REBNY Honors Commercial Management Leaders at Annual Breakfast

SL Green’s Edward V. Piccinich receives Commercial Management Executive of Year Award; 

10 winners recognized for leadership in building operations


Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers keynote address

NEW YORK, June 1, 2013The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) had the highest attendance ever at its 10th Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on May 30 at the Hilton New York. The Honorable Michael Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City, delivered the keynote address to an audience of nearly 950 real estate professionals.

Awards were presented to stand-out commercial management professionals for excellence in property management in categories ranging from on-site management, to portfolio management, to engineering and security. The coveted Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award was presented to Edward V. Piccinich of SL Green Realty Corp. The following awards were also presented:

· John M. Griffin Community Service Award: Larry Kochman, E-J Electric Installation Co. and Allen F. London, Solstice Residential Group, LLC

· On-Site Manager of the Year Award: Bridget Cunningham, Vornado Realty Trust

· Portfolio Manager of the Year Award: Michael Bosso, Brookfield Properties

  • Engineer – Small Building of the Year: William Schweitz, ATCO Properties
  • Engineer – Large Building of the Year: Brian Iannacone, Hines
  • Security Professional of the Year: Michael Cohen, Fisher Brothers
  • Porter of the Year: Danny Abreu, ABM
  • Rising Star of the Year: Jason McCalla, Silverstein Properties, Inc.
  • Best Engine Room Award: 30 Rockefeller Plaza     


“REBNY’s commercial management division members are the individuals that help our city’s buildings run smoothly on a daily basis. From property managers to engineers and porters, all play a vital role in keeping commercial properties well maintained and we’re proud to honor them each year with these awards,” said Steven Spinola, REBNY president. “The challenges our industry faced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy emphasizes the hard work and dedication of our commercial managers. We commend them for all of their efforts.”

Mike Norton of Tishman Speyer and Gaston Silva of Vornado, co-chairs of REBNY’s Commercial Management Board of Directors, presented the awards.

In his keynote address, Mayor Bloomberg discussed the City’s vitality citing lower crime rates, improved employment numbers, and a booming tourism industry which has seen a 30-percent spike bringing 72 new hotels throughout the five boroughs. He highlighted many of the City’s major real estate projects underway or recently completed including Hudson Yards, 1 World Trade Center, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the National Ice Center at the Kingsbridge Armory among others. Mayor Bloomberg touted the City’s three new science and engineering campuses, which will help us continue to attract employers and new jobs. The Mayor also acknowledged those receiving awards and particularly those in the industry that helped the city get up and running after Superstorm Sandy. He added that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, has raised over $59 million for Hurricane Sandy recovery, and allocated more than $52 million of that total to date.

Edward A. Riguardi presented the morning’s most prestigious award – the Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award to Edward V. Piccinich of SL Green Realty Corp. Mr. Piccinich is Executive Vice President of Property Management and Construction and manages the company’s real estate portfolio; the largest in New York. For over the past decade Mr. Piccinich has served as the fulcrum component overseeing all construction projects for SL Green’s office, retail, and development investments across New York City.  Additionally, he has helped to ensure that SL Green’s properties surpass all engineering, life safety, and local law obligations as required by the City of New York, while maintaining levels of tenant satisfaction that consistently exceed industry averages.  During his leadership, SL Green has also experienced exponential growth to their owner/manager property holdings and ground-up development projects.

Michael Griffin, representing the Griffin family, presented the John M. Griffin Community Service Award to Larry Kochman of E-J Electric Installation and Allen F. London, Solstice Residential Group, LLC, who along with many others performed outstanding work as real estate industry representatives at the Office of Emergency Management Center during Superstorm Sandy.

The award for On-Site Manager of the Year was presented to Bridget Cunningham of Vornado Realty Trust. Bridget was recently selected as Property Manager of One Penn Plaza, the company’s largest and busiest property with 2.6 million square feet. According to her colleagues who nominated her, in the relatively short time Bridget has been in the industry, “she has accomplished very much and has worked tirelessly to make her property and staff better.”

Michael Bosso of Brookfield Properties won the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award. Michael is responsible for the property operations of Brookfield’s 10.5 million-square-foot Lower Manhattan portfolio. In 2012, he expanded his portfolio to include 225 Liberty Street and 250 Vessey Street. Under Michael’s guidance, despite the difficult challenges posed by Superstorm Sandy, Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center), although located in Flood Zone A, never closed. And as a result of the tireless efforts of Michael and his team, One New York Plaza, which endured 30 million gallons of sea water, some tenants were able to return within 21 days and most returned within 28 days. 

The award for Small Building Engineer of the Year, for the third year in a row, recognized William Schweitz of ATCO Properties.  For over 35 years, Bill has been a committed Chief Engineer to 555 Fifth Avenue. Bill received the acknowledgement for his extensive knowledge of building operations and his positive attitude which his co-workers say inspires and assures staff, tenants and ownership.

The Large Building Engineer of the Year award, was presented to Brian Iannacone of Hines. Brian is chief engineer of the 45 year-old, 1.2 million square foot office building at 140 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. As with any vintage Class “A” building, an outstanding chief engineer is required to ensure it operates efficiently and reliably.  This year, in the face of Superstorm Sandy, Brian went above and beyond the call of duty, waiting it out until power had been restored and ensuring the building’s safety for its tenants.

The Security Professional of the Year was presented to Michael Cohen of Fisher Brothers. A security guard for 20 years, Michael still brings the same enthusiasm as if it were his first day on the job. Michael is not afraid to take on additional responsibilities, whether it is taking control behind the desk during an emergency situation or working long hours during Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.

Danny Abreu of ABM was named Porter of the Year.  Danny’s 13-year career began at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, and according to property manager Steve Griffith, he is “one of the most dedicated individuals I have ever come across.”

The Rising Star of the Year, Jason McCalla is a project manager at Silverstein Properties. Inc. Since he began at Silverstein five years ago as an energy manager, he has expanded his role to include responsibilities related to wireless communications/infrastructure, negotiating rates with ESCOs, design/construction oversite for major electrical projects and other systems. During Hurricane Sandy, Jason played an integral role in the restoration of electrical, internet and telephone systems to the building.

A new award, the Best Engine Room of the Year, was announced at the event. Among five finalists the award went to 30 Rockefeller Plaza .

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which is supporting Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts as well as many other citywide public programs, will receive half of the net proceeds raised at this year’s Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast.

About The Real Estate Board of New York

The Real Estate Board of New York is the city’s leading real estate trade association with more than 13,000 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 www.REBNY.com

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