NYC Real Estate Community Applauds Service and Leadership at REBNY’s 121st Annual Banquet

121st Annual Banquet Honorees
(From left to right) Peter Riguardi, Bill Dacunto, Lindsay Ornstein, John Banks, MaryAnne Gilmartin, Marc Holliday, Jed Walentas, and Carl Weisbrod Photo Credit: Jill Lotenberg Photography

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined more than 2,200 industry members in celebrating the retiring NYC Planning Commission Chair Weisbrod and stand-out leaders Gilmartin, Holliday, Walentas, Riguardi, Dacunto, and Ornstein

At its 121st Annual Banquet on January 19th, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) honored top industry leaders among its membership with a spotlight on Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning, who recently announced his retirement. 

“We established the John Zuccotti public service award in honor of our friend, a statesman in every sense of the word,” said Rob Speyer, REBNY Chairman. “In the spirit of John’s legacy, we recognize New York City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod for his outstanding career in public service. Carl’s contributions to our city span five mayors. He revitalized Times Square, founded the Downtown Alliance, helped us rebuild after 9/11, and most recently, announced the rezoning of Midtown East.”

Banquet attendees—comprised of City and State dignitaries and real estate industry leaders and professionals—gathered to celebrate Weisbrod’s achievements along with the outstanding professional success and exceptional contributions of MaryAnne Gilmartin, Marc Holliday, Jed Walentas, Peter Riguardi, Bill Dacunto, and Lindsay Ornstein at the time-honored networking event sponsored by FTI Consulting and Xceligent this year.

“The great turnout at our 121st Annual Banquet is a sign of the strength and unity of the real estate industry,” said John H. Banks, III, REBNY President. “As we move forward, we will continue to focus on progress, understanding that the success of our endeavors and our members means the success of New York City. Together we lead the way for a brighter 2017.”

The dinner program concluded with an educational video on New York’s growing transit infrastructure, assembled with assistance from the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), MTA Capital Construction, and the Office of Senator Charles Schumer.

City and State officials who joined REBNY members and their guests at the evening affair, included: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli; New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; New York State Senators David Carlucci, Leroy Comrie, Michael Gianaris, Martin J. Golden, Timothy M. Kennedy, Jeffrey D. Klein, George S. Latimer, Diane Savino, and David J. Valesky; New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie; New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb; New York State Assembly Members Steven Cymbrowitz, Mark Gjonaj, and Robert J. Rodriguez; New York City Council Members Julissa Ferreras Copeland, Daniel R. Garodnick, David G. Greenfield, Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Donovan Richards Jr., and Jumaane D. Williams; New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Jamie S. Rubin; New York City First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris; New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development Alicia Glen; New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, P.E.; New York City Department of Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha; New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro; New York City Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill; New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg; and New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Maria Torres-Springer. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, and Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano were also in attendance.

The awards presented at this year’s banquet are among the top professional distinctions in the real estate industry.

Rob Speyer, Suzan Zuccotti, and Ric Clark of Brookfield Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners presented The John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award to Carl Weisbrod.

MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, the New York office of Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., was honored with 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.

The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award was accepted by Marc Holliday, Chief Executive Officer of SL Green Realty Corp. This award acknowledges an industry member for their invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare and the real estate community.

Jed Walentas, Chief Executive Officer of Two Trees Management Co., received The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award, which recognizes a REBNY member’s meritorious service to the community.

Peter Riguardi, President of the New York Tri-State Region for Jones Lang LaSalle, was honored with The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award. This award, presented by Bob Knakal and James Nelson of Cushman & Wakefield, celebrates a commercial broker with exceptional personal and professional integrity, leadership, prominence in the brokerage community, and service to REBNY’s committees.

Larry Silverstein presented Bill Dacunto, Executive Vice President of Operations for Silverstein Properties, Inc., with 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, accepted The Young Real Estate Professional of the Year Award presented by Bill Montana of Savills Studley. This award is selected by the Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association of New York and honors a member who exemplifies strong integrity, professionalism, and personal ethics.

Read about the honorees.