Press Release

Real Estate Board of New York President John Banks to Retire; Jim Whelan Named New President


June 25, 2019

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Board of Governors Congratulates and Thanks Banks for Years of ServiceThe Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) announced today that its President, John Banks, will retire after five years of service to REBNY and 33 years in the private and public sectors.  The REBNY Board of Governors confirmed Jim Whelan as new President, effective July 1, 2019. This spring, John Banks decided to turn his attention to his family and his philanthropic causes.  He joined REBNY in March 2015 and led the organization through a number of pivotal moments for the real estate industry.REBNY President John Banks said: “Throughout my career, I have been extremely fortunate to work with people and organizations that have helped me grow both personally and professionally; and because of this tremendous support I now have the ability to make this very personal choice. I intend to fully focus on my beloved wife Lisa and our young children, and look forward to being more present in their lives.  In addition to enjoying my family, I plan to concentrate on my not-for-profit and charitable interests. I want to thank Bill Rudin and the REBNY family for their support. I especially want to thank Rob Speyer for hiring me, and providing support and friendship over the years. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with Rob, Bill, and the entire REBNY team.”REBNY Chair William Rudin said:  “John led the Real Estate Board with a steady and expert hand and the organization and our industry is better for his leadership.  He successfully guided us through many challenges and complicated issues. John is a true public servant and his work both in and out of government always focused on making our city and state a better place.  On behalf of the entire Board, we wish John Banks nothing but continued success in his future endeavors.”REBNY Chair Emeritus Rob Speyer said: “I want to thank John Banks for his tremendous service to our industry.  John is a wonderful leader and an even better friend to all of us."Prior to joining REBNY, John Banks served as Vice President of Government Relations at Consolidated Edison for nearly 13 years.  He also served as Chief of Staff for the New York City Council, Deputy Director of the Council’s Finance Division and served in the Mayor’s Office of Operations during the Koch administration.  He currently serves on the boards of the New York Public Library, Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection, and Manhattan College.Incoming REBNY President Jim Whelan has served as the Executive Vice President of REBNY for the past nine years, overseeing the organization’s efforts pertaining to advocacy, policy, government relations, communications and brokerage services.  Previously, Jim served as SVP for Public Affairs at the Muss Development Company, Chief of Staff for the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development of New York City, and a number of organizations pivotal to the development of Lower Manhattan after 9/11, Hudson Yards, and Downtown Brooklyn.William Rudin said: “Jim is a great leader and extremely respected in the industry; we could not wish for a better incoming President.  He has been instrumental in REBNY’s work over the past nine years, and we all look forward to working with him as our President, and positioning our city and industry to be stronger than ever.”Jim Whelan said: “I am both honored and humbled, and I look forward to serving as REBNY President to help our city stay ahead of the competition well into the future. We have many challenges ahead of us, but we are uniquely positioned to continue being the best place in the world to work and live. I thank the REBNY Board of Governors, and look forward to continue working with our entire REBNY team, and of course all of our City’s and State’s stakeholders.”