Nearly 700 commercial management professionals turned out as The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) saluted eight winners selected as the best in their field at REBNY’s 9th Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast at the New York Hilton.
“It is always a pleasure to honor and recognize hardworking people in the industry for their efforts and dedication,” said Steven Spinola, REBNY president. “The commercial management division is unique in its commitment to working together to run our city’s buildings as efficiently as possible. These award winners have established a benchmark to which others can aspire.”
Michael Norton of Tishman Speyer, chair of REBNY’s Management Board of Directors who served as emcee of the event, began the awards presentation with a significant figure: the nominees for the awards this year have a combined total of more than 700 years of experience in commercial property management.
Edward A. Riguardi presented the morning’s biggest award — the Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award to Gaston Silva of Vornado Realty.
Silva began his career in government in 1987 and has served in a variety of roles including Department of Buildings Commissioner. Riguardi added that Silva currently manages a portfolio of 20 million square feet and through the years has always been a valuable contributor to the industry.
He was selected for the award for his long-term leadership in the field. In his acceptance remarks, Silva noted that in commercial property management, “We don’t succeed unless everyone is doing their job.”
Brian McCann of Cushman & Wakefield won the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award. His prestigious clients include New York Life, Time Inc., and United Nations Development Corporation, among many others.
The honor of On-Site Manager of the Year was awarded to Patricia Revellese of SL Green, who started out as a secretary at 90 Park Avenue in 1967 and rose through the ranks. In addition to her ongoing efforts to reduce energy costs, Revellese has also mentored other women in the field.
The John M. Griffin Community Service Award went to Edward Fallon of Brookfield Properties. Fallon expressed how proud he was to be honored in John Griffin’s name in his acceptance speech.
Presenting the award for Engineer of the Year was Howard Styles of Local 94. Styles noted that under the leadership of Joe Bruno of Cushman & Wakefield, his building has completed $20 million in capital projects, including two new chillers and an ice storage plant.
Bruno helped significantly raise its Energy Star score, and increased the overall efficiency of the building.
The Rising Star of the Year, Maritza Mohr of Boston Properties, who is a manager at the GM Building was commended for her thorough preparation for Hurricane Irene and her day-to-day efforts that benefit the building and its tenants.
The Security Professional of the Year was awarded to Elizabeth Taylor of Boston Properties, who, as Norton pointed out is always a common voice to tenants during hurricanes and blackouts and helps to ensure safety for all occupants.
Keith Garcia of Paramount Group won Porter of the Year. Beginning his career at 1633 Broadway in 1981, Garcia has been working in the building for 31 years and now manages a staff of 13
.Keynote speaker, Rob Speyer, addressed the packed room and shared his insights on the challenges in construction and operating Class A buildings in other countries