REBNY Announces John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award & Real Estate Industry Leaders to be Honored at 121st Annual Banquet

Purchase Tickets to the 2017 REBNY Banquet


New public service recognition in honor of late REBNY Chair Zuccotti goes to NYC’s Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod

MaryAnne Gilmartin, Marc Holliday, Jed Walentas, Peter Riguardi, Bill Dacunto, and Lindsay Ornstein to be presented with top leadership awards

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has announced the distinguished leaders who will be presented with top honors for their outstanding professional success and exceptional contributions to the real estate industry at REBNY’s 121st Annual Banquet to be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan.

Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning, will receive The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award which will be presented for the first time at REBNY’s 121st Annual Banquet. This award recognizes a New Yorker who has displayed exceptional accomplishments and service in the public's interest.  It is named for the late John E. Zuccotti who served as Chairperson of REBNY from 2004 to 2006, and was a longstanding member of its Executive Committee. Zuccotti served as First Deputy Mayor and Chair of New York City’s Department of City Planning through some of the City’s most challenging times, and as chairman of global operations for Brookfield Asset Management.

“Throughout his career, in both the private and public sectors, Carl Weisbrod has dedicated himself to improving the lives of all New Yorkers, which makes him an ideal recipient of the inaugural John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award.  He truly captures the spirit of civic leadership personified by our late, great former Chairman John Zuccotti, a legend of our industry,” said Rob Speyer, REBNY Chairman. “Our 121st annual banquet will be a momentous occasion to celebrate the achievements of all our honorees and the entire real estate community.”

“Each of the award winners have made extensive contributions to our industry through their professional accomplishments, leadership, and dedicated service,” said John H. Banks, III, REBNY President. “Their efforts represent the very best of New York leaders who are shaping and transforming our vibrant city.”

In addition to Weisbrod, the award winners who will be recognized at the largest annual real estate networking, black-tie event in New York City are:

  • MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, the New York office of Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., will receive The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award for her exceptional accomplishments in the profession, leadership, and service to the real estate industry over the course of her distinguished career.
  • Marc Holliday, Chief Executive Officer of SL Green Realty Corp., will receive The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, which is presented to an industry member for their invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare and the real estate community.
  • Peter Riguardi, President of the New York Tri-State Region for Jones Lang LaSalle, will receive The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award, which celebrates a commercial broker with exceptional personal and professional integrity, leadership, prominence in the brokerage community, and service to REBNY’s committees.
  • Bill Dacunto, Executive Vice President of Operations for Silverstein Properties, Inc., will receive The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award, which recognizes individuals of superior accomplishment in property management based on outstanding professionalism, civic achievement, and contributions to the real estate industry.
  • Lindsay Ornstein, Partner at Transwestern, will receive the Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award. This award is selected by the Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association of New York and presented to a member who exemplifies strong integrity, professionalism, and personal ethics.


REBNY advises that those wishing to attend the 121st Annual Banquet should purchase their tickets early at Place your company’s brand in front of New York City’s political and business elite through sponsorship opportunities at the Annual Banquet and by advertising in REBNY’s 2017 Journal. 

About the Honorees

Carl Weisbrod: As Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning, Carl Weisbrod has more than 40 years of experience serving the people of New York. Starting under Mayor John Lindsay, Weisbrod has been the appointee of five New York City mayors. As a member of the de Blasio Administration, he oversees land use policies to promote an equitable, resilient, sustainable, and economically vibrant city and has been a key player in the development and implementation of Housing New York, the Mayor’s affordable housing initiative. Weisbrod was the founding president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; spearheaded the City’s efforts to revitalize and transform Times Square under Mayors Koch and Dinkins and Governor Mario Cuomo; helped in the post-September 11 recovery of downtown neighborhoods as a Director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, for which he was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg; and served as the founding president of the Alliance for Downtown New York. Additionally, Weisbrod has served as a trustee of the Ford Foundation and Chairman of both the New York City Outward Bound Schools and the New York State Health Foundation.

MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), a New York-based real estate development company, has been point person in the development of some of the most high profile real estate projects in New York City including the Barclays Center, The New York Times Building, and New York by Gehry, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to these projects, Gilmartin has managed the commercial portfolio at MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Most recently, Gilmartin led the efforts to build out Pacific Park Brooklyn as well as the Bridge at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. Among her philanthropic contributions, Gilmartin served on the New York City Ballet Advisory Board and currently serves as a Board Trustee for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); a member of REBNY’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors; and as a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the MS Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a member of the Board of Directors of global investment banking firm, the Jefferies Group LLC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Radio. 

