Real Estate Weekly
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Industry players riding high in real estate Winners Circle

By Steven Spinola

Every year since 1996, REBNY has presented one of its outstanding young commercial members with the Most Promising Commercial Sales Person of the Year Award.

The winner of this prestigious award receives a one-year seat on REBNY’s Board of Governors, and also becomes a lifetime member of the Circle of Winners group, which meets four times a year for a private dinner with some of the real estate industry’s top leaders.

The Most Promising Commercial Sales Person of the Year Award was created by the directors of the Board’s Commercial Brokerage Division, and is presented to one of our commercial members who embodies the traits of achievement, professionalism, and unwavering ethical fortitude in all of his or her business transactions.

This year, submissions are due on February 4 to nominate 2015’s Most Promising Commercial Salesperson, and the competition is fiercer than ever.

The award will be presented at the March 31 REBNY Members’ Luncheon, one of our most popular and well-attended events. The Members Luncheon also features a lively panel discussion, and is open to all members who wish to attend.

The winners of the Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year Award attended a private dinner for REBNY’s “Circle of Winners” on September 9th at Mr. K’s restaurant. The featured speaker was Rob Speyer, President & Co-Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer. Picture: (Standing l-r) Randy Modell, Ariel Property Advisors; Peter Schubert, Transwestern New York LLC; Danielle I. Zimbaro, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; Jason Greenstone, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; Robin L. Fisher, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Clark Finney, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; (Sitting) Steven Spinola, REBNY; Rob Speyer, Tishman Speyer; James Nelson, Massey Knakal Realty Services; Stephen Winter, Related.

In recognition of this year’s Most Promising Commercial Sales Person of the Year competition, we’ve reached out to some of the past winners of the award to hear how receiving this award has affected their attitudes, careers, what they would say to future winners of the award, and more.

Simon Ziff, the first ever winner of the award, looks back on it fondly: “As the first winner of the award, it will always hold a special place in my often nostalgic mind,” he said. “However, when my colleagues and current partners won the award, that was when I felt a far greater sense of accomplishment.”

Randy Modell, who received the award in 2006, was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Circle of Winners.  He said, “It was very nice of REBNY to organize the Circle of Winners and to organize the four annual dinners that go along with it. They’re hosted by prominent leaders of the industry such as Stephen Ross, Mary Ann Tighe, Douglas Durst, and more. Past winners get an amazing opportunity to have access to these people and hear industry news from them firsthand.

“I greatly appreciate everything REBNY’s done for us, above and beyond the Circle of Winners.”

James Nelson, the award winner in 2002, was recently elected the Chair of the Commercial Board of Directors itself: “I’m grateful to have met some of our rising stars at the Circle of Winners,” he said. “We’ve also learned from some of the top names in the business at our dinners, and I hope we can in turn give back to REBNY by advancing their mission.”

Eric Anton won the 1999, and sees the award as one of his most prized trophies: “The Most Promising Sales Person Award meant a great deal to me. I like to think of it as the Heisman Trophy for young people starting out – especially since I was pretty bad at football.”

Jason Greenstone was the most recent winner of the award, and spoke very highly of the honor it brought along with it. “Winning this award is the single biggest honor of my career to date,” he said proudly.

“It was a great reaffirmation that I was working at a great company and surrounded myself with great mentors and professionals. Since winning the award, I continued to dedicate my time and efforts to the real estate industry. To the future winners of the award, it’s a tremendous honor to join the Circle of Winners and be a part of such an inspiring group.”

I’m greatly appreciative of the opportunity to meet all of our past rookies of the year, and I wish all of this year’s entrants the best of luck.

To submit an contestant for this year’s award, please visit or contact Ossie Shemtov by February 4th at

In other REBNY news:
SPOTLIGHT ON TRANSPORTATION: Don’t miss our recent educational video on the critical role transportation infrastructure plays our region’s overall economic health and development. Visit to watch our Chairman Rob Speyer and New York’s leading transportation experts discuss the role mass transit plays in the metropolitan area, major projects underway, and future challenges facing our transit system.
REBNY’s next Residential Breakfast Club Seminar, “Leverage Your Database: How to Get Face to Face to Build Your Business,” will be taking place on February 10. This seminar will be in the REBNY Mendik Education Center from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, and more information can be found by contacting Yesenia Perez at
REBNY’s Residential Sales Agent Boot Camp, Cost of Doing Business: Put Your Hand In Your Pocket And Build Your Net Worth,” is February 19. This event, sponsored by Bank of America will take place in the Mendik Education Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and is free for all REBNY members. Registration is required, and more information can be found by emailing


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