Phil Sunkel - REALTOR®
Phillip “Phil” C. Sunkel, IV grew up in the no-stop light suburb of Ridgefield, Connecticut, as well as in Midtown Manhattan in New York City in the Rockefeller apartments on 55th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. At the age of 13, Phil’s parents moved the family down to Vero Beach where the Sunkel/Norris family has a deeply rooted history.
His grandfather Ernest Eden “2E” Norris, Jr., a legend in the New York City advertising industry where he served as the former Vice President of BBDO, first came to Vero in 1943 to train as a Marine Corsair pilot, when the area served as a Naval Air Station. At the time, the Ocean Grill served as his grandfather’s officer’s club where Lt. Alex MacWilliam was the manager. In the early 70’s, his grandfather returned to purchase multiple properties from the Jones family, which he began developing into his personal estate in the John’s Island community and then helped to develop Bent Pine golf course.
Phil attended St. Helen’s Catholic School for Middle School and Indian River Charter High School and went on to Flagler College in Saint Augustine, FL where he earned a degree in Communications with a focus in Journalism and a minor in Advertising. Phil was the founder and President of the college’s first photography club, the Photo Editor for the school’s newspaper, contributed over 100 volunteer hours as a member of the world-renowned Flagler College Students In Free Enterprise business competition team (now Enactus) and completed more than five internships with The Lane Communications Group, The Society of Professional Journalists, Triple Threat TV (ESPN, MTV, MSNBC, A&E and PBS production house) and Red Bull Energy Drinks.
In addition to Phil’s extracurricular activities at Flagler, he created one of the country’s most successful independent music blogs and public relations teams: HYPEMusicFestivals.com (now TheBestDamnMusicBlog.com).
His time working in the field running public relations teams led him to an opportunity to come back home to Vero Beach and become the lead photographer for Vero Beach 32963. Working at 32963 was an amazing opportunity, which helped Phil build a sphere of influence across the barrier island socializing with thousands of community leaders.
Phil met his wife, Melanie, in 2015 during this period and they have three children together, his stepson Jake (8), Emma (4) and little Phil (3). As an avid waterman, in his spare time he enjoys fishing, boating and constantly island hopping with his wife and kids. Phil’s mother, Suzanne, has been an independent distributor for Shaklee since the early ‘90’s and is currently completing her graduate degree in Psychology from Liberty University and his father, Phillip, III, is an exotic sports car guru who formerly worked for Miller Motor Cars in Greenwich, Connecticut.
After several years at 32963, Phil was presented the chance to work with the United States Space program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a Visual Information Specialist working on the Base Multimedia team for the Public Affairs Department of the 45th Space Wing. During this time, Phil mastered visual marketing techniques used to promote the new space race across the world, even beyond. However, while a defense contractor, Phil felt an immense urge to return to his roots in Vero Beach to follow his passion of becoming a REALTOR®. It was embedded in his DNA.
Finding buyers their dream home and getting seller’s the best price for their home became Phil’s full-time career initially with the O’Dare Boga Group at Premier Estate Properties. He attributes a good deal of his success in his new career to the invaluable advice and countless hours spent with them as their protégé where he accrued $13 million in pending and closed sales in less than a year. Phil then decided to spread his wings to start building his own brand and chose to align himself with another familiar and historic Vero Beach family firm at Alex MacWilliam Real Estate.
When it comes to buying or selling your home, you need someone who has a deep understanding of the area, knows the locals, and can negotiate the best possible deal for you. The process should be a pleasant experience and Phil has the skills and expertise to help you navigate in an extremely competitive market. After all, Vero is more than the people, more than a town, more than a community, Vero is your home.