The Story of Rialto Academy
Rialto Academy was born out of the dynamic working relationship between Jonathan Moerbe and Les McGehee. These two authors and business experts met when they joined Keller Williams University (KWU) at the same time in 2012. The paths that led them to KWU, the training hub of the largest real estate company in the world, were wildly different.
Jonathan Moerbe, CEO
While completing his MBA at Texas A&M University, Jonathan learned directly about the power of entrepreneurship through the lens of people who might seem an unlikely fit in a boardroom: inmates. He coached and consulted prison inmates on their entrepreneurial ideas, teaching them self-reliance and hope through business plans and mock interviews. This passion for entrepreneurship and the effects it can have led him to UT-Austin, where he earned a master’s degree in organizational behavior–the study of how being in an organization affects productivity and satisfaction. When he finished this degree, he was recruited by KWU to be a lead writer of leadership courses.
Les McGehee, President
Meanwhile, Les had a thriving career in the entertainment business. A working comedian and comedy business owner, Les had already performed thousands of shows across the world, as well as developed television shows in Los Angeles, where he built deals with ABC, NBC, and major producers. After winning the National Championship of Improvised Comedy and launching several successful businesses, Les was commissioned to lead a three-year Improv for Business program at the UT McCombs School of Business. That led to a book deal and more than 1,000 appearances at universities and companies. After presenting to the Master Faculty of Keller Williams at their annual convention, Les was asked to join KWU to write foundational courses.
At KWU, Jonathan and Les began collaborating immediately, and together wrote much of its content as KW began setting business records. Right away the two lead writers began innovating KW’s foundational courses, aligning them for increased results, and driving the training of the agents in the field and leadership. During their tenure at the company, KW became the No. 1 real estate company in the world, then No. 1 in agent recruitment, then No. 1 in production. Along the way, Jonathan’s and Les’ team at KWU won No. 1 Training Company in the World among all industries—not once, but twice. That team was entered into the Training Hall of Fame in 2017 (Training Magazine).
Rialto Academy and the Core Coaching Program
While at KWU, the two also began training coaches and writing coaching materials. Jonathan created the famous Expansion Systems Orientation, which teaches successful agents how to consistently and predictably grow teams by expanding into additional offices using proven models and systems. At the same time, Les created The ONE Thing trainer certification, which trained 100 of the world’s top coaches. Jonathan and Les fell in love with coaching because they saw firsthand what effective coach and client relationships could accomplish.
They began improving coach training and content until ultimately, Rialto Academy was born.