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Date Archives: June 2019

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Awards | 2 Posts
New Agents | 49 Posts
News | 92 Posts
YCAR | 15 Posts

As a transplant from Zelienople, PA, Valerie Park was still getting to know the area when she decided to obtain her real estate license. She didn't know many people or neighborhoods. She relied on a GPS to get around. She never imagined making it through the recession, let alone expanding her business during one. "I certainly didn't expect to end up on a magazine cover but here I am. I built my business from the ground up, and I'm pretty proud of it!"

Since we took real estate classes together, over 14 years ago, Val (as most people to refer to her) and I have been best friends. Throughout Burgan Real Estate she is known as down-to-earth, helpful, and serious about her business. From the moment she obtained her license, she's been a consummate professional, hard-working, and 100% ethical. This side of her is balanced out by a self-deprecating sense of humor, that she uses as a cover for her incredible intelligence.

My favorite "Val story" – Val's son, Cody, was competing in a high school Academic Challenge Competition and my friend's son was the opposing team, so we both decided to go show our support. As the moderator began reciting a mathematical problem, contestants pulled out their pencils and started making calculations. As soon as the moderator finished speaking, Val whispered her answer to me. When the correct answer was given, I almost fell off my seat. Val was right! No pencil. No paper. No calculator. Everything was calculated in her head! I looked at her in amazement and she just shrugged it off like it was no big deal. That's Val.

Another attribute is her dedication to her goals, like sending her son to college. As income was always earmarked for his tuition, vacations were never an option. She also got involved in anything having to do with Cody's childhood, whether it was educational or extracurricular (including her involvement with the Boy Scouts, as treasurer for the past 11 years).

Cody is without a doubt his mother's greatest treasure, commenting, "She pushed me to have a high achieving attitude and to always have high expectations for myself. Then she coached me, in how to argue, to get my way!" Aside from their fondness for quirky humor, the two have a lot in common, starting with an overabundance of knowledge and extending into the same taste in head-banging music.

A dedication is as strong as his mother has seen him graduating as Salutatorian of his high school, attaining Eagle Scout level, and graduating from the College of Wooster, with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Geology, this May.

Valerie and her husband, Chuck, are 'car people'. The Park's collection includes a '78 Camaro, an AMC Javelin, amongst multiple other classics. Soon, Valerie will be handing the Camaro keys over to Cody, permanently, but on her terms, "Degree in hand = title in hand!"

At her brokerage, Val was long ago inducted as a Superior Agent and currently sits on the Burgan Leadership Board. As a long-time member of the Ohio President's Sales Club, Val has received numerous Awards of Distinction and Awards of Achievement. At present, her career volume stands at $58 million ($5.8 million in the last year alone). This is quite an accomplishment, considering she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, six years ago. Through this, her level of service and professionalism has never diminished. In fact, her sales have increased!

Always elusive and irreverent, when I asked how Val handled the work/life balance, she quipped, "I don't. The two have merged. There is no separation." When asked what her friends and family might say about her, she laughed and said, "I'd better not answer that one. It's probably not suitable for print!"

However, she obliged me and explained what she liked best about being a realtor. "Being a Realtor is an awesome job! I get to work with different people, every day and help them purchase their dreams. Their dreams take me all over the tri-county area and to homes in all price ranges. I am there to play matchmaker. They pick the home. I make it happen!"

Val is someone who demands a lot of herself, yet is rarely satisfied, so I was anxious to find out if she felt successful. Finally, a smile and a really good answer. "All these years, I have wanted to be able to pay for my son's college education. I was able to do it! That is a success. Yes, I feel successful."

Valerie is intelligent, quick-witted, and hard-working. She is a generous contributor, mega-star real estate agent, and mentor. For a girl that has basically been on her own, since she was 13 years old, I'd say that Val is not just a success, she is downright astonishing!


The City of Campbell invites the public to tour all current homes for sale on Sunday, June 23, 2019 from 12:00-3:00 p.m.  Professionals in all areas of the real estate industry will unite for one day and be available for any questions prospective buyers may have about buying a home in one of the most eclectic and historic communities on the East Side of Mahoning County.  

Professionals on hand will be:

Kathy Szmaj, Burgan Real Estate Ltd.
Shay Gonzalez, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Jennifer Dorbish and Ginny Rudolphie, RE/MAX Valley Real Estate

Mortgage Services
Lefty Hazimihalis and Kevin Dill, Creekside Mortgage

Home Inspectors
Linus Orr, KEL
Joe Veneroso, Joe Veneroso Safe Home Inspections

Originally incorporated as a village in 1908, as its population swelled with mostly young immigrants to work in the steel industry, the City of Campbell officially came to be in 1926 in recognition of James Anson Campbell.  While it is known for its friendly neighborhoods and eclectic heritage of cultures, Campbell is sometimes referred to as the "City of Churches" because of the wide variety of religious structures found throughout the community. 

In addition to the professionals who will be on hand to help new residents, a group of "Neighborhood Ambassadors" will also be present to answers questions about Campbell's schools, churches and other important topics in a real and authentic manner.   Ambassadors include City Law Director, Brian Macala, Michael Maillis, partner Attorney at Kistling, Nestico, and Reddick as well as educational, cultural, recreational and residential enthusiasts to help make it a great day for all who attend and a great place to call home.

For more information, please contact Maureen Farris at (330) 755-1451 ext 8.  For a complete list of Campbell open houses this Sunday, be sure to look at all of the homes that will be featured in the weekly Vindy Real Estate insert.


These past two years have gone better than any of us at Burgan Real Estate could've hoped.  We've shattered company records multiple times and have been the benefit of news coverage, marketing efforts, and partnerships that have helped us showcase how a locally owned business can out perform, outpace and outlast larger brands who try to be better than the people who know the area best.

