkies said it’s all about connections.

The Huntsville REALTOR® is noted for her work with local organizations connected with the Alabama Special Olympics and the Miracle League but gives all the credit to the people who do the daily work.

“Sometimes, a lot of these families don’t even know these programs exist,” she said. “So it’s about whether we can we 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 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.”

Tomkies 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 that led her to fall in love with the Rocket City and join Engel & Volkers as a real estate advisor. 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 said. “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 and 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.” 

Once her children had grown and gone off to college and her husband’s job led her to Huntsville, she wasn’t sure where the next step of her journey would lead.

“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. 

“It’s just finding all of these separate individuals who pour in (community work) daily,” she said, “and then trying to connect them together.”