Marc Holliday has served as Chief Executive Officer of SL Green Realty Corp (NYSE:SLG) and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors since January 2004. Since 1998, when he started at the company as Chief Investment Officer, Holliday has assembled and continues to build an outstanding management team that has consistently delivered top-tier returns to shareholders. Under his leadership, SL Green has become one of New York City’s leading commercial real estate investment organizations. Prior to SL Green, Holliday held management positions at the former Victor Capital Group, then the external manager of Capital Trust, a publicly-traded real estate investment management firm that, at the time, was one of the nation’s largest dedicated real estate structure finance investors. A Benefactor of Columbia University, Holliday has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since September 2014. A long-time supporter of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, he established the Holliday Professorship of Real Estate Development in 2008. He also serves as Chair of the Development Program’s Industry Advisory Board, a member of REBNY’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors, and was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Board of Directors of the New York Racing Association in 2014.

Jed Walentas, Chief Executive Officer, oversees all aspects of acquisition, planning, development, construction, marketing, and leasing of Two Trees Management, one of the City’s most active developers with over five million square feet of residential and commercial properties under management. Under his leadership, Two Trees transformed DUMBO from a gritty, underutilized industrial district into a vibrant, creative community that has preserved and built upon the area’s historical fabric to become one of the City’s most desirable places to live and work. Two Trees has also developed several innovative mixed-use, mixed-income projects in Brooklyn and Manhattan; several conversions of former industrial spaces in DUMBO; and built and operates the Wythe Hotel, a boutique hotel housed in a restored cooperage in Williamsburg. The redevelopment and restoration of the landmarked Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg will be Two Trees’ largest undertaking yet, with over three million square feet of residential, commercial, and retail space including 700 units of integrated affordable housing, a five-acre public park, and office space for creative class companies. Walentas is a committed supporter of the arts and education. He serves as a member of REBNY’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Urban Assembly, and Creative Time.

Peter Riguardi leads all operations for Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) New York Tri-State region as Chairman and President of the firm in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He is responsible for broadening the company’s platform and oversees a team of more than 2,000 professionals in seven offices. Among his accomplishments, Riguardi expanded JLL’s New York leasing and brokerage business, investment sales teams, and corporate solutions, and has completed some of the largest and most complex leasing transactions and asset sales in Manhattan including: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 1.6 million-square-foot net lease of 2 Broadway; Morgan Stanley’s 1.2 million-square-foot headquarters ground lease and development at 745 Seventh Avenue; and Bank of America’s 1.5 million-square-foot lease at One Bryant Park, among many others. Prior to JLL, Riguardi served as vice chairman and principal of Colliers ABR Inc., a company that he helped form in 1994. He started his real estate career at GVA Williams in 1983 as was the youngest senior vice president in the firm’s history. He serves on REBNY’s Board of Governors, the Board of Directors of The Regional Plan Association, Board of The Rabin Medical Center of Israel, is a member of The Partnership for the City of New York, and served on the board of Iona College for 12 years.

Bill Dacunto, Executive Vice President, is responsible for managing all properties in Silverstein Properties, Inc.’s portfolio. He joined the company in 1987. Dacunto serves as a member of REBNY’s Management Division Board of Directors and was a recipient of REBNY's Corporate Management Executive of the Year Award in 2005, as well as the John M. Griffin Community Service Award in 2015. He is a founding board member of Donate Eight—a project of, and associated with, LiveOnNY, an organization formed to raise awareness of the immediate need to increase organ donation registration. He is also a member of the LiveOnNY Foundation Board of Directors. Among his many other charitable activities, Dacunto established Silverstein Properties’ blood drive and food collection programs—with the New York Blood Center and City Harvest, respectively—throughout the company’s portfolio. He was a recipient of the Special Award for All Around Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility from City & State Reports in 2015, as well as the Covenant House New York 2016 Lifeline Honoree.

Lindsay Ornstein co-leads Transwestern’s New York office alongside Steve Purpura, Northeast market leader, and oversees Tenant Advisory Services and Agency Leasing strategy. As a transactional broker, she has represented clients with their office space needs in various industries with specific expertise in the financial services industry, technology, and non-profit sectors representing such clients as JPMorgan Chase, Advent International,, and The Robin Hood Foundation. Prior to Transwestern, Ornstein served as a principal and founding member of Centric Real Estate Advisors. She began her real estate career at The Staubach Company, initially as the director of marketing and subsequently as a broker. Previously, she founded and managed Ads On Tags, an innovative advertising medium; served as marketing director for a firm, Camdens; and was an associate at Nike Communications. Lindsay is a member of Transwestern’s Board of Directors, was recently appointed as chairman of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association and served two terms on the group’s Board of Governors, and has served on the Cabinet for Israel Bonds since 2005.  Ornstein has been a mentor with Trailblazers since 2000; is co-chair of the Junior Board for Green Chimneys, a pioneer in animal-assisted therapy for children with developmental issues; and has been co-chair of the Community Outreach group at the Mandell School since 2009.

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