Press Release

REBNY and Coro New York Leadership Center Announce 2023 Class of REBNY Fellows


January 24, 2023

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REBNY Fellows Leadership Program is creating exciting new opportunities for real estate professionals from diverse backgrounds to build a more inclusive real estate industry

NEW YORK, NY– The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, and Coro New York Leadership Center, the City’s premier civic leadership training program, are celebrating the newest cohort of REBNY Fellows. The first program of its kind for young real estate professionals of diverse backgrounds, 24 talented early career professionals in brokerage, development and other real estate fields have entered the program now in its third year.

The REBNY Fellows Leadership Program brings in real estate professionals from diverse backgrounds for a high-impact, six-month training program designed to help elevate their careers and prepare them for opportunities to increase their impact on the industry and its future. In addition to gaining networking exposure and advocacy and civic leadership training, REBNY Fellows become part of a lifelong professional network that will support their continued success. Once accepted into the program, fellows’ employers sponsor their participation costs, demonstrating the commitment of these businesses to a diverse workforce.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our new REBNY Fellows who will build upon their already impressive experience in this program,” said Yvonne Riley-Tepie, REBNY’s Senior Vice President of Social Impact. “Thanks to the program’s sponsors, the insight of CORO and continued support of REBNY and its members, more individuals of all backgrounds will influence the trajectory of the real estate industry.”

"At Coro, we are working on building the next generation of diverse leaders who are ready to step up and make a change in New York City,” said Garrett Lucien, Coro’s Vice President of Programs & Training. “More than ever, we need leaders who are ready to take on the biggest challenges we face, and we are proud to partner with REBNY to help us achieve that goal. It is going to take every sector of life in New York coming together to create a more inclusive and fair city and through this collaboration, we can help cultivate the leaders who will make it possible.”

The 2023 REBNY Fellows

For more information on the new REBNY Fellows, see here.

  • Jay Ackerman, Director of Special Initiatives, Real Estate Board of New York

  • Alana Bassen, Vice President, CBRE

  • Athenes Bauza, Director, Business Development, FirstService Residential New York

  • Matthew Berman, Senior General Manager, The Durst Organization

  • Daniel Cobar, Director, AvalonBay Communities

  • Christine Gouwens, Assistant Property Manager, Empire State Realty Trust

  • Lisa Hunt, Director of Operations,Webb & Brooker Inc.

  • Hironori Imaizumi, Senior Analyst, CBRE

  • Leleah James, Executive Director, Related Affordable Foundation

  • Rhett James, Senior Associate, Tishman Speyer

  • Alexander Melendez, Assistant Project Manager, Fairstead LLC

  • Sally Nogueira, Community Manager, Rose Associates

  • Rosemary Pagan, Community Manager, Gotham Organization

  • Lauren Pepin, Associate Real Estate Broker, Compass

  • Christopher Perugini, Rudin Management Company

  • Waldemar Robles, Real Estate Salesperson, Platinum Properties

  • Nekesha Sawh, Senior Portfolio Programs Manager, Hines

  • Kelly Sposato, MEP Project Manager, Suffolk Construction

  • Ron Stevens, Assistant Property Manager, The Durst Organization

  • Carolina Tejada, Vice President, Operations, Silverstein Properties

  • Caaminee Vecchio, Senior Development Manager,Vice President, Lendlease

  • Cher Yao, Associate, Hines

  • Nicole Zaccack, Development Manager, Jonathan Rose Companies

  • Lizzy Zevallos, Assistant Vice President of Development, MAG Partners

REBNY is committed to advancing efforts that help attract, retain and advance women, people of color and others from diverse backgrounds in the real estate industry. The REBNY Fellows program was conceived and launched in 2020 based on an overarching initiative led by REBNY’s Diversity Committee, which works to create professional opportunities and improve and promote the diversity of the trade association’s membership and the real estate industry at large. In two years, 34 professionals have graduated the program. Many of the candidates from the prior cohorts have been promoted and continue to have an impact on the industry at large.

On the collegiate level, REBNY has collaborated with the City University of New York and Project Destined to create its Commercial Real Estate Internship Program focused on the pathways to careers in real estate for students of diverse backgrounds. The Project Destined and CUNY partnership has trained 150 students per year for the last 3 years. Additionally, REBNY partners with Building Skills NY to connect underemployed New Yorkers with jobs and training to create new career pathways into the construction industry.

Interested participants for the next cohort can find more information on the program and fill out an interest form at

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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

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