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REBNY honors top industry leaders at 122nd annual banquet

At its 122nd Annual Banquet on January 18th, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) honored top industry leaders for their civic achievements and contributions to the industry with a spotlight on outgoing REBNY Chairman Rob Speyer, who led New York’s leading real estate trade association with distinction for the past five years.

REBNY’s new Chairman William C. Rudin said, “Rob Speyer’s record of service and civic leadership has made REBNY a stronger and better organization than ever before.”

While presenting The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, former REBNY Chair Mary Ann Tighe praised Speyer’s dedication throughout his tenure as REBNY Chairman. “Rob is an all-around great New Yorker, and on a personal level, he is an inspiring leader, a true gentleman, and the most generous friend,” said Tighe.

“When I first arrived at REBNY in 2015, Rob was the one who did everything possible to ensure that my transition into the job was seamless. Whenever I needed help or advice, he was there for me—no matter what time of day, no matter the issue,” said REBNY President John H. Banks.

Sen. Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was honored with The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award. The Zuccotti Award recognizes a New Yorker who has displayed exceptional accomplishments and service in the public’s interest. “Chuck Schumer’s tireless commitment to New York captures the very spirit of the Zuccotti Award,” said Bill Rudin.

“Receiving the John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award – named after a consummate New Yorker who was such a strong and graceful advocate for our city – is an honor.  Fighting for New York is in my bones and I will always work to keep the cranes rising, hardhats working and economy humming; that is the foundation of our great city.  Thank you to former REBNY Chairman Rob Speyer, who was a fantastic leader these past five years, and current Chair Bill Rudin, who I know will take the helm with the indefatigable Rudin energy and skill,” said Schumer.

In addition to Schumer and Speyer, banquet attendees—comprised of City and State dignitaries and real estate industry leaders and professionals—gathered to celebrate the outstanding professional success and exceptional contributions of Richard LeFrak, Elizabeth Stribling, Gene Boniberger, Joanne Podell, and Ron Lo Russo.

Joanne Podell

City and State officials who joined REBNY members and their guests at the evening affair, included: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli; New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; New York State Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; New York State Senate Coalition Leader and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey D. Klein; New York State Senate Finance Chair Catharine Young; New York State Senators Tony Avella, Jamal Bailey, Phil Boyle, David Carlucci, Leroy Comrie, Michael Gianaris, Martin J. Golden, Jesse Hamilton, Timothy M. Kennedy, and David J. Valesky; New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb; New York State Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake, and Steven Cymbrowitz; New York City Council Members Adrienne Adams, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Robert Cornegy, Mark Gjonaj, Rory Lancman, Mark Levine, Francisco Moya, Rafael Salamanca, Jr., and Kalman Yeger; Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal RuthAnne Visnauskas; New York City First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan; New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development Alicia Glen; Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin; New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler; New York City Planning Commission Chair and Commissioner Marisa Lago; New York City Department of City Planning Executive Director Purnima Kapur; New York City Landmarks Preservation Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan; New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer; New York City Department of Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha; New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro; New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg; and New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas was also in attendance.

The awards presented at this year’s banquet are among the top professional distinctions in the real estate industry.

Richard LeFrak, Chairman and CEO of LeFrak, received The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award, presented by Bill Rudin, which recognizes a REBNY member’s meritorious service to the community.

Elizabeth Stribling, Chairman of Stribling & Associates and President of Stribling Marketing Associates, was honored with The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award. This award, presented by Diane Ramirez of Halstead Real Estate,  recognizes Ms. Stribling’s exceptional accomplishments in the profession, leadership, and service to the real estate industry over the course of her distinguished career.

Gene Boniberger, Senior Vice President and Director of Building Operations for Rudin Management Company, received The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award presented by Bill Rudin. This award recognizes individuals of superior accomplishment in property management based on outstanding professionalism, civic achievement, and contributions to the real estate industry.

Joanne Podell, Executive Vice Chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, was honored with The Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award. This award, presented by Bob Knakal and James Nelson of Cushman & Wakefield, celebrates a commercial broker with exceptional personal and professional integrity, leadership, prominence in the brokerage community, and service to REBNY’s committees.

Ron Lo Russo, President of Cushman & Wakefield’s Agency Consulting Group, accepted The Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award. This award, presented by Camille McGratty, is selected by the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York and honors a member who exemplifies strong integrity, professionalism, and personal ethics.

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