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Robert V. Tishman

REBNY Chairperson 1973-1975

Robert V. Tishman, (April 7, 1916 – October 11, 2010) was a real estate developer whose companies bared the family name since the 19th century and etched their mark on the skylines of cities around the nation, including construction of the World Trade Center.

Mr. Tishman was founding Chairman of Tishman Speyer Properties, a company he started in 1978 with his son-in-law at the time, Jerry I. Speyer. It was an outgrowth of Tishman Realty and Construction, the company created by his grandfather Julius, who in 1898 had taken the profits from a department store in Newburgh, New York, and built a six-story tenement on the lower east side.

As President and chief executive of Tishman Realty and Construction in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Mr. Tishman ran what became one of the largest owners and builders of office buildings in the country. Working with his cousin John, who was in charge of the constructions division, Mr. Tishman negotiated the contracts with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and oversaw construction of the World Trade Center.

The company had previously built the 39-story Tishman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue and residential buildings on Park Avenue, and managed construction of the new Madison Square Garden at Seventh Avenue and 31st Street.

Under Mr. Tishman’s leadership, Tishman Realty and Construction expanded its operations throughout the country. Among other projects, it built the 100-story John Hancock Tower in Chicago, Alcoa’s twin-tower Century City Complex in Los Angeles and the Renaissance Center in Detroit. In San Francisco, it built one of the first condominiums on Nob Hill.

The company, which went public in 1928, was successful liquidated in 1977. A year later, with his son-in-law, Mr. Tishman started Tishman Speyer Properties, which would become one of the largest real estate companies in the world.

With Mr. Speyer as president, it developed the Equitable Center in New York, the NBC Tower in Chicago, the Sony Center in Berlin, the MesseTurm in Frankfurt (one of the continental Europe’s tallest buildings) and the Torre Norte in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 50 stories, the tallest building in Latin America. It is also an owner and manager of Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building.

In all, Tishman Speyer has built 325 projects totaling 116 million square feet, and currently has a portfolio valued at more than $50 billion, according to the company.

Robert Valentine Tishman was born in Manhattan on April 7, 1916, one of three children of David and Anne Valentine Tishman. He had taken over leadership of Tishman Realty and Construction from his father.

Mr. Tishman graduated from Cornell in 1937. He served in the Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II, and then returned to the family company. From 1972 to 1975, he was Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Mr. Tishman was Chairman, and then Honorary Chairman, of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, Associate Chairman and Charter Trustee of the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, a member of the Real Estate Advisory Committee of Cornell University, a member of the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Harbor, Director of the Citizen's Housing and Planning Council, and was an Honorary Director of the Grand Street Settlement.

At the time of his death on October 11, 2010, Tishman Speyer was working as construction manager of a building at 510 Madison Avenue and was project manager of One World Trade Center, the building formerly known as the Freedom Tower that will become the tallest structure in the city upon its completion.

Robert V. Tishman
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Richard W. Seeler

REBNY Chairperson 1976-1977

Richard W. Seeler (1919-2003), was a renowned New York City real estate broker, honorary vice chairman of Grubb & Ellis New York, Inc., and former chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York. A commercial broker involved in many of New York’s largest real estate transactions, he spent most of his career at Cross & Brown Company where he served as president until 1991. Known for his integrity and leadership, he was a two-time recipient of REBNY’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year award. The first award came in 1975 for the sale of Two Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to the Government of Jamaica, and the second in 1986 for the sale of Saks Fifth Avenue’s office tower leasehold to the Swill Bank Corporation. Elected honorary lifetime governor of REBNY, Seeler was involved in scores of office and retail deals throughout his distinguished career and has been responsible for the leasing of more than 30 million square-feet of space and the sale of more than 65 properties.

A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Seeler held the national Association of Realtors CCIM and Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designations. He served as the director of the Fifth Avenue Association, the Emigrant Savings Bank, and the Home Life Insurance Company. He held an advisory council seat on the Phoenix Life Company board of directors for many years and served as a member of the advisory committee to the Secretary of the State of New York.

A captain in the United States Army during World War II, Seeler was very active in his community. He was a past president of both the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation and the Cherry Valley Country Club, a former chairman of the New York Board of Trade, and a leader in the Greater New York Council.

Richard W. Seeler
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Seymour B. Durst

REBNY Chairperson 1978-1979

Seymour B. Durst is active in land assemblage and office building development in Midtown Manhattan. He is Chairman of the New York City Job and Career Center, and Neighborhood Preservation Political Action Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Cooperative Education Commission of the Board of Education and former Chairman of The Real Estate Board of New York and The Broadway Association Inc.

Mr. Durst is on the Executive Committee of the New York Council on Economic Education. He is a member of the Board of Visitors, for The Graduate School and University Center of City University and a member of the Board of Visitors of the New School for Social Research. Mr. Durst Co-Authored “Careers in Real Estate” and “Holdouts”, published by McGraw-Hill along with being the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles dealing with civic and real estate topics.

