Each year, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) honors a member that most personifies the REALTOR® in spirit and ethics, through service to his or her profession, peers and the REALTOR® association. For demonstrating a long and inspired commitment to HAR, its members and the real estate industry as a whole, Thomas (Tom) Gallagher has been posthumously selected as 2022 REALTOR® of the Year. Tom passed away unexpectedly on May 17, 2022 at the age of 67.

After two decades in the corporate world, Tom became a Houston REALTOR® and devoted 22 years to the real estate industry. He served in a variety of leadership roles at HAR, including HAR Global Advisory Group member, HAR Technology Advisory Group member, HAR Professional Development Advisory Group member, HAR REALTOR® Expo Advisory Group member, HAR Big E Advisory Group member, HAR Lake Houston Area Networking Group Chair and TREPAC trustee.

Tom was active beyond HAR, as WCR Lake Houston Chapter President and Texas REALTORS® director. His contribution to the real estate industry was highlighted as the recipient of the WCR Lake Houston Chapter REALTOR® of the Year, WCR Lake Houston Chapter Community Leader of the Year, and WCR Texas State Chapter Member of the Year.

Tom was a graduate of the prestigious Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program (TRLP). He was inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame in 2022 after many years as a major investor. He was an exemplary REALTOR® and an amazing and giving person.

Tom filed to run for the 2023 HAR Board of Directors one day before his untimely passing. He was the loving husband of Beverly J. Gallagher, with whom he shared 43 wonderful years. We asked Beverly for her thoughts on what this honor would have meant to Tom.

“Tom would have been humbled that HAR thought that much of him,” said Beverly. “He would have been at a loss for words, and if anyone that knew Tom, he was never at a loss for words.”

Asked about aspects of the business that meant the most to Tom, Beverly explained: “Tom enjoyed helping his clients find the right house for them. He was a great negotiator. I believe he enjoyed working for TREPAC the most, the political aspect of real estate. He really enjoyed talking with the politicians that worked with the real estate industry. Tom worked on several HAR committees. During Covid, I remember seeing him on two teleconferencing meetings at the same time. Tom enjoyed mentoring the new REALTORS® that had become members of HAR. He felt that the REALTORS® that were part of HAR were the cream of the crop.”

“Tom was a man with a heart of gold,” said 2023 HAR Chair Cathy Treviño. “Everything Tom did was done with love and passion. He enjoyed giving his time and energy to the real estate community at every level. From local, state, national and throughout our communities and always served with a smile on his face. He was the best example of the title REALTOR® and, therefore, I am honored to celebrate Tom’s legacy with the distinguished award of 2022 REALTOR® of the Year.”