Real Estate Prepare for Biggest Night in the New Year, the 117th Annual REBNY Banquet


-- Donald Zucker, Mike Fishman, Dottie Herman, Woody Heller, Dick Concannon, and William Montana will receive prestigious awards --

NEW YORK, November 20, 2012 – In anticipation of real estate’s biggest night for the 117th year running, The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has revealed the recipients of the industry’s most desired honors which will be presented at their Annual Banquet to be held on January 17, 2013 at the New York Hilton Hotel.

This year’s honorees are a distinguished group of industry leaders from all niches of the real estate world who have had unprecedented success and demonstrated continued commitment to the city and the industry. 

This year’s honorees are:

  • Donald Zucker, Chairman, Donald Zucker Company, who will receive The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award, which is presented each year to a REBNY member for a lifetime of exceptional accomplishment in the profession and dedication to leadership in New York real estate.

  • Mike Fishman, International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union, who will receive The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, which is presented to an industry member for invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare and to the real estate community.

  • Dottie Herman, President and CEO, Douglas Elliman, who will receive The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the community by a REBNY member.

  • Woody Heller, Executive Managing Director, Studley, who will receive The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award, which honors an executive who exemplifies the characteristics of a successful commercial broker.

  • Dick Concannon, Senior Vice President, Rudin Management, who will receive The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award, which recognizes individuals of superior accomplishment in the commercial management industry based on outstanding professionalism, civic achievement and contributions to the real estate industry.

  • William Montana, Managing Director, Studley, who will receive The Young Real Estate Man of the Year Award, selected by the Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association of New York on the basis of integrity, professionalism and personal ethics. Montana is the chair of REBNY'S Commercial Brokerage Division. 

“The REBNY Banquet has a long-standing reputation for being real estate’s most important evening of the year because it is here that some of the industry’s biggest and most influential deals are said to have been made,” said REBNY President Steven Spinola. ”The enthusiasm of the crowd is usually a good indicator of market vitality. It’s also the only event of the year that brings the whole industry together for a great night of fun with friends and colleagues. Finally, it is an excellent opportunity for us to commend six honorees for their years of hard work and commitment to our city, and our industry.”

The evening will also include a video component that asks industry experts about their views on issues that are crucial to New York City’s real estate market today.

REBNY advises those wishing to attend to purchase tickets early.  For more information, contact MaryAnn Aviles at 212-532-3100 or  Please visit

Headshots available upon request.

The Real Estate Board of New York is the city’s leading real estate trade association with more than 12,000 members.  REBNY represents major commercial and residential property owners and builders, brokers and managers, banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, contractors and other individuals and institutions professionally interested in the city’s real estate.  REBNY is involved in crucial municipal matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes and legislation.  In addition, REBNY publishes reports providing indicators of market prices for both the residential and commercial sectors. Please visit us online at

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About the Honorees

Donald Zucker, Chairman, Donald Zucker Company

Donald Zucker is a major developer and owner and has constructed or rehabilitated properties in Manhattan.  His private construction and redevelopment has been concentrated in New York City and is responsible for bringing more than 4,000 apartments on to the market in the Borough of Manhattan for rental or sale.

Donald Zucker was born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn.  He served in the United States Army from 1953-1955, then was employed as a mortgage broker from 1956-1961.  He established the Donald Zucker Company, a real estate mortgage firm in 1961.  Since then, the company has grown, and today, together with its affiliated companies, employ approximately 300 people.  These companies are: a construction/development company, a major national mortgage brokerage firm, and an asset management company. 

Mr. Zucker has been active in the New York City business community and government throughout his career.  He served as Special Advisor for Construction to Mayor Edward Koch.  Mr. Zucker oversaw one of the largest public construction programs in the country, with an annual budget of $5 billion and thousands of different construction projects.

Mayor Giuliani appointed Mr. Zucker Chairman of the School Construction Authority to direct activities and bring as much efficiency as possible to its construction program. 

From April 1989 to March 1990, Mr. Zucker was Chairman of the Masters Degree Program in Real Estate of New York University.  He was the first holder of the Silverstein Chair of Real Estate Development and was a Clinical Professor at what is now the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Mr. Zucker is an active member of the Executive Committee of North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and served as President of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons.
Mr. Zucker has seven children: two sons, two daughters, three stepsons; and fourteen grandchildren.  He and his wife Barbara live on Long Island.