Seymour B. Durst
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Bertram F. French

REBNY Chairperson 1980-1982

Bertram F. French is clearly recognized as one of the most successful brokerage professionals of the last 50 years. His prominence stems in no small part from his completion of multiple one million square foot deals Downtown. He has been associated with Cushman & Wakefield since 1947 and was awarded the 2001 Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award by the Real Estate Board of New York.

French served as a REBNY chairperson from 1980 through 1982 and was elected as an honorary lifetime governor in 2004. He has handled the New York Telephone Company (now Verizon) lease for the entire 1.3 million square-foot building at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, the assemblage of land and development of a 1-million square-foot office building for the Continental Insurance Corporation’s headquarters at 180 Maiden Lane, the land acquisition and leasing of the 1-million square-foot One Seaport Plaza, and the lease of 1-million-square-feet at 2 World Trade Center for Dean Witter’s corporate headquarters.

Bertram F. French
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Larry A. Silverstein

REBNY Chairperson 1983-1985

Larry A. Silverstein is the President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Inc., a Manhattan-based real estate development and investment firm that has developed, owned and managed 35 million square feet of office, residential and retail space. The firm currently has $10 billion worth of development activity in the pipeline.

In July 2001, Mr. Silverstein completed the largest real estate transaction in New York history when he signed a 99-year lease on the 10.6 million square feet World Trade Center for $3.25 billion, only to see it destroyed in terrorist attacks six weeks later on September 11, 2001. He is currently rebuilding the office component of the World Trade Center site, a $7 –billion project that will consume the balance of his working life.

In May 2006, Silverstein Properties opened 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story, 1.7 million square foot office tower at 250 Greenwich Street, just north of the World Trade Center site. The building is almost fully leased to an eclectic group of tenants. In September 2006, designs were unveiled for three new office towers on the WTC site- 200, 175 and 150 Greenwich Street, that will be developed by Silverstein Properties.

In 2008, Mr. Silverstein announced an agreement with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to operate a hotel and private residences within a new development at 99 Church Street in Downtown Manhattan. The 80-story building was designed by Robert A.M. Stern and at 912 feet, will be the tallest residential tower in New York. Stern joins the roster of world-class architects – Santiago Calatrava, David Childs, Lord Norman Foster, Fumihiko Maki and Lord Richard Rogers – who are working to transform the landscape downtown.

Mr. Silverstein owns and manages some of the most successful and high-profile commercial properties in New York City, including 120 Broadway, 120 Wall Street, 529 Fifth Avenue and 570 Seventh Avenue. In 2007, Mr. Silverstein purchased two office buildings in partnership with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System: 575 Lexington Avenue and 1177 Avenue of the Americas.

In Midtown, Mr. Silverstein recently opened Silver Towers, two 60-story residential towers at 600 west 42nd Street, the companion to I River Place, a 40 story, 921-unit tower which opened in 2000. Upon completion in 2010, the square block development will house over 2,200 families.

Mr. Silverstein is a member of the New York Bar and a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York, having served as its Chairman. He served as Vice Chairman of the New York University Board of Trustees and is the Founder and Chairman of the New York University Real Estate Institute. As a Professor of Real Estate, his “Silverstein Workshop” became one of the most attended and informative education sources for learning real estate development and investment styles.

Larry A. Silverstein
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Jerry I. Speyer

REBNY Chairperson 1986-1988

Mr. Speyer is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer. He is one of the two founding partners of the company, which was formed in 1978.

Mr. Speyer was elected to REBNY’s Board of Governors in 1980 and was chairman of the Real Estate Board from 1986 to 1988.

Mr. Speyer is chairman of the Museum of Modern Art. He is vice chair of New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is the former chairman of the Board of Directors, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; chairman emeritus of Columbia University; honorary lifetime governor of the Real Estate Board of New York; chair emeritus, Partnership for New York City; and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Dalton School. Mr. Speyer’s other board affiliations include Yankee Global Enterprises, the Economic Club of New York, the Municipal Art Society of New York, Columbia Business School Board of Overseers, the Asia Society, the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board. Mr. Speyer is a Trustee of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Business Roundtable. Mr. Speyer graduated from Columbia College and received an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Jerry I. Speyer
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Burton P. Resnick

REBNY Chairperson 1989-1991 and 2001-2003

Burton P. Resnick is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jack Resnick and Sons, Inc., with which he has been associated since 1956. Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc. has been in the forefront of the real estate development, construction, ownership and management business in New York.

Burt Resnick’s father, Jack Resnick, founded the company in the Bronx in 1928, and built the business into one of New York's biggest real estate firms, contributing to the city's skyline with dozens of new commercial and residential skyscrapers. Burt Resnick became CEO in 1971. Under his leadership, the firm developed high-profile projects including the renovation of the 70-story building at 40 Wall Street; the Symphony House on 56th and Broadway; and the Seaport Plaza near South Street Seaport. Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc. owns over two dozen buildings in the city: a collection of office towers in Midtown and the financial district totaling some six million feet of space, and a handful of luxury residential buildings including 200 Chambers Street.

Burton P. Resnick joined The Real Estate Board of New York in 1965. He became a member of the Board of Governors in 1979 and an Executive Committee member in 1986.

