NAIOP New Jersey hosted is annual President’s Awards and Hall of Fame dinner at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford — Courtesy: Kaven Ravensbergen/Caryl Communications
By Joshua Burd
Commercial real estate leaders came together on Monday to honor a group of top advocates and service professionals, touting their work in public policy and in shaping the industry’s future.
NAIOP New Jersey, the industry’s top trade association in the state, welcomed more than 300 members and other attendees for its annual President’s Awards and Hall of Fame dinner. The event recognized nine members for their contributions to both the organization and the real estate sector, with honorees ranging from a student intern at a Princeton-based design firm to Anne Evans Estabrook, the chairman of Elberon Development Group in Elizabeth.
“With business, civic and charitable leadership roles too numerous to name, she is one of the most recognized and honored women in the state of New Jersey,” said Gene Preston, a regional partner with Dermody Properties and NAIOP New Jersey’s chapter president. “Truly one of NAIOP’s greatest supporters in terms of time, talent and treasure, Anne has served on the NAIOP board of trustees and the DPAC board of trustees.”
Estabrook was among three hall of fame inductees at this year’s program, which took place at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford. The chapter also inducted Mindy Lissner, an executive president with CBRE, and Diana Fainberg, president of D.E. Fainberg Associates.
All three have been fixtures in the state as a developer, broker and planning consultant, respectively. The same is true for several of this year’s President’s Award recipients:
- Legacy Award: Peter Reinhart, director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University
- Pillar Award: Susan Karp, principal owner of Karp Environmental Law
- Advocacy Award: Steve Santola, executive vice president and general counsel of Woodmont Properties
- Carlos Torres, business development manager with Turner Construction
- Dana Nalbantian, a studio director and principal with Gensler
- Robert Thomson, a student at Roger Williams University and intern with Michael Graves Architecture
Advocacy and regulatory issues were common themes at the event, as the association highlighted key issues such as streamlining the state’s environmental remediation program and the role that Karp played in representing the chapter during a recent stakeholder process.
“Whatever NAIOP asks, Susan delivers,” said Richard Burrow, a senior principal with Langan, who serves as NAIOP New Jersey’s vice president of associate affairs. “She is one of the true pillars of the New Jersey chapter.”
Preston, meantime, echoed the importance having a strong foundation in public policy as he presented Santola with this year’s Advocacy Award.
“Steve is a go-to NAIOP member for assistance on PILOTs, transportation, incentives, land use and other public policy initiatives,” Preston said. “His experience and expertise as a lawyer, former mayor and active developer specializing in mixed-use lifestyle communities in municipalities throughout New Jersey makes him a valuable resources with a unique perspective.”
NAIOP New Jersey also highlighted the importance of the industry’s next generation. Preston noted that Torres, a leader in Turner’s New Jersey office, has been “one of our most engaged developing leaders” since joining the group, one who has been critical to initiatives such as planning events and the association’s annual drive for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Reinhart, whose real estate career spans more than four decades, has also played a key role in shaping the industry’s future in New Jersey.
“As the New Jersey chapter’s first university member, he helped introduce over a hundred students to the NAIOP family,” Preston said. “And we know that the Kislak Real Estate Institute will be producing future NAIOP members and industry leaders for years to come.”