Press Release

REBNY Brings New Flavor to Iconic Annual Event


June 23, 2022

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Nearly 2,000 leaders in real estate, business and government from across NYC gathered June 23 for “New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City”

Award ceremony recognized winners of NYC real estate’s most prestigious annual honors

Guests enjoyed food and drinks from Chef Daniel Boulud and other top NYC chefs, mixologists

Portion of event proceeds supported the REBNY Foundation’s efforts to connect underserved residents with good construction jobs and increase diversity, equity and inclusion across the real estate industry

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) marked its 126th year with an unforgettable evening as nearly 2,000 real estate industry and business leaders, government officials and other guests gathered last night at REBNY’s revamped annual event – New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City – hosted at The Glasshouse in Manhattan.

Unlike REBNY’s previous annual events, this year’s celebration departed from past tradition of black tie, banquet hall and sit-down dinner. With fresh energy and in cocktail attire, the event kicked off with red carpet interviews featuring REBNY’s annual honorees and top real estate executives from across the city. A cocktail hour reception included REBNY’s annual award ceremony honoring industry leaders and advocates and featuring celebratory remarks from Governor Kathy Hochul and Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief Advisor to Mayor Eric Adams. REBNY then welcomed guests to a dynamic networking reception featuring a variety of culinary tastes and drinks from some of NYC’s top chefs and mixologists.

“The biggest night in real estate was unlike any other in REBNY’s history,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “For the first time in almost three years, we gathered in person to not only celebrate our industry leaders, but also applaud the resilience of New York City and the exciting future ahead. It was truly an unforgettable night.”

Guests enjoyed drinks and cocktails from Brooklyn Brewery and New York Distillery, in addition to curated beverages from some of New York City’s top mixologists. A diverse menu of canapes from top NYC chefs including special guest chef Daniel Boulud, one of America’s leading culinary authorities, were also served, under his purview. Other chefs included:

  • Michael Lomonaco of Porter House Bar and Grill and Hudson Yards Grill

  • JJ Johnson of FIELDTRIP

  • Ash Fulker of Hill Country

  • Joseph Rosa of Hudson West

  • Anastacia Song of KUMI NY

  • Anwar Khoder of Li-Lac Chocolates

“We gathered last night in our wonderful city which continues to emerge stronger than ever,” said REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst. “REBNY’s event and our distinguished honorees reflect that strength. We are thrilled to have been able to gather in person once again with friends, colleagues and esteemed officials to celebrate the biggest night in New York real estate.”

The event was held in partnership with NY Forever, a nonprofit organization working to recapture faith and pride in New York by organizing and motivating New Yorkers from every borough and generation to participate in the city’s civic rebirth.

"Since we began last January, we have dedicated ourselves to championing New York City's recovery from COVID-19 — rallying New Yorkers to show their pride in our city by showing up, volunteering and supporting organizations on the front lines,” said Emily Anadu, Co-Founding Board Member and Co-Chair of NY Forever. “Together we've helped hundreds of New Yorkers volunteer for community-based organizations and raised over $400,000 for our non-profit partners. We are excited to partner with the REBNY to continue to build on these efforts and ensure we are building back a better, more equitable New York City." 

A portion of proceeds from the event 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 work by the non-profit Building Skills New York to connect New Yorkers from historically underserved communities with good construction jobs and career opportunities.

During the cocktail reception, REBNY recognized nine 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. The awards presented were among the top professional distinctions in the real estate industry. Awards and honorees included:

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.