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Deals & Dealmakers

Real estate maven Diane Ramirez to keynote annual Women’s Forum

Nearly 600 women investors, owners, developers and professionals are expected to take part in Real Estate Weekly’s 4th Annual Women’s Forum, which will take place at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel on Wednesday February 25.

Diane Ramirez
Diane Ramirez

This year’s theme is “Women Helping Women” and panels will shed fresh perspectives on key real estate issues, such as: construction, development, sustainability, capital raising and information technology.

Halstead Property CEO and co-founder Diane Ramirez will reflect on her 35-year career and the importance of choosing the right mentor during a conversation with Real Estate Board veteran, Eileen Spinola.

Ramirez began her career as an agent in Palm Beach, Florida. Upon her return to her hometown – New York City – she helped found Halstead Property in the Fall of 1984 with Clark Halstead.

Over the course of the next 30 years, Halstead grew to include 30 offices across the tri-state. “All the wonderful experiences and joys in all aspects of my life have happened because I embraced challenge – and continue to embrace it,” Ramirez told Scene magazine.

Purnima Kapur, executive director of the New York City planning department, will give the morning keynote speech at the Women’s Forum.

A 25-year veteran of city planning Kapur, was involved in affordable housing negotiations with Two Trees Management’s Domino Sugar site.
She also previously served as director of the agency’s Bronx office, where she oversaw rezoning that paved the way for housing and economic development initiatives in the Port Morris and Morrisania neighborhoods.

She also worked on land-use applications for the new Yankee Stadium and Bronx Terminal Market. Diane Ramirez, chief executive officer of Halstead Property is well-known for her passion and devotion to the residential real estate industry.
The day will include several panels featuring women from a variety of different industry disciplines.

Top female developers including Patricia Dunphy, SVP, Rockrose Development, Andrea Kretchmer, Affordable Housing Developer, POKO Partners, and Shwetha Subramanian, director – residential Development, Forest City Ratner. will discuss the future of specific neighborhoods, identify local nuances and how they interplay with global trends.

REW reporter Holly Dutton wil moderate a panel on real estate technology that will include Jodi Berman, Director – Leasing, Stonehenge Management and Sara Queen, Senior Vice President, Brookfield Asset Management.
And Lesley Lisser from Invesco, and Toby Moskovits, of Heritage Equity Partners, will discuss interest rates and capital costs.

Other participants include Melissa Román Burch of Lend Lease, Romy Goldman, Founder, Gold Development; Joanne Podell, Executive Vice President – Retail Services, Cushman & Wakefield; Alicia Popper, SVP – Leasing & Construction, PBC USA Real Estate and; Jenifer Steig, Owner, Cheshire Group.

The forum has become a much anticipated annual event for both seasoned and new real estate executives interested in both an in-depth learning experience and substantial networking opportunities as both male and female participants have the opportunity to develop connections with prominent female industry leaders.

To register and view the full list of speakers, visit

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