Press Release

New York’s Top Business and Government Leaders Gather at the REBNY Annual to Celebrate Real Estate Industry Achievements and Civic Leadership


January 18, 2024

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NEW YORK, NYThe Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) last night hosted more than 1,000 leaders of real estate, business and government at the REBNY Annual – the premier networking event for New York City’s real estate industry.

Now in its 128th year, the iconic event was held at The Glasshouse in Manhattan and featured remarks by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, as well as appearances by hundreds of top real industry executives and a wide array of public officials across New York City, State and Federal government.

The REBNY Annual kicked off with red carpet press interviews showcasing REBNY’s annual honorees and other industry leaders, followed by a cocktail reception alongside the Glasshouse’s skyline and waterfront views. The reception featured canapés and hors d’oeuvres curated by Bar Boulud Executive Chef Dan Guzman, Hill Country Chef Chris Stark, Field Trip Chef JJ Johnson and kosher selections from Le Marais.

Guests then enjoyed a three-course dinner, with the first course prepared by Le Pavillon Co-Executive Chef Michael Balboni, followed by a second course from Ci Siamo Executive Chef Hillary Sterling, and capped off with dessert from Le Pavillon Executive Pastry Chef Yohko Ogata. The dinner program included the prestigious REBNY awards ceremony honoring seven industry and civic leaders.

Additionally, the evening included a dedicated lighting of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center and other iconic New York City buildings in REBNY red. The program also featured a video presentation highlighting the vital role that the real estate industry plays in supporting the City’s economy. 

“Tonight’s honorees comprise individuals who have worked tirelessly to move our industry and New York City toward a more resilient, prosperous and inclusive future,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “We're proud that the REBNY Annual provides such a wonderful forum to celebrate that work while recognizing our vital partnerships with stakeholders across business, labor and government.”

“Nights like this celebrate great ideas and hard work, along with strengthening important lines of communication between some of the brightest minds in our city,” said REBNY Chairman Jed Walentas. “The history of New York City demonstrates that great challenges can be overcome through close coordination between the real estate sector, broader business community and government.”

The 2024 Honorees Recognized at the REBNY Annual:

REBNY recognized seven honorees for unparalleled commitment to the civic welfare of New York City and its residents, outstanding personal and professional success, and exceptional contributions to the industry. These awards are among the top professional distinctions in the real estate industry.

  • The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award

    Presented to Douglas Durst, Chairman, The Durst Organization, for exceptional accomplishments in the profession and invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare. 

  • The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award

    Presented to Joel Picket, Chairman, Gotham Organization, for exceptional service to the industry and remarkable professional accomplishments over the course of his career. 

  • The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award

    Presented to Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, Senior Managing Director, Compass, for outstanding service to the community.

  • The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award

    Presented to Fred Cerullo, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Central Partnership, for exceptional accomplishments and service to the public’s interest.

  • The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award

    Presented to Wayne Taub, Executive Managing Director of Operations, Jack Resnick & Sons, recognizing exceptional career accomplishments as well as service to the profession and the broader community.

  • The Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award

    Presented to Ellen Israel, Executive Managing Director, JRT Realty Group, recognizing a REBNY broker with personal and professional integrity, long-term leadership and prominence in the brokerage community and participation in REBNY’s committees.

  • The Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award

    Presented to Michael Rudder, Principal, Rudder Property Group, for incredible professional achievements as a rising star of the industry and for civic leadership.

A portion of event proceeds will go to the REBNY Foundation, which supports and funds social impact initiatives in New York City.

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit


Chris Santarelli

(212) 616-5249

Topics Covered

  • Awards