Business Developer Andrea Tobias reflects on her professional inspirations as she prepares to lead CoreNet Global Northern California as President.
Andrea Tobias is natural connector who loves bringing people together. She has plenty of opportunities to do just that in her role at HGA. As Associate Vice President, Tobias oversees client relationship management and business development strategies. “I love connecting people who have the experience, education and skills to advance industry knowledge and enrich our world,” she said. “Bringing value to one another is what truly makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.”
One of her most exciting endeavors of late is developing a mentorship program within the San Francisco and San Jose offices of HGA called 41st Hour. Tobias and her team plan quarterly events designed to provide rich learning experiences in an informal setting for young or early-in-career architects. They delve into topics related to career development, business development, and industry education with programs centered around personal branding, presentation skills training, and DiSC personality profiles. “I especially enjoy bringing in guest speakers such as clients, brokers and project managers for roundtable discussions,” she said. “Our staff can ask questions and engage in a conversation in an unintimidating environment.”
Tobias, who will become CoreNet Northern California Chapter President in April, began her CoreNet journey in 2007 as part of the chapter’s inaugural Young Leaders Group (YLG). Notably, she is the first member of the YLG to become President. After broadening her involvement by attending more chapter meetings and special events, she volunteered to serve on the Communications Committee. Shortly thereafter, chapter leaders recognized her creativity and dedication and asked her to Co-Chair the Sponsorship Committee. “I was so honored to be asked and the experience ended up being a game changer,” she said. “My network expanded exponentially and I also developed leadership skills, learned to think strategically and built my corporate real estate knowledge base.” In 2017, Tobias was asked to join the Chapter Board and take on the role of Secretary which ultimately lead to her being elevated to President-Elect in 2019.
Passionate about inclusion and diversity especially as it relates to our industry, Tobias is proud to be part of a chapter with both woven into the fabric of its culture. “Our chapter serves a diverse membership, and it’s wonderful to see more awareness in this direction, from the make-up of the Board and Leadership, to our monthly program speakers, and our annual CRE award recipients,” she said. “However, there’s still more for us to do to ensure the full spectrum of our members are represented across all facets of the chapter.”
What Tobias values most about CoreNet is the abundance of resources and continued education opportunities made available to its members as well as the high quality content and research published by CoreNet Global. However, she pointed out that networking has been by far the most rewarding part of her involvement. “Our members are friendly, welcoming and show up to add value as opposed to sell. I have made life-long relationships over the years,” she said. “Some of my greatest friends, mentors, mentees, and partnerships are a direct result my involvement in CoreNet.”
In terms of advice for young professionals, Tobias encourages them to act with integrity. That means being professional and responsive, never burn bridges and follow through on all commitments. Of course, she also recommends getting engaged in CoreNet! “Volunteering on a committee is the best way to expand your network or at least attend chapter programs and events,” she said. “CoreNet promises high value to its members and we infuse fun into everything we do!”
On the personal front, Andrea was born in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and grew up in Orange County, California, where she spent most of her free time at the beach. “I take great pride in being a Californian; however, I will always be a Southern Girl at heart,” she said. Tobias came to the Bay Area to attend the University of San Francisco and fell in love with the city. She now enjoys a DINKS lifestyle (duel income no kids) on the Peninsula with her husband, Thomas, who she met 23 years ago while in college. “I love our ability to go where we want, when we want and to have that freedom and flexibility,” she said. “I get my kid fix through my niece and nephew who consider me the cool Aunt.”
This profile originally was posted in the CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter Newsletter.