The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award is named for Bernard H. Mendik, who served as REBNY’s chairperson from 1992 to his passing in 2001.

Mike Fishman, International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union

Mike Fishman is the International Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union, a position to which he was elected after serving more thirteen years as the President of SEIU Local 32BJ. With 120,000 members in eight states and the District of Columbia, 32BJ is the largest private-sector union in New York State and the largest property services union in the country. Its members work as cleaners in offices, schools, stadiums, arenas, malls and government institutions; building superintendents, doormen and maintenance workers in residential buildings; and as security officers, food service workers and in other property service jobs.

Mike, a union leader for more than 30 years, was elected four times as President of 32BJ. Fishman led large-scale organizing drives that more than doubled 32BJ's membership. Mike's success as a labor leader is grounded partly in his understanding that labor, business and government can work cooperatively to spur economic growth and create a broadly shared prosperity. In 2011, he was named by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the New York City Regional Economic Development Council. Mike has also received numerous honors, including from the National Action Network and Alianza Dominica. The grandson of a union carpenter who taught him the trade, Mike's career as a labor activist began when he joined the carpenters' union. After nearly 20 years in that union, during which he served as Director of Organizing, Mike joined SEIU in 1996 as Assistant to the President and then Chief of Staff. Today, Mike serves on the Executive Council of the New York State AFL-CIO; Vice President of the New York City Central Labor Council; Chair of the 32BJ Benefit Fund; and Vice President of SEIU. Mike was raised in Queens and Connecticut, where he attended public schools. He is married, has a daughter, and lives in New York City.

The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award memorializes Mr. Helmsley, his generation’s most admired real estate executive.

Dottie Herman, President and CEO, Douglas Elliman

Dorothy Herman, Dottie, is the quintessential New York success story. In only two decades, she climbed to the pinnacle of the housing industry – CEO of Douglas Elliman, the #4 ranked real estate company in the United States. Today, under her leadership, Douglas Elliman is New York's largest residential brokerage, with over 3,800 real estate professionals and 675 employees working in more than 60 offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, the Hamptons and the North Fork, Westchester and Riverdale.

In addition to leading New York's largest residential real estate brokerage and rentals, she also controls a portfolio of real estate services, including commercial and retail leasing and sales, relocation and settling in services, new development consulting and also Manhattan's largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management, as well as DE Title, and DE Capital Mortgage. Dottie began her career on Long Island, and purchased Prudential Long Island Realty in 1989. After turning the company into the powerhouse brokerage operating on Long Island and in the Hamptons, she purchased Douglas Elliman, Manhattan's largest and most prestigious brokerage firm, with her partner Howard Lorber in 2003. Since then, Douglas Elliman has become the largest and fastest-growing real estate firm in New York, with offices from Manhattan to Montauk, and, as of January of 2011, Westchester County.

Dottie is an honored contributor to The Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook University Medical Center, a program established to raise awareness and funds for pediatric oncology programs. In the summer of 2008, Dottie was honored at the 12th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Gala, receiving the Distinguished Community Leadership Award for her continual support and contributions. In 2009, the Guardian Angels honored Dottie with the Outstanding New Yorker Award. Dottie is also a long time supporter of the American Heart Association, the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, the Southampton Hospital, the Katz Institute for Women's Health and Katz Women's Hospital located at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park. She is also involved with the Every Woman Matters Walk: A Walk for Women and Their Families.

The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award celebrates the memory of Mr. Gerrety who served with distinction as REBNY’s executive vice president for many years and gave valuable community service to his hometown of Garden City, New York.

Woody Heller, Executive Managing Director, Group Head, Capital Transactions Group, Studley

Woody Heller is Executive Managing Director and group head of the Capital Transactions Group of Studley in New York. With 28 years of experience in the real estate business, Mr. Heller is responsible for investment sales activity in the New York market, where he focuses on office, residential and specialty retail buildings, as well as development sites. Mr. Heller’s most notable sales include the Citigroup Center, the Rhinelander Mansion leased to Polo Ralph Lauren and the purchase of the Drake Hotel development site. Other cities in which he has been active include Chicago and Philadelphia, and he has also worked in markets in New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. Separate from the outright sale of properties, he has also structured participating and/or convertible mortgages, equity joint ventures and note sales, the most notable of which was the sale of the notes and mortgage encumbering the Chrysler Building.  During his tenure, Mr. Heller has closed over $6.5 billion of asset and note sale transactions comprising approximately 33 million square feet.

