REBNY Honors Industry Leaders at 125th Virtual Banquet



Representatives from the New York City real estate industry met virtually with city and state dignitaries on Thursday, June 10, for the 125th Annual Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Banquet. This year’s banquet presented by Newmark, focused on the theme “New York’s Greatest Comeback” and highlighted the central role the real estate industry has played in supporting the city throughout the pandemic and on its path to economic recovery.

As in previous years, the winners of the prestigious annual REBNY awards were honored at the banquet, including Key Real Estate Specialists, Bess Friedman, Kevin McCann, Gregg Schenker, Robert Shapiro, Alan Viner as well as Laurie Zucker.


REBNY President James Whelan as well as REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst presided over a virtual banquet that attracted about 1,200 spectators from all over the city.

“Throughout a year of great challenge and uncertainty, our industry has repeatedly risen to the occasion to help our tenants, residents, neighbors, and our city,” said REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst in his opening remarks. “Now, thanks to our collective dedication and resourcefulness, we can see the city come back to life. While there is still a lot of work ahead of me, I know we are on track for New York’s greatest comeback. ”

The elected officials to join the banquet this year included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Laetitia James, Congressman Gregory Meeks and Congressman Richie Torres.

In his comments Governor Cuomo welcomed the heroic contributions of New York City’s key workers and emphasized the critical role that economic development, as well as the real estate and construction industries, play and will continue to play in the city’s long-term recovery.

“The future will be as we make it”, said Governor Cuomo. “We must build the future with new transportation, including a new Penn Station, a new Moynihan station, a new bus station and new green energy systems. Roosevelt knew that after the Great Depression he didn’t just build buildings, he built trust — and so did we. ”


Majority Leader Sumerian also highlighted New York’s road to recovery and the important federal assistance he and the New York Congressional delegation provided in the American bailout plan, and applauded REBNY members for stepping up during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Many REBNY members have gathered to support their compatriots in New York, mobilizing their immense resources, connections and expertise in a variety of ways, including providing hospital facilities, storing food and blood, and helping the most vulnerable of us overcome this dark chapter. in the history of New York ” said majority leader Sumer.

To this end, the banquet also included presentations on the various ways that REBNY members, the real estate industry and its core employees have played a key role in supporting New York City, its residents and businesses over the past year. This included efforts such as:

  • Providing much-needed emergency medical facilities, personal protective equipment and other emergency resources during the months that New York City is facing its worst COVID-19 crisis.
  • Partnership with a non-profit community to fund, conceive, and launch Parachute Project, a charity program that has provided rental assistance to thousands of New Yorkers affected by the pandemic, including many undocumented families, that has kept them safe.
  • Work closely with small business tenants to help them stay afloat amid economic turmoil, and actively support the many ways that small business owners have also sought to give back to their communities during the crisis.

The awards presented at this year’s Banquet are some of the highest professional awards in the real estate industry. This year the laureates of the award are:

Key NYC Real Estate Workers have received the John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award for the outstanding work they have done to help the industry and our city cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and for their continued efforts to support the city’s recovery. The award was accepted on behalf of key industry workers (pictured right):

Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ SEIU; Cuba J. Brown, President of the International Union of Field Engineers Gary Labarbera, President of the Council of Building and Building Professions of Greater New York; s Local 94


Bess Friedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens received the Kenneth R. Guerrety Humanitarian Award for Distinguished Service and Lifetime Commitment to Improving Outcomes in Her Community and in New York City Real Estate.

Kevin McCannSenior Managing Director of Global Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield received the George M. Brooker Management of the Year Award for Excellence in Property Management, Outstanding Professionalism, Citizenship and Contribution to the Real Estate Industry.


Alan WienerWells Fargo Multifamily Capital Group CEO received the Bernard H. Mendick Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award for excellence in real estate, leadership and real estate services throughout his career.

Gregg L. SchenkerPresident and Co-Managing Partner of ABS Partners Real Estate received the Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award for exceptional personal and professional integrity, leadership and distinguished position in the brokerage community, and for his work on various REBNY committees.


Robert M. ShapiroThe Executive Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield received the Young Real Estate Professional of the Year award for his integrity, professionalism and personal ethics. This award is selected by the New York City Young Men and Women Association.


Laurie Zucker, Deputy Chairman of the Donald Zucker Company & Manhattan Skyline Mgt. Corp. received the Harry B. Helmsley Outstanding New Yorker Award for her invaluable contribution to the well-being of New York City and the broader real estate community.

This time-honored networking event was sponsored by: Owner – Newmark; Major Sponsors – The Durst Organization, RXR Realty, Brookfield Properties, Tishman Speyer and related; Diamond Sponsors – Douglaston Companies, Extell Development Company, A&E Real Estate; Platinum sponsors – Fisher Brothers, Suffolk Construction, Fetner Properties, Jack Resnick & Sons, Rosenberg & Estis, PC, Gotham Organization, Mercury, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Kramer Levin; Ambassador Sponsors – CBRE, Inc., Tishman Realty Corporation, JLL, Vornado Realty Trust, Cushman & Wakefield, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, HJ Kalikow & Co., LLC, Glenwood Management Corp., IUOE Local Union 94 , Wells Fargo, Rudin Management Company, Inc., Silverstein Properties, SL Green Realty Corp, WatermanCLARK, Ogden CAP Properties, LLC, GFP Real Estate, The Feil Organization, Donald Zucker Company / Manhattan Skyline and Himmel + Meringoff Properties, LLC. The 125th Annual Banquet underwriting sponsors were: 32BJ SEIU, ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC, AECOM Tishman, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Brown Harris Stevens, TF Cornerstone, The Guarantors, RFR Realty LLC, Greater New York and the Empire State Realty Trust.

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