Gray Tops Executive of the Year Awards—Again; Henry Recognized for Lifetime Achievement

This year’s winners of CPE’s Executive of the Year awards stood out in their pursuit of bold initiatives, innovative strategies and significant deals.

This year’s winners of CPE’s Executive of the Year awards stood out in their pursuit of bold initiatives, innovative strategies and significant deals. True leaders, they carved out time to advance the welfare of their industry and of their communities, while launching new brands, expanding geographically and advancing in newer market sectors.

Selected by a panel of their peers, top-level executives that are members of the CPE 100, these high performers have earned the respect of the industry’s leaders.

While the CPE editorial team strove to avoid too much repetition on the ballot among last year’s winners, in

Jonathan Gray
Jonathan Gray

some cases it was impossible to leave off past repeat winners—and the vote for the topmost award, Executive of the Year, reflects the importance of retaining certain names on the ballot. The CPE 100 board once again voted Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for The Blackstone Group, to that position, electing him Investor of the Year again, as well.

Other double first-place award winners included Bob Faith, with Developer of the Year and Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year honors, and David Simon, achieving Innovator of the Year and Retail Property Executive of the Year honors. Nicholas Schorsch won first place for Net Lease Executive of the Year and honorable mention for Executive of the Year and Innovator of the Year, while Jeff Hines won honorable mention in three categories: Developer of the Year, Sustainability Executive of the Year and Office Property Executive of the Year.

Recognized this year for Lifetime Achievement was David Henry, Vice Chairman & CEO of Kimco Realty Corp. Generally considered one of retail real estate’s most respected executives, Henry has spent 13 years with Kimco, joining the retail REIT from GE Capital Real Estate, and has served in leadership positions on a number of industry association boards, as well. This year’s Rising Leader was Sarah Pontius, senior vice president at CBRE Group Inc.

The awards are now in their 18th year and are unique as a peer-voted program among commercial real estate executives. In most cases, the program awarded one first-place and two honorable-mention positions, with the exception of Lifetime Achievement. The ballot is put together by the CPE editorial team and voted on by the CPE 100 leadership advisory board.

New this year, we also posted the ballot for a popular vote among all members of the industry.

The official winners, as determined by the CPE 100 board, are as follows, with their accomplishments detailed in CPE’s December 2014 issue:

Executive of the Year

First Place: Jonathan Gray, Global Head of Real Estate, The Blackstone Group

Honorable Mention: Nicholas Schorsch, Chairman & CEO, American Realty Capital, and Barry Sternlicht, Chairman & CEO, Starwood Capital Group

Investor of the Year

First Place: Jonathan Gray, Global Head of Real Estate, The Blackstone Group

Honorable Mention: Dennis Friedrich, CEO, Brookfield Office Properties, and David Hamamoto, Chairman & CEO, NorthStar Realty Finance

Lifetime Achievement Award

David Henry, Vice Chairman & CEO, Kimco Realty

Developer of the Year

First Place: Bob Faith, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Greystar

Honorable Mention: Jeff Blau, CEO & General Partner, The Related Cos., and Jeff Hines, President & CEO, Hines

Financier of the Year

First Place: Grace Huebscher, President, Capital One Multifamily Finance

Honorable Mention: Ralph Herzka, Chairman & CEO, Meridian Capital Group, and Robert Merck, Senior Managing Director & Head of Real Estate and Agricultural Investments, MetLife Inc.

Service Executive of the Year

First Place: Roy Hilton March, CEO, Eastdil Secured L.L.C.

Honorable Mention: Mark Rose, Chairman & CEO, Avison Young, and Joseph Stettinius, CEO, Cassidy Turley

Innovator of the Year

First Place: David Simon, Chairman & CEO, Simon Property Group Inc.

Honorable Mention: Christopher Merrill, President & CEO, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital L.L.C., and Nicholas Schorsch, Chairman, American Realty Capital Properties Inc.

Sustainability Executive of the Year

First Place: Jonathan Ratner, Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives, Forest City Enterprises Inc.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Hines, President & CEO, Hines, and Jonathan Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Cos.

Diversity Executive of the Year

First Place: Daryl Carter, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Avanath Capital Management L.L.C.; Chairman, National Multi-Housing Council

Honorable Mention: Todd Burns, President of Project and Development Services, JLL Americas, and Laura O’Brien, Global Director of Client Care and Development & Head of Sales Management for the Americas, CBRE Group Inc.

Female Leader of the Year

First Place: Debra Cafaro, Chairman & CEO, Ventas Inc.

Honorable Mention: Susan Ansel, CEO, Gables Residential, and Terri Ludwig, President & CEO, Enterprise Community Partners, & Chair, Enterprise Community Investment

Rising Leader

First Place: Sarah Pontius, Senior Vice President, CBRE Group Inc.

Honorable Mention: James Cassidy, Executive Managing Director, Cassidy Turley, and Melissa Roman Burch, Executive Vice President of Commercial and Residential Development, Forest City Ratner Cos.

Retail Property Executive of the Year

First Place: David Simon, Chairman & CEO, Simon Property Group Inc.

Honorable Mention: Martin “Hap” Stein Jr., Chairman & CEO, Regency Centers Corp., and Michael Carroll, CEO, Brixmor Property Group Inc.

Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year

First Place: Bob Faith, Chairman & CEO, Greystar

Honorable Mention: Woody Hunt, Chairman & CEO, Hunt Cos.

Office Property Executive of the Year

First Place: Owen Thomas, CEO & Director, Boston Properties Inc.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Hines, President & CEO, Hines, and Steven Roth, Chairman & CEO, Vornado Realty Trust

Industrial Property Executive of the Year

First Place: Hamid Moghadam, Chairman & CEO, Prologis Inc.

Honorable Mention: Len O’Donnell, President & CEO, USAA Real Estate Co., and Ross Perot Jr., Chairman, Hillwood

Hotel/Hospitality Property Executive of the Year

First Place: Christopher Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton Worldwide

Honorable Mention: Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., and W. Edward Walter, President & CEO, Host Hotels & Resorts

Net Lease Property Executive of the Year

First Place: Nicholas Schorsch, Chairman, American Realty Capital Properties Inc.

Honorable Mention: Stan Johnson, CEO, Stan Johnson Co., and Bruce MacDonald, President, Net Lease Capital Advisors Inc.