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Life and Arts

On The Town: Realtors revel, recognize and reorganize

Every community has its long-standing holiday traditions and along with the ornament-gilded tree standing in front of City Hall, another local seasonal tradition has been the Burbank Assn. of Realtors’ annual holiday breakfast. Always a festive occasion, this opportunity for area Realtors to revel with colleagues also sees the reorganization of the association’s officers and the recognition of members who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and community during the previous 12 months.

The Starlight Ballroom of the Castaway Restaurant served as the venue for the morning celebration that was emceed by Eric Benz. After the event-opening Pledge of Allegiance led by Edward Sanchez, an invocation by Minnie Lush and the singing of carols by students from Roosevelt Elementary, Brian Paul introduced attending dignitaries including Mayor Anja Reinke, Councilman David Gordon and School Board member Ted Bunch.

While this breakfast serves as a way to show appreciation for all Realtors and associates, each year the organization also selects and honors those who are given special recognition. This year saw Karen Volpei-Gussow bestow the Citizen of the Year award upon Alan Arozian; Steve Marx accept the Leadership award from Michael Napolitano; Shelly Valencia present Lou Morreale with the Affiliate of the Year award, and the organization’s outgoing president, Chris Habitz, honor Dana Russo as the Realtor of the Year.

A highlight of the morning was Dan Soderstrom’s presentation of the group’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award to Patt Fogg and Habitz’s special recognition of Benz, Valencia, Ed Sanchez and Tom Masterani.


To cap-off the festivities, the presidential gavel was passed from Habitz to the association’s 2011 president, Alexandra Kelly. Other 2011 board members who were dutifully installed included Benz, Napolitano, Russo, Volpei-Gussow, Christopher Rizzotti, Linda Barnes, Alisa Cunningham, Marty del Cid, Elena Hubbell, Caleb Gonzalez and Julian Munoz.

Among the hundreds in attendance for this Burbank tradition were Interim-Police Chief Scott LaChasse, Barry Ross, Robert Rondou, Daniel Prystupa, Mary Kay, Janet Dubrasky, Linda Roberts, Bonnie Mulholland, Paul Sessum, Jobe Whelan, Dusty Brandel, Joe and Sharon Terranova, Adriana Contreras, Lisa Matzner, Yesenia Ellis, Jim Woodburn, Barry Burnett and Yazmine Wolfe.

The Burbank Assn. of Realtors is a professional trade organization representing affiliate members engaged in the Burbank real estate business since 1922. Throughout the year the association provides and promotes various programs and services that improve their ability to conduct their charitable giving, and their business to better serve the buyers and sellers of local real estate.