In 2007, Mr. Heller was honored with the Real Estate Board’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year” award for the sale of the New York Law School development site in Tribeca.  Mr. Heller also received this distinction in 2004 for the sale of McGraw Hill’s 45% C-Corp Interest in 1221 Avenue of the Americas in 2003.

Mr. Heller serves as a member of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association, the National Realty Conference, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Real Estate Lenders Association.

He also serves as a governor of The Real Estate Board of New York and chairs its Sales Brokers Committee. 

The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award honors the memory of one of the profession’s most esteemed practitioners.

Dick Concannon, Senior Vice President, Rudin Management

Dick Concannon has fifty years of experience in the operations and maintenance of high-rise buildings.  Having spent his career with Rudin Management Company; he is now retiring.  As Senior Vice President of the Operations Department for the past 15 years, Dick oversaw all phases of operations, including HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing systems and life-safety systems for 16 office buildings and 20 residential properties.  In addition, he was administrator of environmental policy and remediation and served on the Rudin Energy Procurement Committee.

Dick has authored several documents on safety and well-being for those occupying the Rudin properties.  He developed and wrote the Emergency Response Plan for the Rudin office buildings, the company’s Pandemic Flu Plans and authored the Rudin Superintendents’ Handbook.  Dick and Rudin’s Gene Boniberger invented the original Emergency Electrical Load Reduction Plan created in 2001 for large energy users to curtail electrical usage when New York City is faced with summer power shortages.  It resulted in an overall 165 megawatt reduction in electrical usage for 300 high-rise office buildings. Shortly after the current asbestos regulations first went into effect, Dick convinced major fireproofing manufacturers to pre-tint non-asbestos replacement fireproofing in light blue so it can be easily identified as being asbestos free.

During his career, Dick has held numerous positions.  He started as a helper and became building engineer, chief engineer, building manager and vice president.  He has acted as a Rudin Operations consultant for various non-profit organizations. He was a member of the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York, the Real Estate Board of New York Commercial Management Council and the Management Board.  He attended New York University’s School of Continuing Education for Asbestos Removal in Occupied Buildings and Asbestos Control Programs for Building Operations and Maintenance.  He also studied at Long Island University and a number of technical schools.

Dick and his wife, Carol, have four children and five grandchildren.  Dick’s hobbies include maintaining antique automobiles and collecting antique toys.  He is a member of the Islip-Bay Shore Kiwanis and is on the Outreach Board of Directors.

The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award honors the memory of the late Mr. Brooker, the first Vice President for REBNY’s Management Division and one of the profession’s most respected members.

William Montana, Managing Director, Studley

Bill Montana has been practicing commercial real estate for almost 25 years, advising corporations, partnerships and property owners on a wide array of issues, always with a singular focus on his clients’ profitability and success. Throughout his career, he has structured and negotiated complex transactions for some of the nation's most prominent firms including Microsoft, EMC Corporation, SONY, Mitsubishi International Corp, The Topps Company, Sullivan & Cromwell, Gordon & Rees and The New York Foundation among others.

Mr. Montana comes from a family of real estate owners and practitioners. He began his commercial real estate career in 1988 at Newmark & Company. He was then recruited to join the Edward S. Gordon Company where he spent four years, negotiating several headquarters lease transactions before being asked to join Studley in 1996. At Studley his focus is on providing real estate advisory services including strategic planning, consulting, acquisition and disposition services to major corporations, institutions, and partnerships located in the New York area and nationally.

He is Chairman of the Commercial Board of Directors of the Real Estate Board of New York, a member of REBNY’s Board of Governors, serves on its ethics committee, most of its rental conditions committees and as an arbitrator. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Young Men’s/ Women’s Real Estate Association of New York.

Bill is an active philanthropist and is on the board of the New York City Clothing Bank. He is a Knight of Columbus, 4th Degree. He has been an ardent fund-raiser for Stamford’s Shelter for the Homeless, the Buonoconti Fund to cure paralysis, the Starlight Foundation, the Tuberous Sclerosis Society and the United Nations Development Fund.

He has participated in the New York City One-to-One Mentoring Program and other mentoring programs, and speaks annually at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School and at forums for graduate students in real estate degree programs.

Bill lives in Greenwich, CT, with his wife Jan and daughter Theresa.

The Young Real Estate Man of the Year Award marks exceptional professional performance and commitment to industry causes by a younger member of the profession.

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