Burton P. Resnick served as Chairman of The Real Estate Board of New York from 1989- 1991. Upon the untimely death of Bernard H. Mendik in 2001, Mr. Resnick graciously agreed to reassume the chairmanship and served thru 2003. In the days and months after 9/11, Mr.Resnick’s distinguished leadership brought The Real Estate Board of New York respect as an organization that is committed to our city and sets the highest professional and ethical standards for its members.
Mr. Resnick currently serves as a past chairperson of REBNY’s Executive Committee. He is a past member of the New York State Business Advisory Council of Urban Development Corporation and the New York State Temporary Commission on Rental Housing.

Mr. Resnick is actively involved with many philanthropic organizations. He is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Yeshiva University, and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Overseers of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, a member of the Board of Directors of Beth Israel Medical Center, and an Honorary Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association. He is a member of the board of their Building Committee. Mr. Resnick was also campaign chairman of the UJA-Federation, New York for 1987 and 1988. He is Co-chairman Emeritus of the Real Estate Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Carnegie Hall. He has served as national Campaign Chairman of State of Israel Bonds and is presently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Development Corporation for Israel/State of Israel Bonds. Mr. Resnick recently became a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Mr. Resnick has been re-appointed by President Bill Clinton to the United Holocaust Memorial Council, and also serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Development Committee as well as the Finance Committee and Ad Hoc Committee. He is the New York Regional Co-Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Burton P. Resnick
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Bernard H. Mendik

REBNY Chairperson 1992-2001

Bernard H. Mendik (1929 - 2001) was the former chairperson of the Mendik Company, whose real estate portfolio of Manhattan office buildings was merged in April 1997 into Vornado Realty Trust. As a real estate owner and developer, Mr. Mendik was involved as a principal in more than thirty acquisitions of major office and residential properties in Manhattan and the Metropolitan area. The properties included 330 Madison Avenue, 2 Penn Plaza, 11 Penn Plaza, 866 U.N. Plaza, 20 Broad Street, 909 Third Avenue, 570 Lexington Avenue, 1740 Broadway, 2 Park Avenue and the MacArthur Portfolio of residential properties, which included Lincoln Tower Complex, seven Manhattan residential buildings, Silver Towers in Queens and the Great Neck Apartment Complex. While co-chairperson of Vornado Realty Trust, the Trust acquired 90 Park Avenue, 150 East 58th Street, 640 Fifth Avenue, 1 Penn Plaza and 888 Seventh Avenue.

Born in Scotland, Bernard Mendik was brought to the United States as an infant and was raised in the South Bronx. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and City College of New York; then worked full time while attending the New York Law School.

Equally active in both New York City’s business and real estate communities, Bernard Mendik served nearly 10 years as chairperson of the Real Estate Board of New York, the longest such tenure in REBNY’s history; he was a former chairperson of the Grand Central Partnership and a trustee of the Realty Advisory Board, the Realty Foundation and the Fifth Avenue Association. He was a director of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, a partner of the New York City Partnership and a member of the Speaker’s Legislative Advisory Commission on the Homeless.

Mr. Mendik always recognized his debt to his city and the educational institutions that had nurtured him. He served on the Bronx High School of Science Foundation, the City College Fund and was a member (and former chairperson) of the New York Law School’s Board of Trustees.

Bernard Mendik never limited his generosity or support. He was a trustee of the Jewish Guild Healthcare, the Montefiore Medical Center, and the New York University Medical School. He is a past trustee of Hobert and Wm. Smith Colleges, a member emeritus of the Character and Fitness Committee for Admission to the New York Bar Association and past adjunct professor at New York University’s Real Estate Institute. He was also a director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and a member of the Board of Regents of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani named Mr. Mendik a board member of the New York Hall of Science, a member of the Mayor’s Business Advisory Council and a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Empowerment Services.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements and services, Mr. Mendik was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1993 and honorary Doctor of Law degrees from New York Law School and the City College of the City University of New York. In May 1996, former Mayor Guiliani conferred upon Mr. Mendik the City of New York’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award for civic achievement.

Shortly after Mr. Mendik’s passing, REBNY established The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership In Real Estate Award, which is presented at the Board’s Annual Banquet, honoring a member’s exceptional service to the real estate industry and professional accomplishment over the course of a distinguished career.

Mr. Mendik is survived by his wife, Susan; their son, Alexander; a daughter and two sons by an earlier marriage, Laurie, Kevin and Todd; and five grandchildren.

Bernard H. Mendik
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John E. Zuccotti

REBNY Chairperson 2004-2006

John Zuccotti was Chairman of the US division of Brookfield Properties Corporation and senior counsel in the real estate department of the law firm of Weil, Gostshal & Manges LLP. Mr. Zuccotti was chairman of REBNY from 2004 to 2006 and served as a chairperson on REBNY’s Executive Committee. He served as president and CEO of Olympia & York Companies (USA) from 1990 to 1996, and was partner in the law firm of Brown & Wood from 1986 to 1990, and a partner in the law firm of Tufo & Zuccotti from 1978 to 1986.

