By: Hellen Zaboulani
The city’s oldest and most influential trade association held its annual gala virtually this year.
As reported by the NY Post, on Thursday the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) celebrated its 125th anniversary as an organization in a virtual event. The gala is usually an elaborate black-tie in-person social event with a who’s who of NYC’s top landlords, building investors, real estate executives and service professionals. This year the event, which is usually held in January, was held online on Thursday June 10th. “The banquet is a pivot point, and we will reflect back on the past year and how the city managed the crisis and prepared for the recovery,” said James Whelan, REBNY’s president. “New York City has been knocked down before and always comes back bigger and better.”
To be sure, the real estate industry will play an important role in getting NYC back on its feet. As a gauge of influence, in fiscal year 2019, 52.8 percent of all NYC taxes were real estate-related—that is $31.9 billion out of the total $60.4 billion in taxes.
This year, the event highlighted essential workers, as well as those in the real estate industry who worked to get New York City on its way to recovery and a bright future. Among the evening’s awardees Bess Freedman, the Chief Executive Officer at Brown Harris Stevens, was awarded The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award. Laurie Zucker, vice chairman of the Zucker Organization won the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award.
The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award this year was awarded to the industry’s essential workers—which was accepted by Kyle Bragg, Kuba Brown and Gary LaBarbera on behalf of 100,000 local union workers are union leaders,. Gregg L. Schenker, president and co-managing partner of ABS Partners, won the Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award. The Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award was presented to Robert M. Shapiro, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield. Kevin McCann, former senior managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, won the George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award. Alan Wiener, group head at Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, was presented with the Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award.
“This year has been difficult for many New Yorkers, but our honorees remind us that over REBNY’s 125-year history we have always found a way to come back stronger and more dynamic than we were before,” said REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst.