Mahoning Valley Real Estate Investors Association


MVREIA Directors of the Board


President -

Jeff Rickerman

Phone: (330) 428-2832

Jeff Rickerman was raised on a farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania where he was brought up a Quaker, learned the value of hard work and gained a passion for life.  Jeff was treasurer of Mill Creek Quaker Meeting for 18 years and is currently a trustee, which he has been for the last 26 years.  Jeff worked in the corporate world for 36 years, serving in management positions ranging from area safety manager and division manager to vice president responsible for up to 1,200 employees.  Jeff has been involved in real estate since age 14, assisting in building timber frame houses and repairing and rebuilding houses including a number of old farmhouses.  

In 2013, Jeff started a real estate business in Northeast Ohio, acquiring 50 rental properties in the last 4 years.  Along with the rentals Jeff also does wholesaling, rehabs, lease options and contracting for other landlords.   Jeff strongly believes in helping others, by mentoring, sharing his skills and lending a hand in volunteer activities.  He feels that you learn as much from helping others as they can learn from being helped.  From an early age Jeff has felt that you can do good while you are doing well and he encourages his tenants to enter into lease options so they can fulfill their dream of homeownership.  Jeff has a life long passion for learning and teaching, acquiring new skill sets, and staying on top of market trends.  He attends many real estate conferences both local and national as part of his continuing education.   

Jeff feels that we all have something to teach and we all have something to learn and by engaging others in conversation, listening more than you speak, and being open to new things and new ideas, it is a win-win for everyone involved.


 Vice President -

Zach Lewis

 Phone: 330 536 - 9002 ext-94

Treasurer -
Carolyn Fankhauser

Phone: (330) 519-8323

Carolyn Fankhauser now lives in Canfield, but graduated from Boardman High School and has lived in this area her whole life. She was a school bus driver for Canfield Schools for over 25 years (now retired from that) and owns her own home-based business. In the late 70s to mid 80s, she had a small gift shop (The Hole In The Wall) in Poland and Boardman. Since then, her craft interest has grown into the current custom framing and decorative painting business. She has set up at trade shows (both wholesale & retail) and shipped products all over the country. Having served on the board of directors of the Ohio Arts & Crafts guild for 8 years, she ran their yearly conference for several years She has been a REIA member for about 6 years and on the board for several years, but is new to the real estate business She is looking forward to spending more time with a shift of her career using her prior 35 years of business experience now focused on real estate investing. She has done house reno/flipping and some private lending.


Secretary - Jim Pirko
Phone: (330) 507-3267

Jim Pirko has been serving as MVREIA's Secretary/Coordinator since 2010, Publishing Newsletters, Booking Meeting Speakers, and Handling Public Relations. He has been representing MVREIA on the OREIA Board of Directors since 2009, and is now serving as OREIA's Vice President & Legislative Chair since 2013. He is a Commercial Real Estate Agent with Hanna Commercial Real Estate, having been with the Howard Hanna Howland office since 2006, specializing in Residential Investment Properties, Commercial, Industrial, and Economic Development Projects. He serves with numerous influential organizations in our region, including the Trumbull County Land Bank Board, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce Commercial Real Estate Roundtable, YNG Air Partners, plus the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments General Policy Board, Citizens Advisory Board, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, and Natural Resources Assistance Committee. Also he is a member of Mensa.


Director/Past President - Sherry DeMar

 Phone: 330 762 - 8880


Director - Richard Chase
Phone: (330) 518-2217

Originally from the Erie, Pa area, Rich came to the Youngstown area to manage a Hills Department Store. Later, he became a banker for 25 years with a local bank; focusing on residential and commercial lending. In 1990, he purchased his first investment property which was a 54 unit apartment complex in Columbiana, OH. In the last 27 years, he has owned and managed up to 85 residential and commercial rental units. Currently, Rich is a commercial real estate agent with Northwood Realty Services. He has an MBA in Finance and a BA in Business Administration. He has been a life long resident of the Boardman, OH area. He belongs to several local and business organizations including Board Member of Mahoning County Land Reutilization Corp.( Mahoning County Land Bank) and the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. 


Director -
Jackie Rickerman

Phone: (703) 501-0513




Director - Nicole Klingemier


Phone: (614) 804-3948

Nicole has had a lifelong interest and involvement in Real Estate in one capacity or another. Growing up, she helped her parents restore and sell historic homes in Trumbull County. The enjoyment of that process led her to choose Interior Design as a college major. Nicole bought her first investment property at the age of 19 when she decided to attend the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2003. She lived in the home and rented out the extra rooms to help pay for the property as she focused on college. In 2007 Nicole graduated from CCAD with a BFA in Interior Design. In 2009 she moved back to Trumbull County to help run her family business, and kept the house in Columbus as a rental property.

As the family business began to stabilize she started searching for career options that were more in line with her degree and interests, eventually disco vering the profession of Public Adjusting. Becoming self-employed as a Consumer Advocate and helping owners repair damages to their property by properly navigating their insurance claims sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in Nicole. She began to educate herself in a variety of fields, including Real Estate Investing, Marketing, and Business Startups. She began helping her parents manage their small portfolio of rental properties and also joined the Mahoning Valley REIA after attending several REI bootcamps in 2014. She has been an active member of the MVREIA ever since and also recently joined the Mahoning Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.

With an overall goal of helping to improve the Mahoning Valley and empower its residents through real estate investing and self-employment education, Nicole is honored and excited to accept a position on the board of the Mahoning Valley REIA, and looks forward to helping the organization grow and reach as many people as possible.

Director - Wuyu Wantatah
Phone: (330) 770-6352

Known by friends and family as a very charismatic, fun, and personable individual with exceptional social skills, ambition, and work ethic, Wuyu (pronounced We-you), is one that is determined to make a profound impact on the industry with the hope of helping several others along the way. He has his long-term focus set on the "Pretty House" side of the real estate business, while working to be efficient in all phases one step at a time.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Wuyu is a 1st generation born American of immigrant parents that dared to imagine themselves in the "Land of Opportunity" known as America. He spent most of his years as a resident in parts of the Mahoning Valley or nearby throughout high school and college and afterward. Professionally, he spent 11 years working in the mental health field helping children and their families with psychological counseling and behavioral health related services in schools, communities, and homes. While working full-time, Wuyu always had a penchant for entrepreneurial endeavors. He has an extensive background of doing things outside of the box dating back to his days in high school and up until now with marketing, promotions, and public relations for his own business, some startups, and a few well known or up and coming businesses. As a firm believer in constant growth, fostering relationships, and personal development, one of his favorite quotes comes from Celtic great, 11x champion, and humanitarian Bill Russell, "You can do anything you want to do, if you want it bad enough!"


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Mahoning Valley Real Estate Investors Association

PO Box 811
Youngstown, OH 44501
(330) 623-7342

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