Mr. Zuccotti has spent a significant portion of his career in prominent government positions in NY and Washington, D.C. He was First Deputy Mayor under Mayor Abraham Beame from 1975 to 1977, and was Chairman of the City Planning Commission under Mayor John Lindsay. He also chaired special task forces on police management and on the homeless for Mayor Edward Koch and on the World Trade Center for Governor Hugh Carey. In Washington, D.C., he served as assistant to HUD Secretary Robert Wood and as special counsel to the Housing Subcommittee of the House Banking and Currency Committee.

In the private sector, he has played a leading role in the development of major projects in the NY metropolitan area, and in such diverse communities as Reston, VA and a Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, NM. He also helped plan a new town in Venezuela. He has also been a labor relations arbitrator between transit unions and the NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Mr. Zuccotti sat on many corporate, educational and non-profit boards and was a trustee emeritus of Columbia University where he was Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. He was also on the Advisory Committee to the Harvard University – MIT Joint Study for Urban Studies.

A graduate of Princeton University in 1959, Zuccotti received his law degree from Yale University Law School in 1963 and was an officer in the US Army. Mr. Zuccotti died of a heart attack on November 19, 2015. He was 78 years old.

John E. Zuccotti
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Stephen M. Ross

REBNY Chairperson 2007-2009

Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Related Companies. Mr. Ross formed the company in 1972 and today the company includes over 2,000 professionals. Related has developed over $20 billion in real estate and owns real estate assets valued at over $15 billion made up of the best –in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to entry markets. Mr. Ross is also the majority owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium.

Mr. Ross began his career in Detroit, Michigan as a tax attorney. He later moved to New York where he specialized in real estate and corporate finance at two investment banking firms immediately prior to founding Related. Mr. Ross graduated from the Wayne State University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. He then received a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. In 2004, the University of Michigan renamed its business school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Ross is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Equinox Holdings, Inc. and past chairperson of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city’s leading real estate trade association. As a member of the Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim Foundation, Mr. Ross was involved in the planning of a major renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright iconic building in New York and other new museums. He is a trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Urban Land Institute, the NY Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Levin Institute, and is a director of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the World Resources Institute. He also serves on the Executive Committee and is a trustee of Lincoln Center.

Over the years, Mr. Ross has received numerous honors for his business, civic and philanthropic activities. Most recently, he was named the Most Powerful Person in New York Real Estate by the New York Observer, Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year by Commercial Property News, and Housing Person of the year by the National Housing Conference. In 2007 he received the National Building Museum Honor Award and in 2005, REBNY presented him with the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award. In 2003, he received the Jack D. Weiler Award from UJA. Crain’s New York named Mr. Ross one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Business and Mr. Ross was recognized by NYC & Company with their Leadership in Tourism Award.

Stephen M. Ross
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Mary Ann Tighe

REBNY Chairperson 2010-2012

Mary Ann Tighe is at the top of the brokerage business, named Crain’s New York Business as the 3rd most powerful businesswoman (across all industries) in New York City. The New York Post has also placed her at #4 of their “Most Influential Women in New York” list, saying that New York is her town – literally.”

From the revitalization of Times Square and the rebirth of Downtown to westward expansion of Midtown’s central business district, Mary Ann Tighe has been at the forefront of the transformation of New York’s skyline during her 26 years in the real estate industry. Mary Ann has conceived, structured and negotiated virtually every form of a deal, including ground leases, air rights acquisition and disposition, net and gross leases, government incentive packages, and a range of equity transfers from partnership and condominium interests, through fee sample sales. She has been responsible for over 74.5 million square feet of commercial transactions, and her deals have anchored more than 6.2. Million square feet of new construction in the New York region – believed to be a record in commercial brokerage.

Mary Ann has been CEO of CBRE’s New York Tri-State Region since 2002, a region of 2,125 employees. Under her leadership, CBRE has become New York’s preeminent firm, outdistancing all competitors in market share, revenue and margins.

Mary Ann is a six-time winner of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Deal of the Year awards for ingenious brokerage. She received the Louis Smadbeck memorial Broker Recognition Award, REBNY’s highest award in brokerage, and REBNY’s Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Achievement Award. Most significantly, Mary Ann has enjoyed unbroken, long –term relationships with a number of public and private companies and non-profit organizations, shaping and implementing their real estate strategies for large and small projects. Her on-going accounts include the Archdiocese of New York, Conde Nast, Crain’s, Limited Brands, Medco, The New York Times Company, The Conference Board and WPP Group.

From 2010 to 2012, Mary Ann served as Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the first woman to hold this position in REBNY’s 114 year history and the first broker in 30 years. Mary Ann is currently Chairperson Emeritus of REBNY’s Executive Committee.

Mary Ann began her real estate career as a broker at the Edward S. Gordon Company, ultimately rising to the position of Vice Chairman of Insignia/ESG, where she was regularly recognized among the firm’s top producers. Prior to entering the real estate field, Mary Ann served as a Vice President of the American Broadcasting Companies, where she launched the A&E cable channel. Recognized nationally for her expertise in the arts, Mary Ann was also formerly the Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Advisor to Vice President Walter Mondale, and a staff member of the Smithsonian Institution.

