When the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) talks, the politicians listen. One of the oldest and most influential trade associations in the city, it represents a who’s who of land owners, building owners, real estate executives and service professionals.

REBNY’s members include residential and commercial brokers and managers, financial service companies, title companies, lawyers, accountants, architects, bankers, utilities and even media companies like the New York Post.

The organization’s goals are to unite those interested in real estate and the welfare of the city and state by facilitating negotiations, maintaining the highest ethical standards, promoting fair laws and public improvements and creating a healthy economy that will generate jobs and equitable taxes.

From left: Former New York City Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, Silverstein Properties’ Larry Silverstein and outgoing REBNY president Steven Spinola at the 2014 REBNY gala.Anne Wermiel/NY Post

While REBNY’s membership has grown to 16,000, just over 2,000 will fit into tonight’s 119th Annual Banquet at the ballroom of the New York Hilton Midtown on Sixth Ave..

While the younger and newer members cannot always afford the tickets, which run around $1,000 each, they still swarm the Hilton hallways and attend other hosted parties in black tie and fancy dress. They all hope to bump into industry leaders to exchange business cards that can lead to future dealings, or even score an entry card for the main event, informally known as The Liar’s Ball.

REBNY members are intimately involved in crucial city matters, including the formulation of tax policy, city planning and zoning, land use policy, rental and conversion regulations and conditions, building codes and legislation. In addition, REBNY publishes several reports providing indicators of market pricing in residential, retail and commercial sectors.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney at 2014’s REBNY Foundation cocktail event at the NY Hilton Midtown.Anne Wermiel/NY Post

The organization has brought a true Multiple Listing Service to the city’s residential brokerage community, and it serves those from all over the world seeking to live, invest or park their dollars here.

At tonight’s gala, REBNY will also honor a distinguished group of industry leaders who have had unprecedented success and demonstrated continued commitment to New York City and the industry. This year’s honorees are its outgoing president Steven Spinola, William C. Rudin, Barbara Fox, Peter Hauspurg, Daniel M. Kindbergh and Glen Weiss.

Chairman Rob Speyer — REBNY’s youngest chair and the third generation of his family to serve in that position — will preside for the third time over a lively and generally raucous event.

An earlier VIP cocktail party hosts the dais guests and includes REBNY’s board of governors, the evening’s honorees and often the governor, the mayor, various deputies, commissioners and staffers, a sprinkling of Council Members and of course, other appointed and elected officials such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who all end up creating a security detail gridlock.

This evening could include Mayor Bill De Blasio’s first formal appearance before the group.

Nancy Peck and Stephen L .Green at the REBNY Foundation cocktail party.

Last year, Hizzoner’s arrival in the VIP Cocktail Room caused a stir as even the most jaded CEOs jockeyed for face time and a selfie, but the mayor never made it to the dais to say hello to all the celebrants. He has, however, since met with the leadership.

There is plenty of time during the banquet for the members to meet and greet each other and various public officials. Longtime city-based family developers host the tables in the front of the room and every company has the same location each year — much like season tickets to the opera and ball games.

This year, a new video will discuss the need for transportation infrastructure. It will also be a poignant evening as it will be the last time REBNY’s president of 30 years, Steven Spinola, will attempt to shush the crowd during the 20-minute award ceremony. Most guests spend more time mingling and yakking than chowing down at their own tables.

Previous chairmen have resorted to banging on cymbals to obtain order, but to no avail.

Years ago, a newly elected governor walked out in a huff when the audience ignored his long-winded speech. The more understanding Mayor David Dinkins merely plowed on, content to convey his remarks whether anyone listened or not.

Things won’t be any different tonight.


The Young Real Estate Man of the Year

► Glen Weiss, Executive VP, Director of Leasing, Vornado Realty Trust

Vornado Realty Trust

Weiss has served as Executive Vice President and Director of Leasing for Vornado Realty Trust’s 23 million-square-foot New York portfolio since 2007. He also oversees the Vornado portfolio in Chicago that includes theMart, a 3.5 million-square-foot building where Motorola Mobility and Google have new spaces, and the San Francisco portfolio that includes the 1.8 million-square-foot complex at 555 California St.Weiss began his career at age 16 on the building operations side of the industry as a summer porter with the Mendik Company at 11 Penn Plaza. He continued as an intern through high school and college. In 1992 he became an Assistant Building Manager and then Building Manager for 1740 Broadway and 11 Penn Plaza. Following Vornado Realty Trust’s acquisition of Mendik Company, Weiss transitioned to leasing.

