NAIOP New Jersey hosted its annual President’s Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.
By Joshua Burd
A crowd of nearly 400 turned out Monday night as NAIOP New Jersey inducted three commercial real estate leaders into its hall of fame, while honoring a longtime state government leader and three key industry professionals.
The association recognized the industry leaders at its annual President’s Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner, which drew a sold-out crowd to the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe. The honorees were praised for everything from volunteering with the NAIOP chapter to their roles in key public policy initiatives such as incentive programs and site remediation.
This year’s hall of fame inductees include:
- David Sanzari, CEO and president of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
- David Simson, vice chairman and New Jersey chief operating officer of Newmark Knight Frank
- Dennis Toft, member of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
Leaders of the NAIOP chapter highlighted Simson’s more than 35 years as a top broker and his role in guiding Newmark Knight Frank’s office in the state. For Toft, an association member for 29 years, they touted his leadership in brownfield redevelopment and environmental law.
“He’s been one of the leading authorities on this subject for years and years,” said Dave Gibbons, CEO of Elberon Development Group and NAIOP New Jersey’s chapter president. He also cited Toft’s role in key legal reforms, including the legislation that led to the state’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional program.
“That’s reason enough for him to be in hall of fame, as far as I’m concerned,” Gibbons said.
The organization also recognized Sanzari, who leads one of the state’s well-respected multigenerational development firms and served as the host of the program.
“As a NAIOP member for 28 years, David has demonstrated a commitment to the commercial real estate industry that very, very few can claim,” said Robert Kossar, vice chairman with JLL and the association’s vice president of associate affairs. “The Sanzari name is synonymous with integrity, quality and excellence, as evidenced by the Glenpointe Marriott, our host venue for tonight and for many galas for more than a decade.”
The program’s other honors included:
- Pillar Award: Liz Archer, marketing pursuit manager with Dewberry
- Volunteer of the Year: Chris Tansey, principal of Melick-Tully and Associates, a division of GZA GeoEnvironmental
- Advocacy Award: Ted Zangari, member and real estate department chair at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.
- Legacy Award: Tim Lizura, former president and chief operating officer of the state Economic Development Authority
Lizura recently joined the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as its senior vice president of real estate and capital projects. But the move follows more than two decades of leadership at the EDA and many years as a top executive, in which he was one of the key public-sector figures in the state when it came to development and commercial real estate.
“He did so much in working with EDA to bring jobs, businesses and investments to New Jersey — and a lot of our members were part of that,” Gibbons said. “The tireless work to develop, implement and improve New Jersey’s powerful incentive programs — it might not have happened without Tim.”
After the event, honorees weighed in to express their gratitude for the recognition.
“I am truly honored to have been selected to join this group of industry titans,” Simson said. “I am also extremely proud of this honor on behalf of my NKF team, which is the best in the real estate services business in New Jersey. This award is as much a recognition of what we’ve been able to accomplish as an organization.”