MaryAnn Tighe
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Rob Speyer

REBNY Chairperson 2013-Present

Mr. Speyer was named Co-Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer in 2008 and continues to serve as President. Mr. Speyer serves as chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), New York City's premier industry association with more than 15,000 members. In 2006, he was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to be chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the city's not-for-profit corporation. Mr. Speyer is the founder and co-chair of the Committee to Save New York, a coalition of business, labor and civic groups promoting fiscal reform for New York State. He is the co-chair of the Construction Committee of the St. Patrick's Cathedral Landmark Foundation, which oversees the renovation of the country's most renowned cathedral. He is a founding member of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a national group of business and political leaders committed to immigration reform. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia College (emeritus), the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Roundtable, the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council, the Board of Trustees of the New York City Police Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the Citizens Budget Commission and the Board of Trustees of the Children's Aid Society. He graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1992, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Rob Speyer
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William C. Rudin

REBNY Chairperson 2017-Present

Bill Rudin is the CEO and Co-Chairman of Rudin Management Company. Along with his cousin Eric Rudin, Bill oversees the Rudin real estate portfolio of 16 office towers comprising more than ten million square feet of Class A space and 20 luxury apartment buildings, all in New York City.

Rudin is one of America’s strongest and most influential voices advancing pro-business public policy in Washington, DC, Albany and New York City. His focus is promoting policies that will continue diversifying the city’s economy in order to generate jobs and bring renewed vitality to New York City’s businesses and its commercial and residential real estate marketplace.

A REBNY member for 30 years, Rudin has served as a member of REBNY’s Executive Committee since 1991 and as a member of the Board of Governors since 1987. He is a recipient of REBNY’s highest honors- The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award in 2007 and in 2015, The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award.

William C. Rudin

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Henry FolsomWm. Henry Folsom
1896-1897
Samuel F. JayneSamuel F. Jayne
1898
John F. DoyleJohn F. Doyle
1899-1901
REBNY's first location at 59 Liberty st.

REBNY's first location at 59 Liberty Street

1890 – 1899

Beginnings

On the brink of the 20th century, New York was poised to begin its journey toward prominence as the world's most influential city. With some of its members anticipating great prospects, the newly organized real estate board set out to "facilitate transactions" in real estate and bring together the "better element" among real estate brokers and agents.

1896

REBNY is created as the Real Estate Board of Brokers of the City of New York. Its 27 members meet every Tuesday at 59 Liberty Street to establish a more efficient and prosperous property market.

1898

New York City as we know it today surfaces with the emergence of the five boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.

1899

REBNY moves from its first home at 59 Liberty Street to 111 Broadway.

 

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Frances E. WardFrances E. Ward
1902-1904
Joel S. de SeldingJoel S. de Selding
1905
David A. ClarksonDavid A. Clarkson
1906-1908
Joseph P. DayJoseph P. Day
1909-1910
1900 – 1909

Representing the Industry

The members of REBNY wanted to establish a more efficient and prosperous real property market by providing a forum where buying and selling could take place, financing could be arranged, vital information on real estate could be exchanged, and ethical standards to elevate the profession's practices and reputation could be set.

1900

REBNY moves from 111 Broadway to 115 Broadway.

1906

As REBNY reaches 100 members, it advocates for members' interests, winning improvements in the process for transferring title and working on eliminating the city's mortgage tax.

 

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Irving RulandIrving Ruland
1911-1912
Albert B. Ashforth Albert B. Ashforth
1913
E.A. TredwellE.A. Tredwell
1913
Lawrence P. McGuireLawrence P. McGuire
1914-1918
Stephen H. Tyng Stephen H. Tyng
1919-1921
Riverside Park

Early 20th century postcard of Riverside Park

1910 – 1919

Early Influence

During this time, REBNY influenced the destiny of Manhattan. The board provided its services for the assessment of The New York Central Railroad-owned land, where tracks would have to be relocated for the West Side Improvement project. Created by Robert Moses, this masterpiece of urban design became the Henry Hudson Parkway and Riverside Park.

1911

REBNY supports a legislative initiative to investigate the advisability of limiting the height of buildings; five years later these limits were adopted.

1913

REBNY becomes the Real Estate Board of New York. Its work now encompasses industry-wide matters such as tax policy, city planning, broker licensing regulations and fire safety.

1916

REBNY opposes a court challenge to the 1916 Zoning Resolution, helping protect property owners and ensuring orderly physical growth of the city.

1917

REBNY moves from 115 Broadway to 217 Broadway and successfully opposes the Fifth Avenue Height Limitation proposal.

 

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Charles  G. EdwardsCharles G. Edwards
1921-1924
J. Irving WalshJ. Irving Walsh
1925-1926
Lawrence B. EllimanLawrence B. Elliman
1927
Peter GrimmPeter Grimm
1928-1931
REBNY's own home at 12 East 41 StreetThe construction of REBNY's own home at 12 East 41 Street
1920 – 1929

New Professional Standards for Brokers

With more New Yorkers trying to enter the profession, REBNY put considerable effort into promoting real estate courses at both the YMCA and Columbia. Through this effort, the board was upgrading the industry's professionalism, as well as preparing for an increase in its membership.

