Tom Heffner is one of those lucky people who came to Chapel Hill to attend UNC and never left. His first job was working at the Morehead Foundation and Planetarium. While there he developed an internship in Planetarium Administration and Management, gave public and student programs, and helped (in a very small way) with astronaut training in celestial recognition.
In 1974 he started his own real estate brokerage firm with one sales associate. That firm later grew to be one of Chapel Hill’s largest real estate firms. After selling the firm to his partner, Tom concentrated on real estate appraisal and consulting. This company ultimately focused on residential real estate development and Tom and his firm, Heffner Properties, Inc., is regarded as Chapel Hill’s premier developer of estate lot conservation neighborhoods. His communities include Creek Wood, North Field at Creek Wood, Woodkirk, Westhampton, Annandale at Creek Wood, and his most recent neighborhood, Henderson Woods. He continues to serve as president of his real estate development company.
Throughout his real estate career, Tom and his wife Kathie have been active in community and real estate activities. He was President of the Chapel Hill Board of Realtors in 1977 and he has been recognized as Chapel Hill’s Realtor of the Year. At the state level, Tom served as an instructor and dean in North Carolina’s Realtors Institute and President of the North Carolina Real Estate Educational Foundation. He was President of the North Carolina Association of Realtors in 1987 and was North Carolina’s Realtor of the Year in 1986. He has been inducted into the North Carolina Realtor Hall of Fame.
In his community, he has served as a Director of the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Orange County Heart Fund, and Orange County Boy Scout Chairman. Tom has also served as a member of Chapel Hill’s Historic District Commission, Chair of the Chapel Hill Housing Authority, the Orange County Board of Equalization and Review, and the Orange County ABC Board. He and his wife have been co-presidents of the Chapel Hill Preservation Society and he currently serves as President of Preservation Chapel Hill. He has also served as a lecturer in real estate at the Kenan Flagler School of Business Administration.
Tom and Kathie have two adult children and two granddaughters.