Glen Whisenant, "The Baliff"

Special Commissioner

Brazoria County

"I wanted to take a minute to write this note (feedback) about Virginia Vergara. She is very professional and knowledgeable.

I really appreciate what she does for all the special commissioners. She keeps up up to date on the hearings. She gives us phone calls and text messages, reminding us about meetings and changes. These efforts save us time. She is prompt to return our calls and follows up to make sure we get payment. She is always prepared and detail oriented. 

All in all she represents your establishment very well. It's a pleasure to work with her." 

Genna Banta, Attorney At Law

CEO Banta Property Management

“Diane Burkhardt Valek and Stateside Right of Way Services, LLC wins my highest approval. I would hire her in a second if I needed someone who is knowledgeable, personable, fair, consistent, hardworking, and gives excellent service.

I was surprised and anxious when I was initially contacted about a property I owned being condemned by eminent domain through the Transportation Authority of Fort Worth. When I called and spoke to Ms. Burkhardt, she answered all my questions honestly and thoroughly. And even though I did not like the answers she was giving me, because I really liked that rental property and the property made very good money for me, I trusted that what Ms. Burkhardt said was true because she was graceful, calm, and sincere under situations that were pressured and intense.

During the time I was waiting for my appraisal, Ms. Burkhardt answered every one of my emails and every one of my calls expeditiously. She almost picked up the phone every time I called and if not, l received a prompt return message. Again, she answered every one of my questions.

Even though I was truly sad to see a property taken from me after I had spent so much time and money fixing it up, I did receive a very fair appraisal. Not only that, Ms. Burkhardt understood my feelings of not wanting to have to sell the property. She ended up finding a way to let me keep all of materials from the property and even arranged for me to move my house should I have decided to do so.

Truly, Ms. Burkhardt made an uncomfortable and even possibly contentious situation into a graceful transaction and transition. Frankly, I am a big fan of Diane Burkhardt. As an attorney and business owner, I know what it takes to make good things happen

Ms. Burkhardt has got what it takes; she is fabulous.”

C. Simon

Land Owner

Carrie Weir is very professional, courteous, and sincerely answered my questions of concern. We would recommend her services to anyone who needs to make decisions on their sale of property. She is self-motivated and will treat your home with respect as well as your time. She did do what was promised. We appreciated her prompt attention to detail.”

Michelle Fricke

Sr. Real Estate Specialist, Metropolitan Transit Authority

 “I worked alongside Carrie Caloway from September of 2006 through July of 2009. During that time she handled some of the parcels on the project for which I am the team lead. I am pleased to report that all business conducted by Ms. Caloway has been conducted in a highly satisfactory manner. Ms. Caloway has the rare gift of being able to see the big picture while still being attentive to details. She would make an excellent team leader as her organization skills and communication skills are very keen. Ms. Caloway is also excellent at title research and title curative issues. In addition, she is a very good negotiator; her success ratio is very high. I have noticed she is very conscientious about schedules. She is capable of handling a heavy work load and is not afraid to work extra hours in order to meet a deadline. In whatever she tries she will rise to the top.”

Pete Finn

METRO Solutions, North Corridor

“Diane Burkhardt Valek and I worked very closely together form August 29, 2006 until recently in Houston, TX, on the METRO Solutions - Light Rail Project for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). I am the project director for the federally funded North Line Corridor, and Diane was assigned as my lead real estate agent to assist in all aspects of the project, as needed. She was responsible for leading an ever-growing team of acquisition, relocation, title, and support staff for a design build rail project while complying with FTA guidelines.

Initially, Diane and her team were responsible for preparing cost estimates for several route alternatives for the North Line Corridor that included: land costs, improvement costs, cost to cure, damages to the remainder, demolition costs, survey costs, legal fees, and other costs. These cost estimates were presented to engineering, planning and construction, then to the CEO and board members to determine the most cost-effective route for the North Line Corridor. After the budget was presented and approved, Diane and Carrie Caloway were responsible for tracking costs and preparing FTA budgeting and cost reports.

Diane and her team supported the Community Outreach Program and the planning department with the FEIS by attending FTA related meetings, supplying information from the field and writing responses to FTA. Diane represented the real estate team at public hearings, neighborhood association meetings, and other public meetings by giving presentations to educate the attendees of the real estate acquisition and relocation process, per the FTA guidelines, answering questions, and providing contact information for future concerns.

Diane and her team were responsible for supporting the survey team by checking, correcting, and verifying that the commitments were for the entire property, all owners were identified, and all structures were correctly indicated on the final surveys. Diane and her team attended weekly survey status meetings and tracked all steps from design to survey to final product. The North Line Corridor was always ahead of schedule and led the other corridors in product delivery.

Diane and her team worked closely with environmental engineers and remediation consultant teams in identifying, assessing, and completing cost estimates for contaminated sites. Diane and her team worked with environmental consultants by reviewing documents, providing title and other project information to receive TCEQ clearance for construction.

