Real Estate winners who are leading by example

By Steve Spinola

As 2014 draws to a close, I want to highlight a few of the REBNY members who were singled out this year for their achievements and contributions to our industry.

This year, our Deal of the Year Awards once again went out to industry professionals who went above and beyond. I would like to commend them for their creativity, hard work and determination.

In May, we held our Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards at the 101 Club, where we honored five of New York City’s most innovative real estate agents for their creative problem-solving skills when closing deals.

CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe and Gregory Tosko took home first place for “Jumpstarting the Future: Coach Buys in to Hudson Yards.” David A. Gree of Cushman & Wakefield was awarded second place for “The Improbable Master Lease of the Retail Spaces at 650 Fifth Avenue,” and M. Myers Mermel and Caroline McLain of TenantWise took home third place for “Air Equal to Land: The Sale of Air Rights from 520 Park Avenue.”

A month later, we gathered once again at 101 Club to present the Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year, bestowed upon the most creative and significant retail deals of 2013.

Out of an impressive array of transactions, the Most Ingenious Retail Deal of the Year was presented to Richard B. Hodos of CBRE for “A Marriage Made in (Marketing) Heaven: The Polo/Ralph Lauren Lease at 711 Fifth Avenue,” and Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate Corp. was awarded the Most Significant Retail Deal of the Year Award for “A NYC Retail Journey: Barneys Comes Home – 107 Seventh Avenue.”

Most recently, in October, hundreds of industry professionals attended our 26th Annual Residential Deal of the Year Charity and Awards Gala at the Metropolitan Pavilion, our Residential Brokerage Division’s biggest event of the year.

Here, Antony Bitar of AC Lawrence Real Estate was named Rookie Salesperson of the Year. Douglas Elliman’s Sharon Burroughs won first prize in the residential sales category, Shelley Lindauer of Keller Williams took home second, while Timothy Melzer won third.

For rentals, first prize was presented to Linda Guido of Halstead Property and her co-broker Anna (Justice) Filippova of the Spire Group.

Reba Miller, of RP Miller Realty Group, was awarded the prestigious Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement, an honor given to an individual whose long-standing reputation for excellence in residential real estate is trumped only by his or her outstanding ethical conduct and professionalism.

REBNY’s boards and committees go through a rigorous process to determine who will receive these awards each year, and being selected as a recipient is no small accomplishment.

To those award winners — past, present, and future — I hope that you will continue to represent our industry to the best of your abilities, and use your distinctions, awards, and accolades as an inspiration to reach for still greater heights going forward.

In preparation for next year, submissions for the 2014 Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards are now being accepted, and entries must be in no later than Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

Submissions are also being taken for the 2014 Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year, which must be in by Wednesday, February 4. For information on how to make a submission or for contest rules, please visit REBNY.com.

In other REBNY news:
December 16 is REBNY’s Upper Manhattan Holiday Cocktail Party. Join us at Raymour & Flanigan from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for an evening of wine and appetizers! Please RSVP to Desiree Jones at DJones@rebny.com.


January 6t is the Midtown West/Penn Plaza Luncheon from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Empire State Realty Trust. To RSVP to this commercial lunch meeting, contact Desiree Jones at DJones@rebny.com.


January 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. is our next Residential Rental Clinic Seminar, presented by Daniel Marrello of Town Fifth Avenue LLC and Douglas Wagner of Bond NY Properties LLC. This free event is only open to REBNY members and will take place in the REBNY Mendik EducationCenter. For more information, contact Yesenia Perez at YPerez@rebny.com.


January 15 is REBNY’s 119th Annual Banquet from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the New York Hilton! Join us at one of the most celebrated events of the year as we recognize and honor our industry’s top professionals and bring in another successful year! REBNY advises those wishing to attend to purchase tickets early. For more information, contact MaryAnn Aviles at 212-532-3100 or at MAviles@rebny.com