Real Estate Industry’s Top Leaders, Trailblazers and Power Brokers Will Be Honored at the 118th Annual REBNY Banquet

-- Stephen Green, Kenneth Fisher, Joel Picket, Robin Abrams, Thomas Hill and

Robert Fink will receive prestigious awards --


NEW YORK, November 4, 2013 – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has announced the six leaders, trailblazers and power brokers it will honor at the industry’s most celebrated event of the year, the 118th Annual Banquet that will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at the New York Hilton Hotel.

The recipients will be honored for their outstanding accomplishments that have made a lasting impact on New York City’s vibrant real estate market. These highly successful professionals are noted for their business acumen and talent, which has helped them to improve their communities and uplift their fellow citizens through philanthropic and humanitarian service.

“The REBNY Banquet is a time-honored tradition to celebrate the industry’s best and brightest. This year’s honorees reflect the kind of excellence and dedication we strive to recognize and promote,” said REBNY President Steven Spinola. “We are pleased to spotlight and thank these honorees for their exceptional contributions to our city before their friends, colleagues and the entire industry.”

This year’s honorees are:

  • Stephen L. Green, Chairman of the Board, SL Green Realty Corp., 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.
  • Kenneth Fisher, Senior Partner of Fisher Brothers, 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.
  • Joel I. Picket, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Gotham Organization, Inc., who will receive The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the community by a REBNY member.
  • Robin Abrams, Executive Vice President of The Lansco Corporation, who will receive The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award, which honors an executive who exemplifies the characteristics of a successful commercial broker.
  • Thomas L. Hill, Senior Vice President of Boston Properties’ New York Property Management Department, 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.
  • Robert C. Fink, Director of Leasing for The Winter Organization, 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.

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

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   14,000 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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Headshots available upon request.

About the Honorees

Stephen L. Green, Chairman of the Board, SL Green Realty Corp.

Since founding SL Green Properties in 1980, Stephen L. Green has been involved in the acquisition of more than 75 Manhattan office buildings totaling in excess of 50 million square feet of space.

Mr. Green launched his career in commercial real estate in 1980 when he began purchasing older, underperforming loft buildings. By injecting fresh capital into these properties, he was able to create new value in buildings with architectural integrity, while offering tenants an alternative to higher priced Class A office towers.

When the New York office market rebounded in the mid 1990’s, Stephen formed the first public REIT to focus solely on New York City, and aggressively expanded his portfolio.

Since its IPO in 1997, SL Green has experienced remarkable growth. When the firm went public, SL Green Realty Corp. owned six properties comprising 1.2 million square feet, and had a market capitalization of $258 million. Today, the company is Manhattan’s largest owner of office buildings, with owned interests in more than 80 Manhattan properties totaling more than 42 million square feet. This includes ownership interests in approximately 27 million square feet of commercial properties, along with debt and preferred equity investments secured by approximately 15 million square feet of properties.

Mr. Green received his BA from Hartwick College in 1959, and earned his JD from Boston College Law School in 1962. He later attended New York University Law School’s Graduate Tax Program, and went on to practice trial law for five years. Mr. Green is a member of the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York. He is also on the Board of Directors of Street Squash, an urban youth enrichment program providing academic tutoring and squash instruction, and a member of the US Squash 1904 Legacy Society.

Mr. Green is active in contributing to a host of charitable and philanthropic organizations including: The Children’s Tumor Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Foundation and Hospital, City Meals on Wheels, Big Apple Circus, The Buoniconti Fund, Els for Autism, The New York City Ballet, The School of American Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, Smile Train, Wounded Warriors, Starlight Children’s Foundation and more. He maintains an endowment for the New York-Presbyterian Global Prostate Cancer Research Center and Hartwick College, where he also funds the Stephen L. Green Governance Award, an essay contest that awards cash scholarships to the winners. Mr. Green’s contributions to many of these charitable foundations are done in conjunction with his wife, Nancy Green.

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

Kenneth Fisher, Senior Partner, Fisher Brothers

Kenneth Fisher is a senior partner at Fisher Brothers continuing a proud family tradition as part of the Fisher Brothers third generation of leadership, overseeing the leasing, management and marketing of more than 6 million square feet of Class A commercial space in Midtown Manhattan covering the Park, Sixth and Third Avenue corridors.

In addition to his responsibilities at Fisher Brothers, Ken is a member of the Executive Committee of the City Investment Fund and the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Board of Governors. He is also a member of the the Washington D.C.-based Real Estate Round Table and the Board of Directors of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a publicly traded REIT.

Ken’s primary philanthropic work is done as the Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that has aided more than 16,000 guest families each year by providing comfort homes that save them more than $165 million in travel and lodging costs.  To date, the Foundation has built 54 houses at military bases and VA Medical Centers across the country and Germany, with plans to add several additional houses.

Mr. Fisher was most recently recognized in 2012 by the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton A. Schwartz, who presented Ken with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.  In 2009, the Association of the United States Army awarded Ken its highest honor, the George C. Marshall Medal.  In 2007, George W. Bush appointed Ken to the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, which conducted a comprehensive review of the care provided to soldiers who return from the battlefield.  Ken has been named one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and received the Arts & Entertainment television network’s prestigious Lives That Make a Difference Award.

Ken sits on the board of the Intrepid Museum, New York’s Finest Foundation, the Association for the Help of Retarded Children, The Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

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

Joel I. Picket, Chairman & CEO, Gotham Organization, Inc.

