Diane Ramirez named Halstead CEO

Promotion prompts leadership shakeup at one of city's largest residential firms

From left: Halstead’s Diane Ramirez and James Gricar
From left: Halstead’s Diane Ramirez and James Gricar

UPDATED, 10:10 a.m., June 26: Halstead Property President Diane Ramirez has been promoted to serve as the brokerage’s first-ever CEO, the firm said in a statement to The Real Deal. James Gricar, Halstead’s general sales manager, will fill her shoes by taking the role of president.

“We’ve come a long way — we’re a much larger and deeper firm now,” thus necessitating the additional role, Ramirez told The Real Deal.

Ramirez, who held the president title for 14 years, co-founded the firm in 1984 with Clark Halstead. She was a sales agent until 1987, which is when she took the role of director of sales — specifically managing the East Side office — and a partner until 2001, when Terra Holdings acquired the firm.

“For the last 14 years, Diane has served as the president of the firm and she has established Halstead Property as a top real estate player in the tri-state area,” Terra Holdings co-chairmen David Burris, Kent Swig, Arthur Zeckendorf and William Lie Zeckendorf, said in a prepared statement announcing the promotions. “Halstead is the firm that [it] is today based on her incredible business acumen and we are so pleased to have her continued leadership and guidance.”

The brokerage has grown over the past decade. It has more than doubled in size, with over 1,000 agents and 28 offices throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under its belt. In Manhattan, Halstead has 617 agents, or 3 percent more than the 600 tallied in 2012, according to The Real Deal‘s most recent ranking.

“Strategic growth is a very healthy thing for a company of our size and our strength,” Ramirez said.

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Halstead recently acquired the assets of Brooklyn brokerage Aguayo Real Estate, which brought its presence in the borough to five offices, as The Real Deal reported. The firm also recently added a Washington Heights office by purchasing the assets of Stein-Perry Real Estate. And a month before that, Halstead announced that it would open a new office in Southampton Village, as The Real Deal reported.

Ramirez, who was named one of the nation’s most influential real estate leaders early this year by Inman News, will continue to helm the firm’s strategic growth. She will also continue to oversee Halstead’s marketing, technology, communications and relocations divisions.

“Expansion down the line is a priority,” Ramirez said. “Smart, strategic expansion is what we keep our eyes open to.”

Gricar, who in 15 years climbed from agent to president, will focus on marketing and the Halstead brand, among other tasks.

“Working hand-in-hand with Diane on new initiatives, Jim has worked to enhance the overall brand of Halstead with great success and we are excited to see him excel in his new role as president,” Terra’s co-chairmen said in the release.

Richard Grossman, executive director of sales for Downtown, has been promoted to executive vice president, managing director. Sara Rotter, director of sales for Downtown, will take his executive role. In addition, Trish Martin has been named executive director of sales for Brooklyn and Eugene Cordano has been promoted to executive director of sales for New Jersey.