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REBNY makes big push to increase diversity within industry

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) in collaboration with Coro New York Leadership Center, a civic leadership training program, today announced the creation of the REBNY Fellows, the first-of-its-kind leadership program for real estate professionals of diverse backgrounds.


“New York City embraces and celebrates diversity like no other City in the world. But the many benefits of diversity are only realized when you also embrace and facilitate broad-based inclusion,” said REBNY President James Whelan.

“The REBNY Fellows Program will provide a more inclusive pathway to exciting and impactful careers in real estate for some of New York’s top diverse talent. We thank Bill Rudin for his leadership and our Diversity Committee, led by Darcy Stacom and Bernard Warren, for making this important program happen.”

“Coro’s mission is to build a leadership community that represents the full diversity of New York City. For this reason, we are proud to partner with REBNY on this initiative to support future leaders for the sector. The challenges facing our city in the coming years are immense, but we know that great leadership arises from collaborative solutions informed by multiple perspectives. We hope this program will be a small part of the roles we must all play to help New York City recover and become the best version of itself for all who live and work here,” said Coro Executive Director Scott Millstein.

The REBNY Fellows Program taps 20 rising real estate leaders from diverse backgrounds for a high-impact, 6-month training program focused on further developing the leadership skills needed to solve complex challenges, assess multiple perspectives and collaborate effectively. The program will provide networking opportunities along with advocacy and civic leadership training. Participants will walk away with additional knowledge and skills and a lifelong professional network that will provide a roadmap to continued success in the real estate industry.

The inaugural class of the REBNY Fellows Program includes:

Alexis McGuffin, director of business development, Lendlease

Ali Siby, senior associate asset manager, Nuveen Real Estate

Angela D’ Aguanno, chief operating officer – NY Tri-state, Cushman & Wakefield

Christie Chen, investment associate, Oxford Properties Group

Cindy True, director – US investments, Madison International Realty

Dennis Ovalle, senior vice president, Related Management Company

DeVon Prioleau, Director, Ferzan Company, LLC

Erin Cannata, managing director, Northwood Investors

Haley Shoener, vice president- Leasing, Brookfield Properties

Henry Fuentes, director, Avison Young

Jaiye Falusi, senior associate, Tishman Speyer

Johanna Clark-Wendt, marketing director, CBRE

Maibi Rojas, project manager, CBRE

Marie Toucet, senior project manager, CBRE

Martha Torres, assistant property manager, The Durst Organization

Meaghan Chiappetta, senior real estate analyst, Edison Properties

Natisha Thomas, residential operations manager, Rudin Management Company

Rene Hamilton, assistant vice president, Helmsley Spear

Susannah Shaw, senior project manager- development, Boston Properties

Tristian Nadal, vice president- development & acquisitions, Gotham Organization

REBNY is committed to advancing efforts that help attract, retain and advance women, people of color, and others from diverse backgrounds in the real estate industry.

The organization’s REBNY Fellows Program aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive real estate industry by creating and cultivating a pipeline for rising leaders of diverse background within the industry. On the collegiate level, REBNY has collaborated with the City University of New York to assemble informative career panels focused on the pathways to leadership roles in real estate.

REBNY also launched a new internship program in 2019, in coordination with Ladders for Leaders – an initiative of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), supported by the NYC Center for Youth Employment and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City – which placed over 50 young adults in paid summer internships at leading real estate firms.

Additionally, REBNY partners with Building Skills NY to connect underemployed New Yorkers with jobs and training to create new career pathways into the construction industry, a partnership that has resulted in placing more than 800 individuals from diverse backgrounds since 2016.

REBNY’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are supported by REBNY ’s Diversity Committee, which works to create professional opportunities and improve and promote the diversity of the trade association’s membership and the real estate industry at large.

For more information about REBNY’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, please visit

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