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We all have part to play in improving quality of life

JOHN-BANKS-REBNY-WATCH-300x180Long ago, I made the decision to become an organ donor. This is not so important for me, but for the life that I may help save after I’m gone.

I am happy to report that this issue is also a top priority at the highest levels of our state government.

At a recent speech before the Association for a Better New York, John Flanagan, the Majority Leader of the State Senate (pictured above) spoke passionately and eloquently about the importance of organ donation.

Sporting a green “Save A Life” wristband, Flanagan detailed not only how New Yorkers can become more involved in organ donation, but also why.

Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Some organs that can be donated include: kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, lungs, and bone marrow. Organ donations usually occur for patients with kidney failure, heart, lung and liver diseases. Donor matches are made when both the donor and the recipient have the same blood type.

According to Flanagan, New York is 50th out of 50 states when it comes to organ donation, and there are approximately 10,000 people in the metropolitan area awaiting organ transplants.

New York City ranks 3rd in the country in people waiting for organ donations, and although 83 percent of New Yorkers support donation, only roughly 25 percent are registered.

With our city’s population of 8.4 million, there is tremendous room for improvement, and a more conscious effort on our part as New Yorkers would mean that many of those waiting for transplants would have a much better chance at receiving the care they need.

The importance of organ and tissue donation cannot be overstated. Just one donation can save the lives of up to 10 people and significantly improve the lives of more.

There are always people all over the world waiting for transplants, and the fastest way to get them what they need is through proactive action.

According to published reports, the impact of one organ donation will soon increase exponentially, with emerging technologies in the fields of medical science, such as 3D printing, making it possible to recreate entire organs using existing samples.

However, the process will still need to start with our role as donors, making donation even more vital in the future, which is why awareness is more important now than ever.

This column generally covers real estate issues and the various ways our industry makes a positive impact on the lives of others. Organ donation is perhaps one of the most direct and significant ways in which we can not only improve the quality of life for others, but also directly save lives.

As an organ donor, I am proud to say that I have made this commitment, and I am proud to join State Senate Majority Leader Flanagan to strongly encourage everyone to do the same.

Learn how you can become an organ donor by calling the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at 1-866-NYDONOR.

In other REBNY news:
REBNY’s Residential Brokerage Division announceD the results of its 2015 Annual Elections. We congratulate all the newly elected members of the Residential Board of Directors and Residential Ethics Committee. New members of the Residential

David Schlamm
David Schlamm

Board of Directors include Asher Alcobi of Peter Ashe Real Estate and David Schlamm of City Connections Realty Inc. Jeffrey Weisbord of Jeffrey Weisbord Real Estate and Hall Willkie of Brown Harris Stevens have been re-elected as members of the Residential Board of Directors. Joining the Residential Ethics Committee as a new member is Ellie Johnson of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Additionally, Jeffrey Rothstein, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, has been re-elected as a member of the Residential Ethics Committee.

March 8 is REBNY’s next Breakfast Club seminar. From 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., join your fellow REBNY members at this free seminar in our Mendik Education Room, where our top industry leaders will be imparting hints and tips to improve your business. For more information, contact Yesenia Dhanraj at, or check the Events section of

REBNY’s next Residential Rental Clinic seminar is on March 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Mendik Education Center. Presented by Daniel Marrello of Town Fifth Avenue LLC and Gary Kiyan of Perfect RE Solutions Inc., join fellow REBNY members in this exciting seminar that will teach you more about how to expand and improve your residential real estate business. For more information, contact Yesenia Dhanraj at


REBNY’s Member’s Luncheon will be on March 22 from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton New York. The panel discussion, “New York City Market Forecast: Where Are We Now? And Where Are We Going?” will feature Adelaide Polsinelli of Eastern Consolidated, Hal Stein of SL Green Realty, Chase Welles of SCG Retail and Sacha Zarba of CBRE, and will be moderated by Ron LoRusso of Cushman & Wakefield. We will also be presenting the winner of the 2015 Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year Award, one of REBNY’s most sought-after commercial honors. To register, visit or contact Ossie Shemtov at

REBNY’s next Secrets of Top Brokers and Industry Leaders seminar will be on March 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Mendik Education Center. Register now to hear our panel of real estate experts examine and present current trends in real estate to enhance the professional knowledge of each attending agent. Registration is required, and more information can be found on, or by contacting Yesenia Dhanraj at
REBNY will be honoring outstanding leaders in the field of Commercial Property Management at their upcoming Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, June 2, 2016.
We are taking nominations for the John M. Griffin Community Service Award, the On-Site Manager of the Year Award, the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award, the Small Buildings Engineer of the Year, the Large Buildings Engineer of the Year, the Security Professional of the Year, the Porter of the Year, the Rising Star of the Year and the Best Engine Room Award.
Nomination deadline is Thursday, March 3. Please register online at

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