Spending time with Tommy Howard is like discovering a long-lost friend. Effortless. Comfortable. Relaxed. It’s easy to imagine laughing together while enjoying dinner or sharing tales from your past.
It’s also easy to see that how Howard lives his life every day impacts his fundamental business philosophies: Help others, work hard, and be nice.
“I want to be someone people trust and want to be around. What you see with me is what you get—someone who is approachable, easy going and helpful,” Howard says.
His supportive nature, coupled with an interest in sports, steered Howard toward a career in personal training; however, a college skiing accident that shattered his leg, followed by a summer internship during the 1996 Olympics, reshaped his professional course.
“Frank Norton hired me to set up rental homes for clients visiting northeast Georgia during the summer Olympics,” Howard says. “At the end of summer, he offered me a position in operations, and I accepted, thinking I would only stay a few years.” Now, 17 years later, Howard serves the agency as the President of the North Atlanta and Lakes Division.
Bolstered by his work ethic and personable manner, Howard worked his way from the bottom up at The Norton Agency. With Norton as his mentor, he learned the details of the agency first-hand—from negotiating a contract to manning the phones. He admits there was a learning curve—which wasn’t always comfortable—but the challenge motivated him.
“Many people would take the easy, comfortable path—and I certainly could have chosen a much different direction with my career—but, at the end of the day, it’s important to me to be surrounded by good people and enjoy what I do each and every day,” Howard says.
Howard admits his greatest comfort level comes from supporting those around him. His attentive, empathetic nature reveals an aptitude for being able to truly listen and wisdom beyond his years, key traits for making sound decisions and solving problems.
“I am a ‘fixer’—I gain the most satisfaction helping others, whether it’s an agent coming to me with a challenging problem or a friend asking my advice on a personal matter,” Howard adds.
His servant heart also shows in Howard’s passion for community service. He has served on numerous local boards, but admits he’s most excited and engaged with “hands-on” experiences such as teaching money management classes to Junior Achievement students. This “personal touch” is championed by Howard throughout The Norton Agency and has become a defining factor in how the company’s agents go about their business.
“We don’t sell houses—we sell homes—and, as a result, we understand the process is intensely personal and often emotional,” he says. “We want to be your partner in helping you achieve your dream and creating a future for you and your family.”
When asked what he sees in his future, Howard’s answer, once again, shines with his inherent optimism.
“Where others see ‘doom and gloom,’ I see opportunity. I want to be constantly growing, encouraging, and sharing experiences with those around me. The greatest moment in my life is tomorrow.”
Professional Accomplishments & Community Service
- Relocation of the Atlanta Falcons Football Club Facility to Flowery Branch, Georgia
- Co-Broker of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s South Hall County Campus
- Acquisition of School Sites and Consultant for Hall County School Systems
- Previous Board Member for Gainesville Jaycees and United Way of Hall County
- Current Board Member for Junior Achievement and Hall County Board of Realtors
- Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Silver Shovel Award Winner
- Leadership Georgia Class of 2009