Weiss was 2010 Chairman of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association. Additionally, he is a member of REBNY’s Seminar Committee.

“Both of the organizations give you a platform into the community and allow you to develop relationships with the other brokers and owners,” Weiss explained. In particular, he pointed to the YM/WREA as a way to give back to the community through its numerous charitable events.

His work with other charities led to him receiving the 2010 New York Cares Corporate Community Outreach Award and he was the 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters Real Estate Honoree. He was also the 2013 Multiple Sclerosis Society honoree at the 31st Annual Race Against MS at Belmont Park and is involved with the American Foundation for the Blind.

Weiss earned his B.A. from the University of Delaware and his M.B.A. from Pace University. He resides in Livingston, NJ, with his wife Staci and their three daughters: Leah, Emily and Abby.

The Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award

►Barbara Fox, President, Fox Residential Group

Beginning with five brokers in 1989, Barbara Fox founded Fox Residential Group as a boutique firm specializing in the sale of upscale residential properties. She had previously created and led the 60 broker residential division for Cross & Brown Company.

Fox began her firm to target just the Upper East and West Sides; today the company has over 45 brokers advising on the purchase, sale and rental of residential property throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as private homes in Westchester County. In 2004 Fox added a division to represent developers and sponsors of new residential projects.

Barbara was a founding member of REBNY’s Residential Committee and since its inception in 1989, has been involved with — and now chairs — the committee that oversees the Residential Deal of the Year Charity Gala. This major fundraiser first supported homeless charities and now targets the Member in Need Fund.

In 1997, REBNY honored Fox with the Henry Forster Memorial Award for her lifetime achievements.

“Playing an active role on the Residential Board and various committees over the years has brought me into direct contact with the leaders of other firms, which has greatly contributed to improved communication on pressing issues,” Fox said of REBNY. “For other brokers, younger or older, REBNY provides needed qualities of professionalism to our industry and serves as a strong advocate.”

Fox also founded and heads Woof! Dog and Cat Rescue whch saves shelter pets.

A native of Rocky Mount, NC, Fox and her husband, James Freund, split their time between the UES and Connecticut with a variety of dogs and cats.

The Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award

►Peter Hauspurg, Chairman and CEO, Eastern Consolidated

David Beyda

Hauspurg and his partner, Daun Paris, who is president, founded Eastern Consolidated in 1981. Since then, it’s grown to 70 brokers specializing in commercial property sales, retail sales and leasing and mortgage finance concentrating in the city and tri-state area.

As a global dealmaker, Hauspurg has originated virtually every asset type for acquisition or disposition, including billions of dollars of office and apartment buildings, hotels, development sites, garden apartments and retail properties. Also an accredited tax attorney, Hauspurg arranges alternative acquisition and disposition structures to minimize tax effects on his clients’ behalf.

A member of the Board of Governors of REBNY, Hauspurg says REBNY is “indispensable” to the real estate industry. “It acts as a huge clearinghouse that connects all the disparate players that are part of the biggest real estate market in the world,” he explained. “REBNY’s extensive committee system and regular networking events were invaluable in developing my career as a new young broker and has continued for 33 years since then.”

Hauspurg also sits on the New York City Director’s Advisory Council and the Mortgage Committee of M & T Bank and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Westchester Land Trust for over 10 years.

He is involved in many philanthropic efforts. After 11 years of service to the Jewish Child Care Association, which included the donation of a building, Hauspurg was elected as the President of the Board of Trustees. The organization has a $100 million annual budget and 1,100 employees providing housing, medical care and vocational training to over 15,000 families. He has also rehabilitated several Harlem apartment buildings under the auspices of New York City’s Third Party Transfer Program, which are now occupied as affordable housing.

A graduate of Duke University, Hauspurg received his Juris Doctor degree from Fordham Law School with a specialization in tax law.

He and his wife, Daun, split their time between New York and Westchester County.

The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker award

► Steven Spinola, REBNY President


Since 1986, when he was appointed REBNY President, Spinola has been a vigorous and authoritative advocate of policies to promote local economic growth, citywide development projects and new residential and commercial construction. He is the longest-serving president, and during his tenure, membership has quadrupled — from 4,000 to over 16,000 members.