1922

The Brokers' License Law becomes effective, and REBNY distributes applications and advice for members seeking this credential.

1924

President Calvin Coolidge writes to REBNY Chairman Charles Edwards that “the ownership and development of real property is the greatest single material interest of the community” and that “the interest of real estate owners is, therefore, to keep the burden of taxation as light as possible”.

1926

REBNY throws a housewarming party at its new, and very own, home at 12 East 41 Street. The party is even attended by Governor Alfred E. Smith, who would later join as a member.

1929

As the Great Depression hits, REBNY urges the state to cut the real estate tax in half and find other sources of revenue.

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Louis B. DaileyLouis B. Dailey
1932
Anton L. TrunkAnton L. Trunk
1932-1934
Lawrence B. CummingsLawrence B. Cummings
1935
Douglas L. EllimanDouglas L. Elliman
1935
William J. DemorestWilliam J. Demorest
1936
Clark G. DaileyClark G. Dailey
1937-1939
REBNY members and the Building Managers and Owners Association of NY in 1920

REBNY members and the Building Managers and
Owners Association of NY, 1930

1930 – 1939

Fighting Through the Depression

Even as the depression deepened, REBNY did not lose sight of how crucial infrastructure improvements would be to the city and the value of its members' properties.

1930

REBNY's 34th Annual Banquet continues as planned despite the Depression and manages to raise $5,858.26

1931

Concentrating on New York's future after the Depression, REBNY emphasizes the importance of infrastructure improvements by passing a resolution urging the Board of Transportation to complete the 8th Avenue subway before the end of 1931.

1932

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt enters the White House, REBNY recommends "reasonable and just taxation" to balance the federal budget and creates a program to rescue the drowning real estate industry.

Continued »

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Louis B. DaileyLouis B. Dailey
1932
Anton L. TrunkAnton L. Trunk
1932-1934
Lawrence B. CummingsLawrence B. Cummings
1935
Douglas L. EllimanDouglas L. Elliman
1935
William J. DemorestWilliam J. Demorest
1936
Clark G. DaileyClark G. Dailey
1937-1939
The REBNY annual banquet at the Plaza Hotel, 1936

The REBNY Annual Banquet at the Plaza Hotel, 1936

1930 – 1939

Fighting Through the Depression

Continued...

1935

REBNY sets "official" rates for management contracts so that competition between brokers is based on service and not rates.

1937

The Board collects important information, affirming its position as the research arm of the industry, including the Rental Conditions Committee report "An Occupancy Analysis of 67,816 Elevator Apartments in Manhattan."

1939

Promising news of the end of the Depression comes in the form of 52 new buildings that open for occupancy between January and October of this year.

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

George L. AllinGeorge L. Allin
1940-1942
Russell V. CruikshankRussell V. Cruikshank
1943-1945
Matthew G. ElyMatthew G. Ely
1946-1948



Times Square from Broadway at 46th street, during WWII.

Times Square from Broadway at 46th Street during WWII

1940 – 1949

Renewed Confidence in the City's Fiscal Future

The industry became preoccupied with World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. However global conflict didn't distract REBNY altogether. The Board of Governors approved the creation of a new REBNY publication, "Exclusive Sales Listings," which announced brokers with properties to sell. REBNY was confident that the United States would win the war and New York would emerge as the nation's, if not the world's, most important city.

1940

A REBNY panel presents a report of Manhattan's problems and offered solutions; problems included traffic congestion, aging schools and, interestingly enough, the rise of mass transit.

1943

REBNY member Peter Grimm supports Mayor LaGuardia's proposal to establish a Fashion Center in New York.

1944

REBNY establishes the "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" Award. The recognition of achievement in brokerage has become one of REBNY's most durable traditions.

1945

As World War II ends, REBNY's Manhattan Postwar Committee issues recommendations to avoid the post-World War I excesses that caused the Depression.

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Lee Thompson SmithLee Thompson Smith
1949-1953
Clinton W. BlumeClinton W. Blume
1954-1956
Robert S. CurtissRobert S. Curtiss
1957-1959

 

 

above Allen Street

The Third Avenue "El" above Allen Street

1950 – 1959

Building the World's Greatest City

The industry was flourishing and its influence on public policy was growing. James Felt, one of the industry's leading brokers and consultants, was appointed Chairman of the City Planning Commission, and the east side was primed for an era of transfiguring construction.

1955

REBNY members support the demolition of the Third Avenue Elevated Train, opening the way for residential development that would flourish on the east side for years.

REBNY persuades the Board of Estimate to reject a City Planning Commission proposal to reduce the size of future buildings in the heart of New York's two leading business districts.

1957

Brokers Leone Peters of Cushman & Wakefield and Frank Harvey of Brooks, Harvey & Co. address REBNY's Mortgage Committee on midtown Park Avenue's growing potential to transition from residential to commercial real estate.

1959

On April 28, J. Clarence Davies, Jr., whose father had been an active REBNY member early in the century, is sworn in as Real Estate Commissioner.

