Real Estate Weekly
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New directors will strengthen real estate board

I want to congratulate REBNY’s newly elected Commercial Board of Directors.

After serving for five years as the chairman of REBNY’s Commercial Board of Directors, William Montana will be succeeded by James P. Nelson, Partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services, following Friday’s elections.

The Commercial Board of Directors reviews the actions and decisions of committees of the commercial brokerage division, and takes the necessary steps to ensure that the Division runs effectively.

Nelson has been with Massey Knakal Real Estate Services since 1998, and in that time has been repeatedly recognized for his tenacity, resolve, and determination to see transactions through to the end.

Joanne Podell,  William Montana and James Nelson.
Joanne Podell, William Montana and James Nelson.

Boasting a sales record totaling over $2.5 billion, he has proven himself to be a worthy recipient of his numerous awards and accolades, including Massey Knakal’s Annual Gerald W. Bridges Award for Annual Salesperson of the Year six times, REBNY’s Most Promising Commercial Sales Person of the Year Award, Top NYC Deal Maker by LoopNet, and more.

Montana is placing the Board of Directors in capable hands, as Joanne Podell, Vice Chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, was also elected to the position of the Board’s vice chair.

Podell, who has an extensive background in tenant and landlord representation, lease negotiation, and retail assignments, has proven herself time and again to be ready, willing, and able to embrace and fill leadership roles, as well as make important decisions.

In addition to a résumé boasting several significant commercial assignments and transactions such as TD Bank, Kay Jewelers, Ann Taylor, and Nike, Podell is also the recipient of several awards.

She has been honored by the New York Women Executives in Real Estate as their Woman of the Year Award, received REBNY’s Most Creative Retail Deal of the Year Award, and she is also a two-time winner of REBNY’s Most Significant in Manhattan Retail Deal of the Year Award. I would like to thank Bill Montana for his leadership and integral role in expanding the commercial brokerage division and adding to its already-impressive list of accomplishments, as well as wish James Nelson and Joanne Podell the best of luck going forward.

I also wish a warm welcome to the Board’s other newly elected members: Robin Abrams of the Lansco Corporation, Shimon Shkury of Ariel Property Advisors, Matthew J. Van Buren of CBRE, and Mark Weiss of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

I have no doubt that you will all use your combined powers to help our Board achieve great things, and I look forward to witnessing what those are.


In other REBNY news:


December 11th between 5:45 and 7:30 is the Residential Annual Meeting, taking place at the Bank of America at One Bryant Park. Registration is required, and the meeting is open to REBNY Residential Principal and Managing members. For more information, contact

December 12th from 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. is our Residential Brooklyn Seminar at St. Francis College. Located in Founders Hall, this seminar is called “How to Become a Million Dollar Producer,” and seating is limited to 200. For more information, contact

December 16th from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. is REBNY’s Commercial Holiday Luncheon at the Waldorf Hotel and will feature guest speaker Carl Weisbrod, Director of the NYC Department of City Planning and Chairman of the NYC Planning Commission. The luncheon is hosted by the Commercial Brooklyn, Building Agents Rental, Midtown South, Lower Manhattan, Leasing, Midtown West/Penn Plaza, Plaza, Grand Central, Real Estate Finance, Retail, and Sales Brokers committees. For more information on registering visit or contact Desiree Jones at


January 15th is REBNY’s 119th Annual Banquet from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the New York Hilton! Join us at one of the most celebrated events of the year as we recognize and honor our industry’s top professionals and bring in another successful year! REBNY advises those wishing to attend to purchase tickets early. For more information, contact MaryAnn Aviles at 212-532-3100 or at

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