“It’s been a job I could only dream of,” said Spinola, who has chosen to retire later this year. “Lew Rudin always said, ‘What’s good for New York City is good for the real estate industry,’ and it’s so true.”

Spinola has an outstanding reputation in both the city and Albany as an influential and well-informed advocate as well as a supporter of public policies to maintain the city’s status as a competitive and business-friendly locale that attracts global investment.

He was instrumental in obtaining incentives that stimulated both residential development and commercial investment in Lower Manhattan both before and after 9/11. The day after 9/11, Spinola and then REBNY chairman, Burt Resnick, met with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at Ground Zero. “The city recognized we had a role in helping the city get going again,” Spinola recalled.

Spinola is an outspoken proponent for both the Vanderbilt Corridor and more widespread Midtown East rezonings, and was a key advocate for the rezonings of Hudson Yards and Downtown Brooklyn.

In 2014, he was appointed to Mayor de Blasio’s Affordable Housing Implementation Advisory Board.

Spinola serves on the board of The Grand Central Partnership. He was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the New York City Regional Council and served as a member of the New York State Real Estate Board, appointed by former Governor Pataki.

He holds a B.A. from the City College of New York with a concentration in political science and government and attended the Harvard Business School/Kennedy School of Government Summer Program for Senior Managers in Government.

The George M. Brooker Management Executive of the Year

► Daniel M. Kindbergh, Senior VP of Operations, Brookfield

Christina Lilly Photography

Kindbergh oversees the operations of Brookfield’s 57 million-square-foot US portfolio. He has extensive experience in portfolio and property management as well as in accounting and administration and has been part of the Brookfield team since 1988, when he joined its predecessor, Olympia & York.

Overseeing a portfolio scattered in New York, Washington, DC, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and Boston, Kindbergh has been instrumental in it becoming the recipient of many awards and achievements, including the 2012 National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts’ environmental achievement award, “Leader in the Light.” Brookfield has also been recognized in the BOMA 360 Program and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.

After 9/11, Kindbergh oversaw the restoration of its damaged properties adjacent to the World Trade Center. He provided leadership  during and after other critical events including Hurricane Ike, Occupy Wall Street and Superstorm Sandy.

Kindbergh is appreciative of his time as a member of REBNY, as he is able to share experiences with the other operators: “It has helped me to get information and I’ve been able to participate in discussions about the laws and new codes that are always changing.”

In 2006, Kindbergh acted as Integration Management Officer after Brookfield acquired Trizec Properties. More recent positions have included various levels of property management, but he began his career with the company on the accounting side as the controller of the World Financial Center Division.

Prior to joining Olympia & York/Brookfield, Kindbergh was a Vice President with Hutton Real Estate Services and responsible for the administration of publicly and privately placed commercial real estate limited partnerships in which EF Hutton & Company served as general partner.

He  holds a Business Administration in Public Accounting degree from Hofstra University and was licensed as a CPA in 1982.

The Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award

► William C. Rudin, CEO & Vice-Chairman, Rudin Management Company, Inc.

Rudin Management Company

A city resident all his life, William Rudin oversees the company’s portfolio of 16 office towers with more than 10 million square feet of Class A office and retail along with 18 luxury apartment buildings.

The integration of technology and environmental design has been integral in Rudin family projects that include the ongoing transformation of St. Vincent’s hospital into the West Village Residences as well as office buildings that include 3 Times Square, 32 Sixth Ave. and 55 Broad St.

“REBNY has been very important to my business and career,” said Rudin, who has been his family’s representative to the industry group for over 30 years. “It’s been an incredible organization.”

Rudin has been one of the industry’s most influential voices in advancing pro-business and pro-real estate public policy at City Hall, in Albany and in Washington, DC, on behalf of REBNY and other groups including the Real Estate Roundtable, where he is the Chairman-Elect; The Partnership for New York City; and as Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. He is a strong proponent of diversifying the city’s economy to generate jobs and ensure its continued vitality.

Rudin also serves as Chairman of The Battery Conservancy, and is a Board Member of The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, The Partnership for New York City, The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, The New York Center for Autism, The Alliance for Downtown New York, the Economic Club of New York and the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation.

He was appointed as the President of the Governor’s Empire State Relief Fund and to serve on the Pataki-McCall Tax Commission. He is also a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and The New York City Marathon Committee.

Rudin lives in the city with his wife, Ophelia, grown children, Samantha and Michael, their respective spouses, David and Sabrina and granddaughter, Elle.