 

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

Gordon I. KyleGordon I. Kyle
1960-1961
Edmond E. ThomasEdmond E. Thomas
1962-1963
James D. LandauerJames D. Landauer
1964-1965
Donald S. MacDonaldDonald S. MacDonald
1966-1967
Edmund J. McRickardEdmund J. McRickard
1968-1969
Chatnam TowersChatham Towers, 1965
1960 – 1969

A Hot Office Market

While housing production lagged, the office market was bursting with demand. Office rents in the Grand Central area were climbing fast, but the city was competing with its suburbs to attract many office workers as residents. New York was on the brink of the biggest commercial building boom in its history.

1965

Chatham Towers are completed. The towers are built as a part of the state's Mitchell-Lama program, a public effort to provide housing for the middle class, a legislation REBNY supports.

1966

REBNY celebrates its 70th anniversary with an open house at the Board's Headquarters.

1967

Manhattan enjoys its lowest office vacancy rate in 20 years of 0.5 percent. Out of 343 competitive office buildings with a total of 100,501,542 square feet of rentable space, only 533,926 square feet is vacant.

1970 – 1979

Modern Real Estate Board Is Created

The city's record crop of office construction was followed by the deepest plunge in New York's economy since the Great Depression, and its most acute fiscal crisis. Confronted with a crumbling market in the early mid-1970s, Rexford Tompkins, who had recently served as unpaid president of the Real Estate Board, decided that a full-time, paid president and larger professional staff were needed. He believed this would make the Board a sufficiently potent force in New York's increasingly complex civic and economic affairs.

1972

Edward T. Hume appointed REBNY President

The 57-story One Penn Plaza, Midtown Manhattan's fifth tallest skyscraper, is completed and added to the city's burgeoning office inventory.

1972-1973

The 1,350-foot-tall, 110-story "Twin Towers" are completed.

1973     

D. Kenneth Patton appointed REBNY President

1980 – 1989

Another Incredible Market

The 1980s, like the 1920s, will be remembered for a soaring stock market that lifted the city's economy to extraordinary peaks, particularly its real estate values. The real estate market was accelerating at an unprecedented pace, and the Real Estate Board's membership reached the 5,000-plus mark.

1980     

Richard M. Rosan appointed REBNY President

1986     

Steven Spinola appointed REBNY President

1988

The midtown vacancy rate, at the crest of the real estate boom, is 10.7%, with 47 new buildings and 28 reconstructed or renovated buildings.

1989

Construction for Forest City Ratner Companies's Metrotech begins.

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

REBNY anti-tax increase  campaign

REBNY anti-tax increase campaign

1990 – 1999

Multifaceted REBNY

With REBNY's agenda growing and the market spiraling upward, the Board was mindful of civic dilemmas. The Board decided to contribute technical expertise and money to social service organizations caring for New York's homeless, to fortify the public school system and to develop owner-occupied housing for families with annual household incomes between $25,000-$48,000.

1992

REBNY unites thousands of New Yorkers in a campaign that cuts the proposed city realty tax hike by 60 percent ($646 million to $270 million).

1993

The Board lends support to changing rent regulation laws: Deregulation of an apartment could now occur if it became vacant or if the tenant’s income surpassed an established amount in two consecutive years.

1994

The Member in Need Fund is created by the Deal of the Year Committee and is funded through proceeds of the Residential Deal of the Year Awards and Charity Gala.

REBNY demonstrates its attentiveness to broker members by creating distinct residential and commercial broker divisions. Each division has its own board of directors and special agendas to address its members' special needs.

1995

Governor George E. Pataki appears at a luncheon hosted by REBNY and 11 other business organizations, where he addresses REBNY just after taking office.

REBNY supports the Lower Manhattan Plan, which goes on to revitalize the area.

REBNY Chairpersons During This Time

REBNY anti-tax increase  campaign

REBNY anti-tax increase campaign

1990 – 1999

The Centennial: 1996

In its centennial year, the Board prepared for the future through civic engagement and technological adaptation. It expanded its commitment to public education with the Committee of Five, a panel that worked with the Board of Education on leasing procedures and negotiations for new facilities. REBNY also explored ways to enrich its website with useful content and to create a network through which brokerages could share listings.

1996

The Board plays a crucial role in eliminating the New York State Real Property Gains Tax, which had been a drag on economic activity, and achieves a 50% reduction in transfer taxes for property transferred to a real estate investment trust (REIT).

1998

REBNY moves from 12 East 41st Street to 570 Lexington Avenue.

1999

REBNY helps frame a reasonable sprinkler law that exempts existing apartment buildings and some whose construction is planned or underway.

The Board backs a law giving property owners more opportunity to challenge city assessments in court: The city must now state its standard assessment ratio as well as the full market value of the parcel (land and building); previously the city only had to list its assessed value. This potentially saves the owner the cost of proving overassessment.

2000 – 2009

Moving Beyond the Centennial

As REBNY moved into the first new decade after its centennial, it faced several new challenges, chief among which was the destruction of the terrorist attacks on September 11. Leveraging its influence and ethics, the Board was able to create lasting change that impacted those affected by the attacks and the city at large.

2000

REBNY establishes the biannual Retail Report.

