REBNY gets ready to say goodbye

Annual banquet will be President Steven Spinola’s last

Steven Spinola, Rob Speyer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at last year’s REBNY gala. (Credit: Steve Friedman)
Steven Spinola, Rob Speyer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at last year’s REBNY gala. (Credit: Steve Friedman)

The Christmas parties may be over, but there’s still the Gala: On Jan. 15, the upper echelons of New York City real estate will head to the Real Estate Board of New York’s 119th annual banquet.

Billed as the industry’s most celebrated event of the year, the black-tie fête traditionally acts as a networking event, fundraising gala, awards ceremony and idea exchange rolled into one, providing major real estate players with cocktails, dinner, facetime with some of the city and state’s top elected officials, and a venue to reflect on the challenges that lie ahead in the next year.

But this year, honoring the past is likely to be a top priority as well. REBNY President Steven Spinola, who is the organization’s longest-serving president, will be hosting the banquet, to take place at the New York Hilton, for the last year. Having overseen the trade organization’s explosive growth — to over 16,000 members today from 4,000 members in 1986 — Spinola plans to retire at the end in 2015. (Click here for a look at Spinola’s successor).

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Spinola, whose powerful advocacy contributed to key rezoning and Downtown revitalization before and after Sept. 11, will be honored with the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, recognizing his contributions to the city’s civic welfare and real estate community.

That will put him in distinguished company — Seymour Durst, Jerry Speyer, and Larry Silverstein are past recipients.

REBNY will also celebrate five other industry leaders: Rudin Management CEO William C. Rudin for a lifetime of leadership achievements; president of Fox Residential Group, Barbara Fox, for her contributions in community service; Eastern Consolidated CEO Peter Hauspurg for being an exemplary commercial broker; Brookfield Property Partners SVP of Operations Daniel Kindbergh for accomplishments in commercial management, and director of leasing at Vornado Realty Trust, Glen Weiss, who was selected by the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York to be acknowledged for his integrity, professionalism, and personal ethics.