Meet NY’s Association Execs (Part 2)
There’s more to these non-profits than lunch panels. Today, we get to know the volunteer heads of four of the associations serving the world’s greatest commercial real estate market. Catch the first installment here.
B’nai B’rith’s Jerry Morganstern
B’nai B’rith formed before the Civil War to help Jewish people with funeral costs and evolved to offer general community services, says org president Jerry Morganstern of Hofheimer Gartlir & Gross (whom we snapped on Monday with a vintage poster he bought in London). The non-profit’s NYC commercial real estate chapter hosts plenty of heavyweight speakers; coming next are Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers CEO Jonathan Miller and East End Capital’s Jonathan Yormak. But it also is planning more non-real estate programming, like a past event where political analyst Eric Fusfield talked about the presidential election’s effect on Israeli concerns.
Gerald became president of the 300-member chapter five years ago. His day job, though, is a leasing attorney for retail landlords and office tenants nationwide. His real estate knowledge extends elsewhere in the non-profit sector, too. He’s worked for 40 years with The Bridge, which provides housing solutions for those suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, HIV and AIDS. And he served as mayor of Hewlett Harbor on Long Island (population 1,271) for 10 years and now chairs the village’s zoning appeals board. Above, the duck pond where farmer John Hewlett’s livestock drank 300 years ago. (Today's cattle can tell us whether water ages like a fine wine.)
AREW’s Erin Bond
One of two local CREW chapters, the 235-member AREW is making a big push to recruit tomorrow’s leaders, says president Erin Bond, who’s also assistant dean of NY Law School. (We snapped her, right, with Rudin Management’s Samantha Rudin.) Erin’s proud of the initiative to match new members with vets who can help them network and work on professional development. Coming up are the org’s spring networking reception on May 7 and a members only lunch on June 3, as well as two tours and a seminar coming up of three of NYC’s big developments (last year’s tours: WTC site, 9/11 Museum, Empire State Building, and Barclays Center).
Erin (above, with Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and Lend Lease’s Sara Rubenstein at an AREW lunch) will take some time off work this summer to welcome her baby, due in a month, but she’s not taking maternity leave from AREW, she says. (If AREW wants young members, why not start with the newest Bond?) It may seem odd for a law school prof to head up a real estate organization, but she previously worked for NY Law's Center for Real Estate Studies and still helps with program development there. Plenty of law school grads feed the ranks of the real estate industry, Erin says, and her academic experience also gives her a leg up on curriculum and seminar development for AREW.
YM/WREA’s Andrew Ackerman
It’s the high barrier to entry that keeps members active in Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association, says chairman Andrew Ackerman of Vornado. He started his one-year term at the helm of what he calls the Honor Society of NYC real estate in January and tells us it's been around since 1948. For a landlord, developer, broker, or capital markets or finance pro to become a member, he or she must be established in the industry, apply, find a sponsor, and traverse an interview process (which came first—YM/WREA or condo boards?). For that reason, members take the organization seriously, Andrew says.
Vornado has lent many of its pros to head the org lately. Andrew’s predecessor, C&W’s Ron Lo Russo (whom we snapped in his office a year ago), worked for Vornado when his YM/WREA term started, and Vornado’s Glen Weiss was the 2010 chairman. Monthly lunch speakers for the rest of the year are Two Trees’ Jed Walentas, Silverstein CEO Marty Burger, Empire State Realty Trust CEO Tony Malkin, JLL CEO Colin Dyer, and Related Hudson Yards CEO Jay Cross. Plus, there’s the annual golf outing and other fun ones like a Mets game and kayaking, and YM/WREA mentors students and volunteers for local charities, too.
YMBA’s Seth Wiener
YMBA’s May 29 shindig could be the first party on the brand-new Citizen M hotel’s rooftop, chairman Seth Wiener tells us. Membership growth has accelerated, he says, and events like the recent hotel and alternative investment panel lunches at the Union League Club were oversold. Coming June 19: a multifamily panel that’ll include discussion of CMBS and agency lending. Seth, an originator for Capital One by day, says insurance companies seem to be winning construction and permanent loan business while CMBS and other high-leverage lenders are active in secondary and tertiary markets. Capital One, though, is a balance-sheet lender, and Seth tends to do 65% to 70% LTV loans for repeat customers, the benefit of being a one-stop shop that can do construction, bridge, and permanent.