NEW YORK—Around 2,300 of the city’s most prominent real estate industry movers and shakers attended the 119th Annual REBNY Cocktail Party and Banquet on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
Held in one of the city’s most prestigious hotels, the New York Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the attendees were dressed in their very best: fresh pressed tuxedos with black ties and high-end designer dresses.
The cocktail party extended through three rooms, and for those that arrived fashionably late (including the Mayor Bill de Blasio, Dottie Herman the CEO of Douglas Elliman and Pamela Liebman the CEO of Corcoran), the rooms were brimming with prominent people, and the noise from hundreds of conversations was tremendous.
The cocktail party is the best part of the night to catch up with competitors and colleagues, attract some publicity from the press, and meet new contacts. Awards were given to this year’s honorees during the banquet that followed in the Trianon Ballroom.
It was also the last annual banquet for Steve Spinola as the president of REBNY, and many who attended said they were there to honor him. After almost 30 years service, Spinola is the advocacy group’s longest serving president. He is retiring, and will be replaced by John Banks, who was also in attendance.
Spinola said running the real estate board had been “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“It’s been an honor to represent what I believe is the most important industry in the city of New York,” he said, adding. “We’ve had many accomplishments, but the most important accomplishment has been to help the city of New York prosper.”
A number of elected officials attended this year, including Public Advocate Letitia James, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bronx Borough President Rubin Dias, City Councilor Mark Weprin, and State Senator Leroy Comrie.
Five REBNY members were honored at the event:
Steven Spinola, President of REBNY, who received The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award for invaluable contributions to New York’s civic welfare and to the real estate community. Spinola is retiring after nearly 30 years, and is the longest-serving REBNY President.
William Rudin, CEO & Vice Chairman of Rudin Management Company, Inc., who received The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award for a lifetime of exceptional accomplishment in the profession and dedication to leadership in New York real estate.
Barbara Fox, President, Fox Residential Group, Inc., who received The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award for meritorious service to the community by a REBNY member.
Peter Hauspurg, Chairman & CEO of Eastern Consolidated, who received The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award for his success as a commercial broker.
Daniel M. Kindbergh, Senior Vice President, Operations, U.S. Office Division, Brookfield Property Partners who received The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year Award, for his work in the commercial management industry.
Glen Weiss, Executive Vice President, Director of Leasing, Vornado Realty Trust, who received the Young Real Estate Man of the Year Award on the basis of integrity, professionalism and personal ethics.