Press Release

REBNY Announces New Yorkers to be Honored with the Real Estate Industry’s Most Prestigious Annual Awards


March 2, 2022

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Honorees will be recognized at REBNY’s new annual event – New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City – on June 23

NEW YORK – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, today announced the distinguished leaders who will receive the New York City real estate industry’s most prestigious awards at REBNY’s annual event this June.  

REBNY will recognize the honorees for their unparalleled commitment to the civic welfare of New York City and its residents, outstanding personal and professional success, and exceptional contributions to the industry. The award ceremony will take place at REBNY’s new annual event – New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City – on June 23 at The Glasshouse.

REBNY also recently announced that, along with its new name and partnership with the non-profit NY Forever, this year’s reimagined annual event will include exciting new elements, including a dynamic networking reception with a food tasting experience that will offer an array of canapes from top New York City chefs including guest chef Daniel Boulud.

“For generations, REBNY’s honorees have set the standard for professional accomplishment and commitment to New York City,” said REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst. “Even as we bring an exciting new look to our annual event, one thing that will never change is the exemplary leadership of our award recipients.”

“As New York City continues on the path to a brighter future, we are proud to honor an incredible group of men and women whose work is guiding us all forward every day,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “The achievements of our honorees serve as an inspiration not only to real estate professionals but to everyone who cares about our great city.”

Honorees to be Recognized at New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City

For more information on this year’s honorees, see here.

The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award

Presented to Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, for her unyielding courage and trailblazing work to advance the causes of social justice, racial equity and expanding access to economic opportunities for men and women of color throughout New York.

The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award

Presented to Tom Elghanayan, Chairman and Co-Founder of TF Cornerstone Inc., for his exceptional accomplishments and invaluable contributions to New York and its real estate industry throughout a career that has spanned more than a half century and left indelible impacts on the city and its economy.

The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award

Presented to Hal Fetner, President and CEO of Fetner Properties; Jeff Levine, Founder and Chairman of Douglaston Development; and David Picket, CEO of Gotham Organization; for their civic-minded ingenuity in conceiving the Project Parachute initiative, which has worked with the non-profit community to help thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers impacted by the COVID pandemic to remain safely housed by delivering rental assistance and other much-needed resources and support.

The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award

Presented to Sarah Saltzberg, Co-Owner of Bohemia Realty Group, for her outstanding efforts to expand housing options for New Yorkers of all backgrounds by elevating the conversation on housing voucher access and working tirelessly to connect voucher-holders across the city with quality housing.

The Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award

Presented to Darcy Stacom, Chairman and Head of New York City Capital Markets at CBRE, for her incredible professional achievements at the forefront of the commercial brokerage community for more than 40 years and her ongoing efforts to increase diversity throughout the real estate industry.

The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award

Presented to Frank Pusinelli, Sr EVP, Chief Operating Officer-Operating Assets at RXR Realty, for his industry-leading work across an expansive portfolio of commercial, residential and logistics assets, which has consistently raised the bar for management executives throughout New York City and contributed to the city’s ongoing path to long-term economic recovery.

The Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award

Presented to Laura Jackson, Senior Vice President, Tax Director, SL Green Realty Corp., for her incredible professional achievements as a rising star of the industry and for her civic leadership in founding the “She Builds” initiative to empower women in real estate to give back to the communities they serve.

A portion of New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City event proceeds will go to the REBNY Foundation, which is helping to increase diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry through ongoing initiatives such as the REBNY Fellows Leadership Program in partnership with Coro New York and REBNY’s Internship Program in partnership with Project Destined and the City University of New York (CUNY). The Foundation also supports ongoing efforts by Project Parachute – an initiative seeded by REBNY members in collaboration with the non-profit community – to provide rental assistance and other support to vulnerable New Yorkers impacted by the pandemic. The Foundation also supports ongoing work by the non-profit Building Skills New York to connect New Yorkers from historically underserved communities with good construction jobs and career opportunities.

Additionally, REBNY’s new partnership with the non-profit NY Forever on this year’s event will help to amplify the work of an array of citywide volunteer and philanthropic initiatives promoted through the NY Forever network. More news on fundraising and volunteer efforts will be announced by the REBNY Foundation and NY Forever in advance of the event.

For more information on New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City, including details on how to purchase tickets and secure sponsorship opportunities for the event, see here.

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