Sharing Long Island's stories one family, one home, and one community at a time.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
John Joseph Dowling Jr.
I am the executive producer and director of photography for all of the content on this site. I am available for any size production or photographic opportunity worldwide. I am also the author of Chapters of Love, and founder of LongIslandMatchmaking.com, and the publisher of Model Citizens Magazine.
John: I’m finding that so many readers of Model Citizens and Long Island Journal are on a kind of on a fitness kick. I guess because there is nothing else to do. As a result, the issues are becoming fitness issues, fitness models, and things like that. I am happy to have your story, about you and your team, in Model Citizens because it’s new and exciting.
I think your story is exciting by the way for everyone who’s going to be reading about it. Just so you know, I almost always put athletes to the test the first time I photograph them and I have to tell you that you really pass that test 1,000%. The way you rode your bike on ice and through two feet of snow in 30° weather.
Scott: This is nice of you to say and you did have me in that spandex. I was cold!
John: I was freezing, and you even took a fall. For all of those that don’t know who you are and are getting to know you through these interviews, you are a brave soul. You took a dive off of that bike on the ice, I couldn’t believe it! Can you tell me about your team?
Scott: I really appreciate the compliments. So, to answer your question about the team, it’s really a fun kind of passion project for me. We spoke earlier about my background in the triathlons and I kind of played around with it for a while.
John: Some people may be reading about you for the first time because Model Citizens Magazine has a lot of different readers and then the Long Island Journal, can you give us a little bit of background on you?
Scott: Absolutely, I started out earlier on in my sports career as a swimmer. I swam through high school and a little bit in college and tried my first triathlon before I graduated. I was barely finished the first time around but really caught the bug and got into it. I stuck with it and tried and tried again. I progressed to some longer races, like the half iron man, over the course of four or five years. Then I decided it was time for me to get some coaching to see if I could really progress to the next level. I joined with a team and a coach by the name of Jose Lopez. The team is called Long Island Tri Coach, with the acronym LITC. Jose trained me in a very short time to be at a higher competitive level. Then it got fun when I started traveling around the country for a bunch of races on the West Coast, in Vermont and Maine, and then down in Florida and in the islands for a couple of cool events. At that point, I was getting very good at it.
June: When I was a child I would see people when they are happy, sad, crying, hugging and I would say that’s a great shot! And that’s how it started. The feeling of everything is alive. I capture the moment and that’s what keeps me going. Feeling people’s love and emotions as you can see in the people I photograph. It’s all about the moment and that’s when I know I got the shot! My interior work it’s like you are living in it you make it your own.
John: What do you mean by “That’s what keeps me going”?
June: The love of photography “ it’s about them the people it opens my heart to be able to capture their moment.
John: Many would think that you should be in front of your camera as often as you are behind it as you are extraordinarily beautiful. Why not on the other side of the camera?
June: Awww thank you! I was asked many times to model. But never felt it was about me” I wanted to capture the beauty being behind the camera.
John: I felt the same way lol but I caved
June: Haha…..Yes, super handsome you are
John: Very kind words thank you June. When did you know that you would turn photography into a career?
June: Right after my mom passed when I was 21” she always said to me why don’t you do photography “ when you take photos it’s a amazing what you capture. It’s like you feel it , it’s like you are there.
John: I’m sorry to hear that you lost your mom at such a young age what happened?
June: She had thyroid cancer: she had a little lump on her neck 24 years bf she passed and needed to remove it but she didn’t want to leave her kids and left it alone until it 24 years later. She would have still been here if she took care of it then. We were so close I feel her every day.
Many people have asked me, why did you get involved with the Long Island Journal. I feel that it is another way to help a community that has helped me grow over the year. The Real Estate Community has been an integral part of my business for many years, and I am always looking for ways to give back. There is no real voice out there for the stories that the realtors who I know so well have, and a way to highlight all the good that many of them do.
