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GBC Chair Mark Wong and YPN Chair Ryan Nunnally with panelists (left to right) Carol MacCorkle, Omar Kinaan, Michael Repka and Kim Connor.

GBC Chair Mark Wong and YPN Chair Ryan Nunnally with panelists (left to right) Carol MacCorkle, Omar Kinaan, Michael Repka and Kim Connor.

The room at the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® was filled to capacity with members attending the Lunar New Year Celebration hosted by the Silicon Valley Young Professionals Network (YPN) and the Global Business Council. The event featured nationally acclaimed feng shui master Y.C. Sun, a catered Chinese lunch, followed by a panel with REALTORS® who have been successful dealing with overseas Chinese buyers.

“Yesterday’s event was a great success!” exclaimed YPN Chair Ryan Nunnally. “No seat went empty. The room was filled with talent, both in the audience and with the established speakers.”

Nunnally and GBC Chair Mark Wong served as moderators for the event. Panelists included Michael Repka, DeLeon Realty, Palo Alto; Omar Kinaan, RE/MAX Distinctive Properties, Menlo Park; Carol MacCorkle, Pacific Union International Real Estate, Menlo Park; and Kim Connor of Intero Real Estate Services, Saratoga. These REALTORS® have had a lot of success capturing the Chinese overseas market, but they said it’s not easy, it takes patience and hard work.

Building relationships and trust is key to working with Chinese buyers. Repka said their company’s interest in China began a few years ago when he and Ken DeLeon traveled to China with their Chinese agent Kim Heng. It was there where they first developed relationships, which blossomed and expanded, leading to numerous transactions. Repka said having Heng, who speaks fluent Chinese and knows the culture, proved very valuable to them.

“You need to speak the language or have someone that does. People are always comfortable in their own language,” said Repka.




RSVP offers help with household tasks.

Seniors and the homebound residing on the Peninsula and in the South Bay may request free assistance with household tasks through the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) during the week of May 4-8. RSVP is offered each year in the month of May by REALTORS® and affiliates from the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) and neighboring REALTOR® associations to qualified seniors who cannot perform certain household tasks due to physical or financial constraints. The deadline for seniors to apply for this free assistance is March 20.

“RSVP is our way of thanking our seniors for all they have done for our communities. Through RSVP, REALTORS® and affiliates can make the difference between a senior remaining independent as a homeowner or renter, or having to give up that independence to some form of caregiving and dependence on strangers,” said Eileen Giorgi, SILVAR’s RSVP Committee chair.

During RSVP Week, teams of REALTORS® and affiliates (professionals who provide industry-related services) will visit senior households and perform various cleaning and maintenance tasks free of charge. Seniors can request to have light bulbs replaced, furnace filters changed, windows cleaned, mattresses turned, new smoke detector batteries installed, and other light housekeeping tasks. Last year approximately 180 volunteers from SILVAR assisted 123 senior households.

The annual community service program was adopted by SILVAR as an official association community outreach project in 2001. The program has since expanded to include members of the San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County Associations of REALTORS®.

Seniors residing in the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos may apply for this free service by contacting the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® at (408) 200-0100 for information and an application. Seniors may also visit to download an application and submit to SILVAR before the March 20 deadline.

The 16th annual Silicon Valley REALTORS® Scholars Program for graduating seniors from 18 public high schools in Silicon Valley is underway. The scholars program is sponsored by the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), a professional trade organization representing over 4,500 REALTORS® and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

The REALTORS®’ scholarship program is a partnership with local high schools in Silicon Valley. Principals and faculty at 18 participating high schools nominate three exceptional graduating seniors. The program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one nominee from each school in recognition of their exemplary record, outstanding academic performance and community spirit.

The scholars from the Class of 2015 will be selected from high schools in the communities served by members of SILVAR. Final selections will be made by a committee that includes representatives from the local business community, area high schools, area colleges and SILVAR.

“The annual Silicon Valley Scholars Program is an opportunity for our members to show our support for our communities and thank the students, teachers, administrators and school board members for their hard work and dedication in making the schools in our communities among the best in California and the nation,” said Nina Yamaguchi, chair of the Scholars Program of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. “We strongly believe in investing in the future of our youth.”

The participating schools include Leigh High School and Lynbrook High School in San Jose; Westmont High School in Campbell; Fremont High School in Sunnyvale; Los Altos High School in Los Altos; Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos; Gunn High School and Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto; Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton; Santa Clara High School and Wilcox High School in Santa Clara; Cupertino High School, Homestead High School and Monta Vista High School in Cupertino; Prospect High School and Saratoga High School in Saratoga; Mountain View High School in Mountain View; and Woodside High School in Woodside.

Graduating seniors from the above-mentioned high schools who wish to apply for the scholarships may obtain an application from their respective schools. The completed application must be returned to their high school principal or scholarship counselor by Monday, March 9, for submission to the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

For further information, please contact Nina Yamaguchi at (408) 861-8822 or



Phyllis Carmichael, longtime member and 2015 treasurer of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, was among three California REALTORS® honored over the weekend at the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Winter Business Meetings, having received the prestigious C.A.R. Director for Life award.

The C.A.R. Director for Life award is bestow on a member for years of outstanding performance and dedicated service to the association, including a minimum of 10 years of active service to C.A.R. and at least five years as a C.A.R. director.

Carmichael has worked in real estate for over 40 years. She is an associate broker with Coldwell Banker in Los Altos.

Carmichael was president of the Los Altos Board of REALTORS® in 1988 and is a recipient the board’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also named 1990 REALTOR® of the Year. Carmichael served as SILVAR President in 1996. She also has served as Region 9 Chair and C.A.R. Director.

February 2015


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