2023 Business Icon: Kiemle Hagood’s Tom Quigley
Community-minded real estate leader stays dedicated to Spokane
Erica BullockMay 11th, 2023
Tom Quigley, 71, has lived in the Spokane area his entire life and has spent nearly 50 years working at Spokane-based commercial real estate brokerage Kiemle Hagood, where some who know him say his quiet and composed demeanor belies a truly dedicated community advocate.
Quigley says his parents and other mentors, such as the late Rich Hadley, Jerry Hagood, and Ed Kiemle, had ingrained in him a sense of duty to serve the community.
His father was the second-generation owner of Spokane Neon Sign Co., which was founded by Quigley’s grandfather in the 1930s. His mother was a homemaker during his childhood, and he followed her along as she volunteered at schools and libraries and helped voters at the polls during election season.
Quigley was born in North Spokane and later moved to Spokane Valley, where he grew up with two younger brothers and graduated from University High School.
He met his wife Kelly Quigley—who is a retired educator from Central Valley School District—while both were students at Washington State University. He graduated in 1975 and later that year joined Kiemle Hagood after turning down an opportunity to inherit and run his family’s longtime business, he says.
“(My father) ran a nice business and it was a business where I expected to go to work,” he says. “The plan was that I would take over the business at some point from my father—that his father had started—and that we would see what we could do with it.”
Ultimately, he says running the sign manufacturing company wasn’t the right fit, and at 23, he found himself unemployed and searching for work in the area.
“I was familiar with Ed Kiemle, who is the father of my wife Kelly … and had started Kiemle Hagood with Jerry Hagood in 1971,” says Quigley. “They were growing it slowly but surely through the community, and the more I learned about what they were up to and how they operated … the more excited I became. They offered me an opportunity to go to work … as a rookie commercial real estate sales guy.”
Five years later, in 1980, Quigley was promoted to brokerage manager, where he built a sales team that could weather the difficult economic conditions of the time.
“It was interesting to try and kick off that part of my career,” he recalls. “It was a period of extremely high interest rates and was very challenging to get transactions through.”
In 1987, Quigley became an equal partner with the founders and eventually bought out their interest in the company as they readied for retirement over the next decade.
He retired at the end of 2021 as co-owner and brokerage manager of commercial sales and leasing.
Despite his many work and family responsibilities, Quigley remained an advocate for the success and growth of Spokane through his community involvement.
Harry Sladich, co-founder and chief development officer at Spokane Valley-based security company GoJoe Patrol, says he was introduced to Quigley in 2005 and was immediately impressed and inspired by Quigley’s involvement in a multitude of causes and organizations.
Sladich says, “When you see someone as passionate about our community as he is, it’s inspiring. Then you look around and say, boy, what am I doing? I’d better step up and get involved too.”
Some of Quigley’s support for the community included serving as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest for 18 years, as well as serving on the boards of Empire Health Foundation, Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County.
Years before the creation of the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, which was established in 2015 in Spokane, he and Marty Dickinson, currently of STCU, worked together to support a pilot medical program for second-year medical students.
“Spokane significantly stepped up in the business community… and I’m very proud of being involved with that whole school of medicine,” he says.
He also helped to secure a few parcels of land for the campus that were contiguous, but under separate ownership from WSU at the time.
“Finishing the acquisition of the Spokane site that wasn’t part of the original railroad property that was conveyed was very interesting,” Quigley says. “And then working with Elson S. Floyd was an absolutely amazing experience.”
He was a founding board member of the Washington state Commercial Association of Realtors, where he was awarded Realtor of the Year twice—in 1994 and in 1998—and served as president of the organization in 1997.
Quigley also served as director and president of the Commercial Brokers Association, a Seattle-based commercial multiple listing organization.
He was a member of both the Spokane Area Economic Development Council and the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce before the two organizations merged to form Greater Spokane Incorporated. After the formation of GSI, he continued to serve in various capacities.
“I was fortunate to be involved in a number of things, and sometimes I guess I just always put my hand up whether I have the time to do it or not,” he says.
Quigley explains that he sometimes would try to make time for three different organizations or causes at once.
“My business or industry positions were very important … to the culture of our company,” he says, adding that potential new hires at Kiemle Hagood were all asked for their views of community service and volunteering. “It was important for them to understand how important it was to us.”
One of his two younger brothers, Jim Quigley, is now the managing broker at Kiemle Hagood after joining the company in 1991.
The brothers worked no more than six doors apart for about 30 years, he says.
One of the qualities Jim says he admires in his brother is that Tom is an expert collaborator who surrounds himself with specialists in areas he doesn’t have experience or knowledge of.
“Tom’s never tried to be the smartest in the room. He’s always wanted someone involved that maybe had better answers,” Jim says. “He’s able to take the opinions of many, extract and negotiate those opinions so they work together, and then come up with an overview that works for everyone.”
Tom advises upcoming business leaders: “Don’t be afraid to ask people, or hire people, or surround yourself with people who are better at what needs to be done.”
Tom served as president and CEO of Kiemle Hagood from 2001 to 2013, when he became chairman, and Larry Soehren was named president.
Although most of his life has been dedicated to living and working and improving the Spokane community, in retirement, he says he’s looking forward to traveling more often with his wife and family.
“I’ve become a consummate traveler,” he says. “I’ve been to 40 countries, and Kelly and I are getting ready to go back to Europe again this fall.”
Tom and Kelly Quigley have been together for 52 years and married for 46. The couple have two children and three grandchildren.
Tom says his success is a result of the support of his peers, mentors, and family.
Jim says, “Tom is very much a Spokane success story. He could have been a success anywhere, but he chose to stay, and I think Spokane is better for it, and there’s a lot of people better for it.”
Adds Tom, “Spokane is just a good place to come home to. I appreciate the honor of the Icon award. It’s a pretty substantial thing for a guy who grew up in the Valley not really knowing exactly where he was headed.”