We live here.  We work here.  We share memories and a bond with people in this area that more than just a zip code of where our office is located.  

There are many Burgan Real Estate companies in the Mahoning Valley who are locally owned, locally operated and locally-driven by generation upon generations of family members who deserve to have their name in the spotlight too.  We wanted to help them with this.  That's where Shop Local Mahoning Valley comes into play.

Started by Bill Rusu, Shop Local Mahoning Valley is an online, social series that uses video to highlight locally owned, locally operated businesses in the Mahoning Valley that offer something more to the residents of the area.  From donut boutiques and healthy food optionscomic books and kayaking adventurescoffee shops, and breweries, to antique shopping and the latest home decor, Shop Local puts the spotlight on the businesses who not only need to stand out but deserve to do so as well!

We saw this series and knew it was an opportunity to put our brand forward and help other brands, like ours, better.  For the past 3 months, our partnership with Shop Local Mahoning Valley has delivered hundreds of thousands of views for companies who didn't think exposure and coverage like this were possible.  For companies who offer something better to area residents than they ever knew existed. More importantly, for companies, like us, who live and proudly play in a community that is more than just a place for their office…it is home.

If you haven't seen Shop Local Mahoning Valley, we can fix that.  CLICK HERE to link to their Facebook page and see some of the latest episodes and previous ones that will not only help grow local businesses in the area but unlock new treasures and destinations for you to enjoy thanks to people who aren't just local business owners…they are your neighbors.  What could be better than that?


Mothers know best.  We may have been in business for 42 years, but even we still need our mom at Burgan Real Estate.  If we've learned anything over those 42 years is that if at first you don't succeed, trying doing it the way your mother told you to do it in the first place.  For James Marzo, our top performing Burgan Bunch agent by units sold in the Canfield office in 2018, this may be hitting too close to home, as we are happy to announce and welcome Carol Marzo, James's mother, as the newest member of our Burgan Bunch agents.

Carol is a native of the Mahoning Valley and a proud Penguin, having attended Youngstown State University.  Carol continued her education at Austintown Hair Academy where she found her first career as a hair stylist.  She was always a fan of fashion and crafts so doing "do's" was something she found a calling for in her professional life.  While she enjoyed her job over the years, Carol is the first one to tell you her real calling in life is being a wife to her husband, Jim, for 33 years and mother to James.  As she saw James prosper with Burgan Real Estate, she wondered if she could find a new opportunity that could combine her love of her family with her love of interacting with people.  She found it with Burgan Real Estate and recently obtained her REALTOR® license. 

Carol is big on traditions. Whether it is making new ones, like with her Daughter-in-Law, Angela, or keeping old ones alive with her family, Carol enjoys celebrations.  Which is a good thing, because we have some traditions of our own she is going to really enjoy.  We keep trying to tell her that just because she enjoys shopping, drinking wine and eating ice cream, does not make it a, "tradition."

The decision to start a new career with Burgan Real Estate was an easy one for Carol.  "I am at a place in my life where I wanted something more, something that would make me be better.  After seeing the success of my son, I knew that Burgan Real Estate was the perfect place for me to start my new career.  I am looking forward to a new and exciting part of my life with Burgan Real Estate," said Carol Marzo.

Life doesn't come with a manual…it comes with a mother.  And for all of us at Burgan Real Estate, including James, we are excited to have landed a new agent who will make us better with her presence, experience and love. Welcome to our family, Carol, and we look forward to being better together.


Burgan Real Estate has been, and always will be, a business rooted in a culture centered on family.  From it's second-generation owners, Patrick Burgan and Sue Filipovich, who took over the reigns of the operation from their fathers in 2017, to the Burgan Bunch agents who are as close to a family as possible, the way Burgan has become the fastest-growing real estate brand in the Mahoning Valley is through a lifelong commitment to one another. This culture and desire to be better, with the help of people you trust, is one of the many reasons residential REALTORS®, TC and Julie Bunevich, have decided to say, "I do," and join Burgan Real Estate as the newest additions to their growing Burgan Bunch agents.

Julie Bunevich is a native of Columbiana and studied at Youngstown State University.  Over her career, she excelled as a Landman in the oil and gas industry before deciding to refocus her talents to a new calling by becoming a successful residential real estate agent in the Mahoning Valley.  Her husband of seven years, TC Bunevich, is originally from North Royalton, OH.  Upon graduating from Kent State University, TC embarked on a career in commercial and industrial sales, totaling more than 30 years of hard work and dedication to his profession.  When TC and Julie saw an opportunity to be better for themselves, each other, their family and their community, they became residential REALTORS®, and now have almost a decade of combined realty sales experience.  

Like Burgan Real Estate, the Bunevich's feel an obligation and duty to make where they live and work better.  They are members of NAR, OAR, YCAR and Grace Church of Columbiana, and are great examples of what it means to be "Better Together."    As a team, they personally contribute to many worthwhile organizations in the area.  They enjoy traveling together and spending time with their family—five children and now their first grandchild.  

The decision to move to Burgan Real Estate was an easy one after the two of them got to know what the company is truly all about.  The focus on service to our clients and our community resonated with them.  As Julie said, "We're both proud to make the move to Burgan Real Estate – a brokerage whose support of our local market is on full display in everything they do.  We are excited to be a part of this organization and look forward to being "Better with Burgan," for our clients and for our community. 

Successful marriages happen because of the complementary styles two parties bring to each other.  We are excited to have found a perfect match in the Bunevich's and look forward to many years of success and happiness, as they become the newest members of the Burgan Bunch.  Welcome to our family, TC, and Julie, and we look forward to being better together. 

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