Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices named “Startup of the Year” in a category considering all of U.S. Industry

IRVINE, Calif., Jun 19, 2014 — Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC real estate brokerage family, today announced it was recognized with a Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category of the 12th annual American Business Awards presented June 13 in Chicago.

American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The awards drew more than 3,300 nominations in a wide range of categories; 240 executives worldwide participated in the judging. Startup of the Year category judging considered entrants from across U.S. industries.

“We are pleased and honored to accept the Gold Stevie Award in the Startup of the Year category,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices President Stephen Phillips, who attended the ceremonies at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. “Our real estate brokerage network has come a long way in a short period of time.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has grown exponentially since it transitioned its first affiliates in September 2013. As of mid-June, the network counted more than 29,000 agents and 850 offices operating in 42 states. “Our network carries the name of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporations,” said Phillips. “When you have a really great brand, strong and passionate affiliates and a lot of hard-working people on your team, wonderful things can happen.”
This is the network’s second award in 2014. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in March was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” by consumers in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

“It’s an honor for us to recognize and celebrate such an outstanding class of organizations and individuals,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “The judges were especially discerning this year. Winners should be proud that the judges recognized their achievements and their ability to express those achievements in a way that captured the judges’ hearts and imaginations.”

Details about The American Business Awards and the lists of Stevie winners announced are available at

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices received the highest numerical Equity Score among real estate brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. Visit for details.

HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces New CEO and COO for Intero Real Estate Services

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (June 9, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate today announced a number of executive leadership changes within Intero Real Estate Services that will further advance the company’s growth strategies. Effective immediately, Tom Tognoli assumes the role of president and chief executive officer where he will provide strategic and operational oversight for Intero Real Estate Services and the Intero franchise network. Tognoli replaces Gino Blefari, who has assumed the role of senior vice president of HSF Affiliates, the franchise arm within the HomeServices of America enterprise. John Thompson will become chief operating officer and continue to be an integral part of Intero’s executive leadership team by overseeing Intero’s daily operations. Robert Moles will continue in his role as the Intero Real Estate Services chairman.

Tognoli, who founded Intero Real Estate Services in 2002 along with Blefari, and Thompson, is a result driven leader with 25 years of real estate industry experience. Tognoli began his career as an agent in 1989 and held numerous leadership positions within Century 21 and Coldwell Banker and upon inception of Intero became its chief operating officer.

With more than 25 years of experience in real estate brokerage sales and executive management at Coldwell Banker and Century 21 and as executive vice president of Intero for the past decade, Thompson, brings extensive business development skills, industry knowledge and exceptional leadership qualities to his new role as Intero’s chief operating officer.

“Both Tom and John have proven themselves to be dedicated and accomplished leaders with a firm grasp of the real estate industry and the experience, creativity and drive to bring Intero to new levels of success.” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “We look forward to their joining the HomeServices executive leadership team and working with them in the months and years to come.”

“This is a great honor and a great opportunity,” stated Tognoli. “Intero has a very bright future, and I look forward to working alongside John, Bob and our talented sales leadership team as we steer Intero to continued growth and success.”

“I am extremely confident about our future, as we are constantly investing in new ways to both enhance the client experience and attract new consumers,” said Thompson. “Being part of HomeServices of America provides us with access to resources as we further expand our ability to serve the real estate needs of our new and existing customers.”

“Tom and John are renowned for their ability to attract and retain seasoned professionals, capacity for identifying emerging leaders, and talent for helping new agents unlock their potential,” said Moles. “And together with John and Tom, we will continue to embrace the people and communities we serve as we strengthen what we’ve built over the last 11 years.”

HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces Leadership Changes


Minneapolis, Minn. (June 9, 2014) – HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate today announced that Gino Blefari, founder, president and chief executive officer of Intero Real Estate Services has been named senior vice president of HSF Affiliates, effective immediately and on January 1, 2015 will assume the role of chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates. Earl Lee will continue as chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates for the remainder of the year and effective January 1, 2015 will assume a senior advisory role for HSF’s domestic and global expansion strategies. Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer of HSF Affiliates and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Bob McAdams, president of Real Living Real Estate will continue in their roles without change or interruption.

HSF Affiliates was formed in 2012 and operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Residential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. As of April 30, 2014 the combined networks include nearly 500 Franchisees/Affiliates and nearly 45,000 agents in more than 1,600 offices nationwide.

Blefari began his real estate career more than 25 years ago and has held executive leadership positions at Century 21 and NRT prior to founding Intero Real Estate Services in 2002. Under Blefari’s leadership Intero has experienced rapid year-over-year growth and is one of Silicon Valley’s largest and fastest growing residential real estate brokerage firms. HomeServices acquired Intero Real Estate Services in May 2014.

Earl has been instrumental in developing and executing the initial business growth strategies of HSF,” said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices. “Gino is renowned for his vision, leadership skills and real estate experience and will be a tremendous addition to the superb senior leadership team already in place at HSF.”

“I am extremely proud of everyone at HSF and what we have accomplished,” said Lee. “Leading a team of talented employees while playing an integral role in generating visibility and momentum for the organization and its brands, have been the highlights of my career. Gino brings extensive industry knowledge and exceptional leadership qualities to the organization and coupled with our franchise/affiliate companies and their extraordinary agents, HSF is poised for continued growth and success.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the HSF Affiliates team during this pivotal and exciting time,” said Blefari. “Earl has inspired a team of immensely talented executives and employees and I look forward to working with him and the HSF team as we lead HSF to its next stage of growth and performance.

“Gino brings a wealth of experience and industry relationships to HSF Affiliates and the HomeServices executive team. We look forward to working with him in the months and years to come,” concluded Peltier.