The Long Island Board of Realtors is a great community that I joined just a few years ago. I knew it was out there, but I never joined because I thought it was just for the Realtors to help them with the Multiple Listing Service and to have a voice like so many associations do for their members. A friend of mine suggested that I check it out, and I wish that I did much sooner. The Board of Realtors is a vibrant community that I have become very much a part of, even though I’m not licensed to sell real estate, so I’m not officially a member.
I jumped in headfirst, got involved with the chapters, and became an Affiliate Member. Since I mainly write home, condo, and landlord insurance, working with the association was a great fit. I got to learn how realtors work and realized how much they are involved with their communities. Realtors are some of the most giving people you can know and are very involved in charities in their communities.
Helping Realtors was my goal when I joined by providing them help in the closing process when it comes to the various forms of property insurance. There are many insurance agents looking to get referrals from the Realtors, so I make sure that I provide value to them, buy helping them in many ways that don’t involve me selling a policy. We do various things, like performing flood risk analysis, claims reports on homes they are selling or working with their buyers, and consulting with them when the insurance becomes a problem in the sale.
John Dowling: So this is John Dowling, the publisher of the Long Island Journal, and I’m here with Robert Yeganeh, an entrepreneur and also a real estate professional who is now championing a new woman-owned company called Her’s and Hers as a construction company. Tell us about this new project that you’re facilitating.
Robert Yeganeh: So, John, thanks for having me. After many years of interest in real estate and finally, last four years, putting myself in the middle of doing good for people via the real estate route, we’ve done a tremendous amount of deals where we had to either Lift a home due to Sandy superstorm or start from scratch or renovate interior and exteriors of homes, as well as commercial properties of several types and because of me and my partner’s wives basically sitting on the side watching us, they wanted to help. And so, instead of getting subcontractors to do most of the heavy work, we went out and purchased some much-needed tools and heavy equipment as much as over a million dollars worth of equipment, and tools. we decided to have a construction company where we could help other women, specifically minority women in the business of renovations and flipping that are now more and more dabbling in this area of business. They’re flipping, they’re doing their own homes, remodeling, and we decided the wives of these two principles can get involved and they could actually do more business just outside of our own world. The main idea came from making our real estate business more vertical and efficient.
John: So you’re using the assets, the bulldozers, heavy excavators, asphalt and concrete equipment that you’re using to renovate your own projects and your own firms, and since they’re now available so that these two young ladies can get involved with bigger construction jobs
The number of homes for sale on Long Island has dropped and remained down over what it has been in recent years nationally. The market has nearly twice the demand and two-thirds of the supply. Inventory of homes are now at their historic lows. The rise in the number of people who can now work at home has also sparked a suburban boom and the scarcity of undeveloped land on Long Island means that builders could be unable to meet the rising demand and home prices could continue to rise this year. We know that Long Island’s housing market is booming because of outbound migration from New York City. The pandemic has caused many citi-dwellers to search for homes in a different area than the city.
Various surveys and industry chatter indicate that interest in rural areas and suburbs is up and interest in urban areas is down. Especially in NYC. Long Island is hot and is totally a sellers’ markets right now while the pandemic has increased the desire for houses with more space and a yard. Couple that with record-low interest rates, and prices are rising dramatically all over the country not just here on Long Island. The combination of demand and the low mortgage rates has pushed home prices to levels that are making it difficult to save for a down payment, particularly among first-time buyers. While we still face economic and health challenges ahead, it is no doubt that the nation will continue to recover from this pandemic and an improving economy will continue to prop up the housing market competition.
Personally, I believe the housing market will remain strong and is set to break more records in 2021. Home Buyers are eager to spend more on housing in 2021, as the economy continues to slowly recover from the pandemic. Strong growth is expected in 2021 for housing sales, rents, and home prices. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the median household expects to increase their spending by 3.7% in the next twelve months, the most optimistic outlook since 2016. This time the housing market is largely being driven by two factors: a shortage of available housing inventory and extremely low-interest rates.
