NEW YORK, NY – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, today announced several new personnel additions and promotions across the organization.
“REBNY will enter 2022 with an incredibly diverse and dynamic team of experts who will help the real estate industry continue to lead New York City’s economic recovery,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “The depth and strength of our team ensures that REBNY is increasingly well-positioned to work collaboratively with stakeholders throughout the public, private and non-profit sectors to advance shared goals in the coming year.”
Sam Spokony was promoted to Chief Communications Officer. He was previously Vice President of Media and Content since joining REBNY in October 2020 and replaces former Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Beth Miller, who departed to join STV, a leading engineering and planning firm. Spokony will now report to President James Whelan and will focus on leading REBNY’s organizational communications and messaging strategy; overseeing communications to REBNY members, the media and other stakeholders; and expanding the communications team with additional personnel over the coming months. Prior to joining REBNY, he was a senior vice president at Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm, and also previously worked as communications director for New York City Council Member Margaret Chin and as a staff reporter for The Villager. He is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta.
Maureen Lauster was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. She was previously Senior Vice President of Finance since joining REBNY in November 2020. Lauster will oversee REBNY’s financial operations and will continue working with Chief Operating Officer Sandhya Espitia to maximize the organization’s effectiveness on this front over the coming year. Prior to joining REBNY, she was Director of Finance and Operations for the Risk Management team at Related Companies, and previously began her career at Ernst and Young in Chicago. She graduated from Michigan State University with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting with a focus on accounting information systems.
Yvonne Riley-Tepie, Ed.D. was hired as Senior Vice President of Social Impact. She will oversee REBNY’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and will lead the strategic direction for REBNY’s philanthropic projects focusing specifically on social impact. Riley-Tepie has spent the last 16 years at various leadership roles at TD Bank, where she most recently served as Vice President of the TD Charitable Foundation. She has a bachelor’s degree from City University of New York in technology, hotel and restaurant management; a master’s degree from New York University in food services management; and a doctorate degree in instructional leadership. Yvonne is also an avid volunteer at many community-based organizations and serves on several boards including the Queens Museum, the NYC College of Technology Foundation and the Mary McDowell Friends School.
Mckenna Warren was promoted to Senior Vice President of Member Services. She was previously Senior Vice President of Brokerage Services and has been with REBNY since September 2017. Warren will now focus on leading REBNY’s member services across all facets of the membership, including residential and commercial brokers, owners and managers and other members. Prior to REBNY, she worked as the educational and certification manager for ICSC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lycoming College.
Maya Kurien was hired as Vice President of Policy and Planning. She will report to Senior Vice President of Policy Basha Gerhards and advance REBNY’s policy development, analysis and advocacy efforts at the city, state and federal level. Kurien most recently served as Executive Director of Government Affairs for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She previously worked for the Office of the Mayor. She has a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology and master’s degree in public policy from University of London.
Ryan Monell was promoted to Vice President of City Legislative Affairs. He was previously Director of City Legislative affairs since joining REBNY in January 2020. Monell will continue to report to Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Reggie Thomas and will lead REBNY’s government affairs work in City Hall and the City Council. Prior to joining REBNY, he served as Chief of Staff for Gilbane’s New York Division and also previously served as Director of Policy and Communications for City Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. He is a graduate of Ohio State University and Columbia University.
Harrison Green was promoted to Vice President of State Legislative Affairs. He was previously Director of State Legislative affairs since joining REBNY in February 2020. Green will continue to report to Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Reggie Thomas and will lead REBNY’s government affairs work in Albany and the State Legislature. Prior to joining REBNY, he served as Director of Community and Government Affairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and also previously served as Special Assistant to State Senator Kevin Parker. He has a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and political science from Emory University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.