The Board, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Business Association, wins approval of a 5% green building state tax credit.

2001

Bernard H. Mendik, REBNY’s longest serving chairman, passes away.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, REBNY:

Issues a directive against profiteering by urging members to keep rents at pre-9/11 amounts
Gets broker members to waive commissions on new leases of a year or less for dislodged companies
Establishes a telephone space bank to assist companies displaced by the destruction
Lobbies Congress for federal terrorism insurance and forms a task force to study insurance-related problems
Creates a security task force with the assistance of law enforcement agencies and the city's Office of Emergency Management; establishes email service to transmit security advisories to members
Raises more than $12 million for the Twin Towers Fund and other charities to help victims and their families

2000 – 2009

Moving Beyond the Centennial

As REBNY moved into the first new decade after its centennial, it faced several new challenges, chief among which was the destruction of the terrorist attacks on September 11. Leveraging its influence and ethics, the Board was able to create lasting change that impacted those affected by the attacks and the city at large.

2002

REBNY, along with the Real Estate Roundtable and others, wins passage of a federal statute requiring insurers to provide terrorism insurance.

The Board leads a citywide coalition to help reduce a proposed 25% property tax increase to 18.5%.

2003

The Residential Brokerage Division requires members to share listings for 72 hours via an electronic mailing list (the REBNY Listing Service) and to take an ethics course.

2004

The Board adds the Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island information to its property database.

The city approves the recommendations of the World Trade Center Building Code Task Force, on which REBNY members served, to make high-rise office construction safer.

2000 – 2009

Working Toward Meaningful Change

REBNY made meaningful progress in finding new ways to engage its members and the industry at large in the conversation about current and future issues in real estate. This was accomplished through the launch of its Legal Line, a useful service for members’ questions, and REBNY Action Center, a forum dedicated to change through collaboration.

2005

The Board shapes the city's approved rezoning of the far west side (Hudson Yards), west Chelsea and the Brooklyn waterfront (Greenpoint-Williamsburg).

2006

REBNY establishes Legal Line, a hotline for REBNY members' legal questions.

2009

REBNY succeeds in halting the progress of the commercial rent control bill proposed by City Hall by utilizing their newly created REBNY Action Center.

REBNY launches several federal initiatives to help improve the economy, including successfully fighting against proposals to tax-carried interest at normal income tax rates.

2010 – Present

Looking to the Future

REBNY has made strides toward a brighter future for the industry. Meeting the needs of members is the Board's most critical purpose, and we have been maintaining the services members have come to depend on, as well as identifying ways to grow and meet the new needs of today and tomorrow.

2010

REBNY opposes the mandatory paid sick leave bill proposed by the City Council, a bill that would have been too costly for our economy.

REBNY Action Center launches, providing an easy way for people to contact legislators or policymakers on important issues.

2011

Persuaded the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to remove the flip tax from federal lending restrictions, avoiding disastrous consequences for NYC residential sales.

REBNY went to court and was victorious in preserving New York law which prohibits a party that does not have a real estate broker license from claiming commissions on real estate transactions.

Read the Annual Reports

2010 – Present

Looking to the Future

REBNY has made strides toward a brighter future for the industry. Meeting the needs of members is the Board's most critical purpose, and we have been maintaining the services members have come to depend on, as well as identifying ways to grow and meet the new needs of today and tomorrow.

2012

REBNY and its members helped the city and its citizens recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy by taking active roles in several public committees formed, including Governor Cuomo’s NYS 2100, NYS Respond, and NYS Ready commissions, City Council Speaker Quinn’s Building Resiliency Task Force, as well as seeking recovery funding from the federal government. REBNY also facilitated the placement of displaced office tenants into temporary space in addition to coordinating the distribution of vital flood mitigation and recovery equipment. The industry proudly supported the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, the Empire State Relief Fund, and the New York Cares Coat Drive

Successfully convinced the city to reform Crane Licensing for Class A and Class B operators by moving to a national crane certification thus dramatically improving the education, training, and oversight of city crane operators.

Vigorously supported Governor Cuomo’s successful pension reforms which will reduce the pressure to increase taxes and save the state $80 billon and the city $21 billion over the next thirty years.

Read the Annual Reports

2010 – Present

Looking to the Future

REBNY has made strides toward a brighter future for the industry. Meeting the needs of members is the Board's most critical purpose, and we have been maintaining the services members have come to depend on, as well as identifying ways to grow and meet the new needs of today and tomorrow.

2013

Transitioned to a new state of the art Stratus RLS engine which participating REBNY RLS brokerage firms can use to improve their business operations and better serve their clients.

The New York Department of State clarified their position that licensed associate real estate brokers and salespersons may not use corporate titles as their use would constitute dishonest and misleading advertising. REBNY worked closely with our members and the Department of State to clarify that brokers licensed as a “corporate broker” may use a corporate title if their duties and responsibilities justify the title they are using.

Persuaded state officials to adopt a test for asbestos in vermiculite, rather than simply assuming that all vermiculite had to be treated as asbestos; vermiculite was used in fireproofing office buildings built in the 1980’s, some of which were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in lower Manhattan.

Read the Annual Reports