67, CEO, Allen Tate
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.S.
Being the nation’s 10th-biggest residential real-estate firm wasn’t enough for Riley, who formed a joint-venture of his 47-office business with Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the third-largest and leading home seller in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Size matters in capital and raising awareness, says Riley, who joined the business in 1992 and became CEO in 2015. He and the Tate family retain equity in the combined firm.
What is North Carolina’s key challenge?
Infrastructure, including transportation, sewer, water, air quality, school performance and open space. Growth is a beautiful thing but has to be tied tightly with proper planning and funding. Few generations can create something special. Most states and cities are rehabbing, rebuilding, and reinvesting. We just have to do it right from the start and learn from others’ mistakes so that future generations look back and say we had our act together.
Share an insight about your community.
Having served on many nonprofit boards, we are a caring people, and we are all-in for doing the right things for all people.
What has been your biggest surprise about the state since you moved here?
I grew up in Lancaster, Pa., and served and chaired the planning commission for many years. The push and pull between the Amish and tourism, business development and growth — all the while preserving the beauty — was a constant give-and-take and arm-wrestle. It was no different then than the competing issues we are facing here.
What was your proudest 2018 moment?
Working with [Raleigh-based nonprofit] Best NC to reform, step-by-step, some of the building blocks to move our public schools ahead. Two examples include promoting leadership development for principals and mentoring for teachers.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Giving back to the community is, and always will be, at the root of our legacy. We concentrate on public education, United Way agencies and the arts, because they ensure that home values appreciate and newcomers will continue to come.We make a difference in people’s lives with, in most cases, the biggest thing they possess: their home. It is a huge responsibility, and we’ve been involved in 22,000 transactions stretching from the Triangle down to Seneca, S.C. That’s my passion internally and externally: making a difference in the lives of our clients and team members.