Having celebrated her 77th birthday, and 57th wedding anniversary in 2014, Mo Anderson is the heart and truly beloved leader of Keller Williams Realty. Strong, principled and compassionate, Mo’s personal integrity and unending drive are touchstones that have made Keller Williams Realty one of the most successful franchises in real estate history.
Mo joined Keller Williams Realty as president and chief executive officer in 1995, and shepherded the company from 35 market centers to more than 530 within 10 years. Known at times as the “Velvet Hammer” for her uncompromising approach, Mo’s astute business acumen and leadership abilities are uniquely matched by her faith and compassion. She has continuously cultivated the firm’s value system, inspiring tens of thousands of associates throughout North America to maintain high standards of character within both their personal and professional lives.
Originally an elementary school music teacher, Mo’s first love was the piano. She taught music for 14 years before entering the real estate field, where her talents as a business women quickly took hold. Partnered with Jerry Brown and Ruth Honeycutt, she established her first real estate office, a Century 21 franchise, in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1975; soon after, it was the third top-producing office out of 7,500 Century 21 locations in North America. In 1986, the company was sold to Merrill Lynch Realty, where she served as a district Vice President until December 1989.
She was appointed to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission in 1986, and eventually served two terms as Chairman of the Commission.
Mo’s standing in the real estate community did not insulate her from the fallout of the collapse of the oil business in Oklahoma in the late 1980’s. In response to the resulting financial challenges, she formed ProDevelopment™ Systems in 1990 – a training and consulting company that served clients in Oklahoma and Texas.
It was during this period, in 1991, that Mo met Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, which developed into the biggest opportunity of her life. After meeting Gary for the first time, she became absolutely convinced of the powerful potential for Keller Williams Realty. Mo persuaded Gary to expand his profit share concept outside the Texas borders, and in 1992 she became the regional director for Oklahoma and the co-owner of two Keller Williams market centers in Oklahoma.
Two years later, when Gary launched a search for a new top executive to take Keller Williams Realty to the next level, he quickly realized that he had already met the best person for that role. In January 1995, Mo Anderson agreed to become president, chief executive officer, and partner of Keller Williams Realty, and Gary stepped up to the position of chairman of the board. Mo served in both roles until 2002, when Mark Willis was appointed president. In 2005, she assumed her current role as vice chairman of the board.
Focused on the future, Mo intends to spend her time solidifying Keller Williams’ culture. In this capacity, she hosts two critical events every year – the Inspirational Breakfast at Keller Williams Realty’s Family Reunion, a celebration of Keller Williams’ culture and commitment to community service, and the annual Culture Summit, which is dedicated to recognizing individuals who carry the torch of the company’s culture.
Mo’s career path has come full circle, as she has returned to her role as an educator. She spends a significant amount of her time traveling to the Keller Williams regions, bringing culture and training directly to the market centers. When she is not teaching in the field, Mo is in Austin as a featured speaker and educator at Keller Williams’ training events.
Mo’s respect and renown as a business leader has reached far beyond the real estate business. In 2007, she addressed MBA students at the Yale School of Management twice – first as a guest speaker in for the second annual Yale MBA Christian Conference, entitled: MBAs, Money & Meaning? Finding Purpose and Value in Your Work, and second during a presentation of the Keller Williams Realty Case Study written by the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Later in 2007, Mo participated in the Executive Seminar Series at St. Edwards University School of Management and Business in Austin, Texas.
In March 2008, 2009 and 2010, Mo was invited to return to the Yale School of Management for additional presentations of the Keller Williams Case Study.
In 2010, Mo was a contributing author to Our Souls at Work: How Great Leaders Live Their Faith in the Global Marketplace, edited by Mark L. Russell, published by Russell Media.
Mo has been the recipient of untold honors and accolades. She is a recipient of the Profiles in Power award by the Austin Business Journal, and was one of ten women profiled in Body and Soul (Hill Publishing). In December 2006, Mo was named one of America’s Top 25 Influential Thought Leaders by REALTOR magazine. In January 2007, the Women’s Council of REALTORS featured Mo as one of Real Estate’s Most Influential People in an article published in Connections. In 2008, Mo was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Leaders by the CRB Council and featured in the Swanepoel Trends Report as one of the “most influential women who have shattered the real estate management glass ceiling.”
In December 2010, Mo was named Woman of the Year by the Edmond, OK, Chamber of Commerce.
And, most recently, she has been selected to be the 2011 Pioneer Woman of the Year by the Pioneer Woman Museum Advisory Board of Ponca City, OK, for making a tangible difference in her community and society as a whole. In 2012, Mo was honored by an invitation to serve as a Regent on the Board of Regents for the University of Arts and Science of Oklahoma. And, in 2013, Mo was honored by the Edmond, Oklahoma Historical Society with the "Roll of Honor" Award, which recognizes individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the Edmond community through volunteer or supportive endeavors that provide lasting benefits. Recently, she was inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame during a ceremony in 2014.
A tireless supporter of community causes, Mo Anderson has been named twice as Oklahoma’s Women in Business Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She serves, or has served, on the boards of Edmond Memorial Hospital, the Francis Tuttle Vo-Tech Foundation, the Daily Living Center, and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Mo’s passion for helping others is seen in her contributions to two non-profit organizations, which she founded. The Gregg Foundation, a tribute to her loving parents, is committed to service to the elderly, and KW Cares, Inc., a 501(c)3, corporation, founded in 2002, which serves the emergency needs of Keller Williams associates and select global philanthropies. Following the 2005 Katrina disaster on the Gulf Coast, KW Cares raised $5.3 million under Mo’s leadership, to support rescue and recovery efforts of Keller Williams associates in affected region.
At 77 years young, Mo Anderson continues as the beloved, shining star of Keller Williams Realty, leading and continuing to create the company’s culture for a new era.