The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) announced winners of its 32nd Annual Residential Deal of the Year Charity & Awards Gala at a first-ever virtual ceremony held December 3.
Hosted by John Wollberg of Brown Harris Stevens and Barbara Fox of Fox Residential Group (Co-Chairs of REBNY’s Member in Need Fund Committee), the virtual celebration honored the achievements, service and professionalism of the City’s top residential dealmakers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and raised funds for REBNY’s Member in Need Fund.
The fund, which has received a record number of applications this year, provides grants to residential brokerage members who are experiencing an unexpected financial crisis or hardship.
“We applaud all of our award recipients as they continue to remind us that, even amid these challenging times, New York City’s real estate agents are truly the best in the world. While the Annual Deal of the Year Charity & Awards Gala is always a special night for our industry, this year’s event means so much more,” said REBNY President James Whelan.
“We all know this has been a deeply difficult time for all New Yorkers, including many members of the residential brokerage community who have been personally and significantly impacted by the pandemic. Our team is so proud that the tireless work of REBNY’s Member in Need Fund Committee helped ensure that our industry was prepared to help agents when they needed it most.”
THE AWARD WINNERS
Mary Rutherfurd of Brown Harris Stevens was presented with The Henry Forster Award for Lifetime Achievement by Frederick Peters of Warburg Realty; a past winner himself. This award recognizes an individual who has a long-standing reputation for excellence in residential real estate, is a top-producing agent who displays outstanding ethical conduct in the profession, and contributes to cultural, charitable and community organizations outside and within the industry.
Mary has created a legacy of outstanding achievement ever since winning Brown Harris Stevens’ Rookie of the Year Award after she joined the firm in 1984. She is now recognized as one of the industry’s most knowledgeable and respected figures, with a reputation marked not only by her record-breaking sales history but also the esteem of her colleagues. Mary has had the distinction of setting the record for the highest priced cooperative apartment sold in New York City on five different occasions throughout her career – and Mary alongside her daughter and business partner, Leslie Coleman, have sold well over half a billion dollars of real estate over the past five years alone. Through it all, Mary has been an active REBNY member – often speaking at REBNY’s educational events to share her expertise and continually raise the bar for ethics and excellence in the agent community – and has demonstrated a truly civic-minded commitment to numerous philanthropic efforts throughout New York City.
John Wollberg of Brown Harris Stevens was presented with The Eileen Spinola Award for Distinguished Service by Eileen Spinola herself; previous SVP of REBNY. This award honors a REBNY broker or agent who has made significant contributions to the REBNY community by volunteering time, lending expertise and showing leadership in the areas of education, ethics, and professional services. The winner of this award personifies the best of brokers and agents who work tirelessly for the betterment of the residential real estate industry.
John has represented buyers and sellers across a wide array of industries for 35 years – but his high-profile managerial role has not stopped him from going above and beyond to support fellow REBNY members, particularly in these challenging times. He co-chairs REBNY’s RLS Board of Directors and the Member in Need Fund Committee, and has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Member in Need Fund was ready to support agents across the city who were most severely impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, John is an active member of REBNY’s Admissions Committee, Ethics Committee and Universal Co-Broker Agreement Committee, which has made him a constant and positive presence in the conversations that will continue to drive our industry forward.
Louise Phillips Forbes of Brown Harris Stevens was presented with The Residential Brokerage Agent of the Year Award by Michael Bisordi of Tungsten Property. This award recognizes a member Sales Agent or Associate Broker who has demonstrated skilled achievement, superior leadership, high moral character and professional behavior both in the real estate industry and the community-at-large. Nominations for this award are made by colleagues — salespersons and broker associates — from within the nominee’s firm or the industry-at-large.
Louise is an industry leader who has already distinguished herself as a multi-time winner of her firm’s esteemed Broker of the Year Award and currently leads one of Brown Harris Stevens’ top sales teams. With more than 30 years in real estate and career sales exceeding $4 billion, she has developed a significant following among developers, buyers and sellers in neighborhoods throughout the city who trust in her visionary approach, which has turned so many projects into success stories. This approach also informed Louise’s equally powerful impact as a mentor for many young agents who have gained immense value from her experience and insights as they have charted their own path forward in our industry.
Manuel “Manny” Fueyo of Brown Harris Stevens was presented with The Residential Brokerage Rookie of the Year Award by Gary Malin of The Corcoran Group for his standout accomplishments within his first years working in New York City’s residential real estate market.
Manuel found his passion for real estate during his own experience as a first-time home buyer in New York City – and that passion has continued to guide him as a strong student of the industry who is already demonstrating the kind of incredible potential, work ethic and team-first spirit that translates into long-term success. This has been a uniquely challenging year to be a rookie in our industry, but Manuel’s consistently positive attitude and proactive focus on building real relationships has enabled him to weather the storm and serve as a shining example to other new agents throughout the city.
The Residential Brokerage Division’s Deal of the Year Sales & Rental Awards were presented as follows:
Lori Huler Glick of Compass and Tamara Marotta of The Corcoran Group won the First Prize Residential Sales Award.
Sharon Burroughs Clarke of The Corcoran Group took home the Second Prize Residential Sales Award.
Emma Kerins of Brown Harris Stevens, Heather Cella of Triplemint and Lauren Schaffer of Triplemint won the Third Prize Residential Sales Award.
Anthony Marino and Gabriel Leibowitz of Douglas Elliman won the new Spright Award, which honored an exceptional deal closed under the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order.
The winners of the Residential Brokerage Division’s Deal of the Year Sales & Rental Awards are chosen anonymously through a judging committee. Only members of firms who have not submitted deal entries are eligible to judge.
The Member in Need Fund was created in 1994 by the Residential Brokerage Division Member in Need Fund Committee (formerly Deal of the Year Committee) and is supported through proceeds from the Annual Residential Deal of the Year Charity and Awards Gala. The Fund assists REBNY residential members who are experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of a personal or family illness or catastrophic event.
Corporate sponsors were: Douglaston Development, JennAir, Ferguson, Real Plus Online, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Perchwell, Hudson Yards/Related, Katz & Matz, Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP, Scanio Moving and Storage, Miller Advertising Agency, the Melissa Cohn Group at Raveis Mortgage, UrbanDigs, BoardPackager, and Chaves, Perlowitz and Luftig Law Firm.
Raffle prize sponsors were: John Wollberg at Brown Harris Stevens, Sara Orlinsky-Maitland at Compass, XL Real Property Management, NY Post, REBNY, Bradford Portraits, Marjorie Hilton Interiors Inc, Hampton Water, Brand House WS, Alan David Custom Suits, SpeedPro, Lafayette 148 New York, Spiff 54, The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, Avra Madison Restaurant, Fox Residential Group, HottinDaro, Serenity Balance, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Todd Snyder, Vivace Maxvictor of Fierce Self Confidence and LR Paris.