LONG ISLAND, NY — The Long Island real estate market is still going strong. In a rebound from the coronavirus shutdown, sales continued to grow, and prices continued to climb. According to new data, the median sales price of Long Island homes increased and was much higher than in 2019. The median sale price climbed $15,000 which is more than 13 percent higher. The number of homes sold also made a big jump continuing a trend as the market rebounds. Though the market is blazing hot right now, real estate sales took a big hit due to the spring shutdowns. Most professionals still have fears of another coronavirus-related shutdown, however, now that the vaccines are being distributed across the state many are hopeful that just isn’t going to happen again.
John: I am here as the publisher for both Model Citizens Magazine and the Long Island Journal with Scott Burman. Scott, you have been nominated by Model Citizen for everything that you do for philanthropy and the Long Island community. However, before we get there, I see that you are a competitive endurance athlete for over 20 years. How do you get into competitive endurance sports, and what do you focus on?
Scott: I was a swimmer starting from a young age. I swam through high school and college although I was not a particularly great swimmer. However, I trained high-volume which means my body got accustomed to a high-level training mode. I tried my first triathlon, just as a fitness goal, when I was still in college. It was a local triathlon that runs still to this day every Father’s Day called the Gold Coast Triathlon and is held in Port Washington. I must admit that I barely finished that first race.
John: Well, that is all that counts right?
Scott: Yes, I did it! Absolutely.
John: How long how long was that one?
Scott: It was a sprint race and I’ll just add this as an anecdote, I went back to that race and finished second overall. That was many years later but was my crowning achievement to go from a guy who could barely finish, to a guy who came close to winning the whole race.
John: My father went from smoking five packs of cigarettes a day to running 100-mile races in the desert and 50-mile races in zero degrees. So, if he could pull that off, I think anyone can do just about anything.
Scott: That’s very impressive! That is really what drove me for all these years, the mental aspect more than the physical. I got more into it over about 10 years and then progressed to a half Iron Man. At that point I realized that I was spending a lot of time training, was really into it and thought it may be time to get a coach and a team to see how far I could take this. My head was really in it, so I actually met a local guy named Jose Lopez. Jose became my very good friend and mentor and trained me from an eight-minute run to a sub-six runner in six months.
John: I am here today with Jesse Giordano who has been nominated as a Model Citizen for the February issue of Model Citizens Magazine. Jesse is a philanthropist and also a Financial Advisor and Principal with Opal Wealth Advisors in Jericho, New York. Jesse, I’ve just learned that you’re a cancer survivor and I’m wondering if you can share your story with us.
Jesse: Sure, I was seven years old, just before my eighth birthday, and I was playing Little League baseball. I was at the plate and my mom was sitting in the stands watching me and from her seat, I guess it is a parent’s instinct, noticed something on my neck and it worried her. When I came off the field, she looked at my neck and asked what the lump was. She seemed a little panicked. I remember that she asked me if it hurt and if I hurt myself. My dad came to look as well and the next thing I knew I was in my pediatrician’s office.
John: I am sure it was surreal.
Jesse: They ran several tests and ultimately confirmed that I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I had to do chemotherapy for about eight months. The chemotherapy was definitely the hardest part.
John: I watched my father’s treatments, and the chemotherapy he went through was the worst thing I ever witnessed in my life. Cancer just devastated him.
Jesse: My first chemotherapy treatment was on my mom’s 33rd birthday. My parents are the same age, so they were 33 at the time. It was a difficult eight months. I can still remember the burning, vomiting, and nausea. It went on for several months and fortunately once the treatment was over, I never had an issue ever again. It certainly left a mark on my childhood. I think if there is any remarkable or positive outcome from my illness, and this is difficult to imagine and I hesitate to say this because it may sound insensitive to those who are going through chemotherapy today, but I am grateful that I went through it because it gave me an appreciation of my own vulnerabilities. Not in the sense of having something to be afraid of, but I was most moved by and can remember clearly, even though I was only seven or eight, the care from nurses and doctors, my family, and the students in my school.
John: Is that what motivated you to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year competition?