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'If you have a vision, you can achieve it in this city'

Get to Know… Tim Nela

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Tim Nela
Tim Nela.

Are you originally from the Rochester area? If not, what led you here?
I am originally from South Sudan. I was born in South Sudan, and due to war in my country we moved to the States. We lived in both North and South Dakota originally, but ended up in Rochester in 1998, and I have been here ever since. We had family in Rochester, and that ultimately was the reason why we decided to move here.

What do you like best about Rochester?
I like the opportunity in Rochester. I truly feel that nothing is unattainable, and I like seeing that if you have a vision you can achieve it in this city.

What changes do you think still need to be made?
I think there’s room for a lot of changes, but I also understand it takes time. I’m a new father to a soon-to-be 8-month-old baby boy, and I feel there should be more things for families to do. In regards to changes, just having more things like SPARK available in our city would be a start.

What do you do for a living? Why did you choose that for your career?
I am a realtor at RE/MAX Results with the Compass Real Estate Group here in town. I was in the auto industry for the last eight years, and just recently became a realtor. I chose this for a career because growing up my parents had made so many sacrifices to always make sure we had a roof over our heads. If it wasn’t for the war in my homeland I would most likely still be in South Sudan, but with my parents being first-generation immigrants and watching them do whatever it took to provide for myself and my five siblings I always knew I wanted a career that would help families. Being a realtor really allows me to assist all types of families not only find their dream home, but find them a home that allows them to create everlasting memories. My wife and I are first-home buyers as of last summer, and we were blessed to start a family around the same time, so seeing our son being raised in a home and creating these memories is something I would like everyone to experience. This career allows me to be apart of something special for families, and that’s what I love the most about what I do.

What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue the same career?
My advice is to be consistent. This career is tricky because you don’t have anyone telling you what to do or when to do it, but you have to tell yourself that daily. Being consistent to me doesn’t mean neglecting other things in your life, but it does mean whether it’s an hour or six hours a day you just need to devote some time to your craft daily. Embrace being a student, and always look for ways to grow and learn. Being consistent will allow you to do that.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and what has been your greatest challenge you've had to overcome?
My greatest accomplishment is being a father. I truly mean that because once I became a father, so much changed. I’ve been told by so many that it will happen, but nothing compares to when it actually happens to you. Knowing that someone is always depending on you, and that you can’t let
them down was what solidified it for me. My greatest challenge that I’ve had to overcome is asking for help. My wife has changed my life so much, and I am so blessed that she is my wife and the mother to our child. I’ve always been self dependent, so asking her for help is still something that is challenging to me, but I’ve gotten much better at it.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?
One thing most people don’t know about me is that I am an introvert. It’s going to shock many people who know me, but I truly enjoy being alone, and I am always in deep thought about how to perform better in all aspects of life. I do enjoy being in public settings, and when I’m around a big group of people I understand that I need to be engaged, but once I’m home I really just enjoy spending time with my Nela gang.

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Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at . If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at

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