Prior to negotiations for acquisitions, Diane and her team set up budgeting and ownership for all property owners along the proposed rail line. They researched and contacted every owner for survey and environmental rights of entry. They established positive communication between property owners and the agency by working cooperatively with all community organizations and the METRO Community Outreach team. The North Line Corridor was targeted by numerous protest groups; protesters held rallies outside of the METRO building and hostile meetings were held in an attempt to stop the North Line Corridor project. Diane and her team were able to address the many concerns and complete the project with a 7% condemnation rate.

I enjoyed working with Diane and her team. Her professionalism and leadership has enabled the real estate acquisition process for the North Line Corridor to be a success, and I would embrace the opportunity to work with them again on another project.”

Todd A. Mason

Vice President of Real Estate, Metropolitan Transit Authority

“Please consider my strong recommendation of Carrie Caloway who worked in my real estate department at METRO for more than three years. Some of her strong points to consider are:

  • Carrie has the ability to quickly establish and build a rapport with landowners, gaining their trust with a high level of professionalism.
  • Carrie was a strong project leader. She has the ability to negotiate successfully with property owners to the satisfaction of both parties involved.
  • She has the ability to function well under very stressful situations, and consistently maintained her composure under pressure.
  • Carrie communicated well with all levels of management as well as with her coworkers.
  • She was extremely competent at working with other departments such as, community outreach, environmental, survey, construction and engineering, all of which are necessary in acquiring right of way successfully.

I feel that Carrie will be a strong asset to any situation similar to right of way acquisition. She was a definite plus to our team and I would gladly hire her again.”

Travis Shackleford

Project Manager, Western Advantage, Inc.

“Please consider this as a recommendation letter for Ms. Carrie Caloway. I have been associated with Ms. Calloway during my participation on the METRO Solutions Light Rail Expansion Project since May 2008. Ms. Caloway was employed as a right-of-way agent for METRO. She provided invaluable assistance with the landowners and our environmental negotiations. I have found Ms. Caloway to be a knowledgeable and highly competent real estate professional. Further, I have found her to be a pleasant individual to work with and who is devoted to providing her employer with a good product in a timely fashion. I would recommend her for any position that you feel she is qualified for with your firm. Should we have need of her services I would not hesitate to hire her. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 281-923-9749 should you wish to further discuss her qualities and skills.”

Mike Ellis

69 Neyland

“Just HAD to take a second to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the extra-special care and concern that you showed during our recent transaction on the sale of the Neyland property. I have never experienced the level of professionalism that you showed, going out of your way at every turn to make sure that my family and I were well represented during the negotiations. We could not have been more pleased with you, and with the outcome of the transaction.

Carrie, if everyone had your work ethic, and half of your customer service skills, the business community would be far ahead of where it usually finds itself. Again, you were certainly a tremendous help in getting everything taken care of in such a pleasant, easy-to-understand manner, and you will always have my, and my family’s deepest gratitude.

Best wishes on your continued success.”

Bill Corrigan

United Equities

“From the first meeting with Carrie, I quickly realized her knowledge of the process was extremely high. The time she spent outlining and educating me on what to expect made the entire process a little less painful. During multiple conversions it came apparent that Carrie had the unique ability to maintain her focus on the task assigned. The bottom line is that my experience dealing with Carrie Caloway on multiple projects has convinced me that she would be a tremendous asset on any project and/or organization.”

Cecil E. Hearn

Property Owner

“I am writing to commend Stateside Right of Way services for the good job they did helping me get relocated. I have a disability and was treated with dignity and respect throughout the process. I was involved and communicated with often and in a timely fashion. I felt as though Stateside Right of Way services, Carolyn Houston, Diane, and Carrie were interested in me and my satisfaction.”

Bill Graham

Project Manager/Senior Survey Technician

“Please accept this as my letter of recommendation for Carrie Caloway. While fulfilling the responsibilities as survey coordinator at Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority in Houston, TX, I had much interaction with Ms. Caloway.

I came to rely on her knowledge of all facets of work under her purview and personally witnessed her professional and responsive involvement with land owners and other professionals during numerous phases of land acquisition for light rail corridor expansion in Houston.

Carrie demonstrated her ability to adeptly manage all phases of her projects and enjoyed the respect of all of her co-workers while I served at METRO. Please feel free to contact me for any further recommendation I might be able to provide you on her behalf.”

Beth Grebe

Escrow Officer, Great American Title

“I am so happy to write this letter of recommendation for Ms. Carrie Caloway.

I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Caloway on the METRO account for the past 3 years. I can honestly say she was my favorite negotiator and I always knew the transactions with Carrie would go smoothly! She went above and beyond with each acquisition made. The land owners that I closed were always pleased with her; they never showed any signs of negativity and they always knew exactly what to expect with each signing. I saw her go so far as to reprint and deliver all of the land owner’s pages on 11x17 paper so they had a better understanding of the closing documents. Carrie’s demeanor is very calming and soothing, which is such a wonderful attribute to have when you are dealing with these type of closings. I would love to work with Ms. Caloway again in the future.”