Joel I. Picket is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gotham Organization, Inc. (and its construction subsidiary, Gotham Construction Company, LLC), a fourth-generation, family-owned development and construction firm that is now 83 years old.  Since assuming leadership of Gotham in 1965, Mr. Picket has overseen the successful growth of the company into one of the largest privately-held construction contractors in the country, with completed construction of more than 30,000 residential units in the New York metropolitan area and large scale hospital and educational projects.   During his tenure, Gotham has also expanded into real estate development and is now one of New York City’s largest and most successful multi-housing property developers.

Mr. Picket began his career working on government-assisted housing construction and hospital projects.  He soon expanded Gotham’s reach to other sectors, including the construction and development of hotel, commercial, medical, educational, retail and residential properties throughout the New York metropolitan area and Washington D.C.

His enjoyment in shaping the City skyline is apparent in two of the firm’s current projects: the iconic new law school building and undergraduate residence hall for Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, and a mixed-use Gotham development on the Far West Side that will include 1,240 apartments, landscaped courtyards, ground-floor retail, and the conversion of a 1904 school to condos.

Mr. Picket is a Member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York.

A longtime supporter of the arts and cultural institutions, Mr. Picket currently serves as a board member of the New York Philharmonic, Park Avenue Armory and Foundation for the National Archives.   Mr. Picket is also committed to the support of higher education and advances in healthcare, currently serving as a Trustee Fellow of Fordham University, a member of the University Council of Cornell University, and on the Board of Trustees of the Mount Sinai Hospital Group.

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.

Robin Abrams, Executive Vice President, The Lansco Corporation

Robin Abrams is Executive Vice President and one of the principals of The Lansco Corporation. She has been with Lansco since 1979 and focuses on retail leasing and consulting.

Ms. Abrams is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York, where she served as the chairperson of the Retail Leasing Committee, and on REBNY’s commercial division’s Board of Directors. She has taught the retail segment for REBNY’s Continuing Education Program. She is on the Board of NYU’s Real Estate Institute, and serves on the Board of Directors for Lansco’s international retail network. She is also a member of WX, New York Women Executives in Real Estate and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Currently Ms. Abrams works exclusively with various companies to secure locations in New York City, and has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion including retail powerhouses VF Corporation, (7 For All Mankind, Splendid, etc.), Kellwood Company (Black Denim, Vince, Rebecca Taylor, etc.), Donna Karan/DKNY (division of LVMH), Reiss, Tracey Reese, Anya Hindmarch, Agent Provocateur, Dennis Basso, and more. She also works closely with Citibank, several home/design tenants, various entertainment related users, and numerous restaurants. She has been a candidate four times during her career for The Real Estate Board of New York’s “Retail Deal of the Year,” and won the prestigious award for the 2010 Deal of the Year.

Robin represents various landlords and has been the exclusive leasing agent for numerous properties including 601 Madison Avenue, 85 Fifth Avenue and 546 Broadway.

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

Thomas L. Hill, Senior Vice President, Boston Properties, New York Property Management Department

Thomas L. Hill, RPA began his career in real estate over 40 years ago serving in various line and supervisory positions with Uris Buildings Corporation and later with Paramount Group, Inc.  In 1985, he joined Boston Properties, Inc. and has since risen through executive positions before becoming Senior Vice President for its New York Property Management Department.

Hill oversees property management and tenant relations including 601 Lexington Avenue, 599 Lexington Avenue, 399 Park Avenue, 7 Times Square, 767 Fifth Avenue, 540 Madison Avenue, 510 Madison Avenue, 5 Times Square, 90 Church Street and Boston Properties newest development at 250 W 55th Street. Mr. Hill holds certifications and licenses including an RPA, NYCFD Refrigeration Engineer, and NYCFD Fire Safety Director.

Thomas has been a member of BOMA since 1986 and has served in multiple executive functions with BOMA NY since 2007. Beginning this January, he will serve as President of BOMA NY for the 2014/2015 term.

Mr. Hill currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc. (RAB), the Management Division Board of Directors of The Real Estate Board of New York and the RAB/IUOE Local 94 Joint Board of Trustees for the Engineers Welfare, Annuity and Training programs. He was the Co-Chair of the Fire Protection Technical Committee as part of the NYC Department of Buildings/RE Industry task force to revise the building code and has worked extensively with FDNY on several initiatives to write the study manual and test questions for Certificate of Fitness credentials concerning fire protection system maintenance/testing and life safety.

He is active with a number of industry and civic groups including Outreach, Hamilton Madison House and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, where he played an important role in the recent launch of the Two Bridges Music Program which will provide affordable music and piano instruction to neighborhood children.

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.

Robert C. Fink, Director of Leasing, The Winter Organization

Mr. Fink is responsible for overseeing all aspects of leasing and marketing for The Winter Organization’s portfolio of commercial properties. He has approximately twenty years of experience in the New York City commercial real estate industry.

Prior to joining The Winter Organization in 2008, Mr. Fink served as Executive Vice President for Capital Properties, a privately owned real estate investment, development and management firm, where he was responsible for the leasing of its 3 million-square-foot commercial office and retail portfolio primarily concentrated in Manhattan, Boston and Hartford.

Mr. Fink joined Capital Properties after eight years of public REIT experience with the New York City offices of Equity Office Properties and Reckson Associates Realty Corp. and three years of commercial brokerage experience as a midtown Manhattan tenant representative for Insignia/ESG (now CBRE).

Prior to real estate, Rob had a marketing and sales career in the computer software industry.

In addition to his Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) membership, Rob is a very active member of the Young Men’s & Women’s Real Estate Association (YMWREA), having served as its 2009 Chairman of the Board of Governors, 2008 Vice Chairman and 2007 Membership Chairman.

He earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Vassar College.

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.