Long Island’s top real estate pros honored

Hundreds attend annual Real Estate Achievement and Leadership Awards


The job of someone in real estate goes beyond just helping clients buy, sell or rent properties. For many professionals, it is about the rewarding feeling of finding a person or family’s “forever” home, and seeing their faces light up as they walk through the door.

Individuals in the industry often strive to offer listings or create developments with the goal of enhancing a community and providing potential homebuyers with a lifestyle they have always dreamed of.

The importance of community involvement and advocacy could not ring more true in the room of hundreds of real estate titans and visionaries at RichnerLive’s second annual Real Estate Achievement and Leadership Awards last week at The Heritage Club at Bethpage in Farmingdale.

“Real estate in my blood,” said Kevin Law, partner and executive vice president of Tritec Real Estate, and the keynote speaker of the evening. “I care about this island — I am hoping that the things I do can make a difference, and make this region a little bit better to live, work and play.”

This year’s REAL Awards honored dozens of professionals in residential and commercial real estate, with some proceeds from the event supporting Habitat for Humanity Long Island — a global non-profit organization whose mission is to bring people together to build affordable, environmentally stable homes for those in need.

Jennie Katz, president and owner of Blue Island Homes, said in her 27 years in the business, the room for creativity is what she finds the most exciting as a broker. For example, she and her business partner, Mark Stempel, are planning to collaborate with interior designers and decorators to stage a truck with all of Blue Island Homes’s listings.

“I started my own business with Mark 10 months ago, and it was about being creative and doing something different,” Katz said. “It’s about passion. It’s about working really hard and being honest.”

Michael Stanco, a licensed real estate broker for the Stanco Misiti team at Compass, talked about his special project, The Residences at Glen Harbor, which received a residential REAL Award at the event.

In the ever-changing housing market, Stanco said it is crucial to provide people with unique living opportunities such as The Residences at Glen Harbor — an alternative option to typical single-family homes.

Anthony Bartone, managing partner of Terwilliger and Bartone Properties, expressed a similar sentiment and discussed his philosophy of mindfulness when introducing projects to Long Island neighborhoods — specifically the environmental impact.

For example, Bartone’s organization pledged to only use native plantings in their developments because of the harmful risk invasive plants pose to the soil.

“It’s important that we set all this up to the extent we can for our next generation,” Bartone said.

The REAL Awards trailblazer Deidre O’Connell — chief executive of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty — grabbed the audience’s attention with her inspirational speech about Realtors pushing through pandemic obstacles these last few years.

She also shared some wisdom for the next generation of homebuyers who may feel a bit anxious when it comes to the prospect of living on Long Island. Statistically, people who buy homes accumulate more money at the end — money they would not have if they put it into renting a place, where there is no return.

“You got to get in the game,” O’Connell said. “Young people have to start at the bottom if their income isn’t going to get them in at the top. Once you’re in the game, you appreciate with the market.”

The major sponsors of the night included Easy Tax Credits, Tenantbase and Maidenbaum. Blue Island Homes, Coldwell Banker American Homes and E.W. Howell were gold sponsors of the evening.

Silver sponsors included Ackerman Law, Breslin Realty Development Corp., Coldwell Banker Distinctive Homes, Cronin & Cronin Law Firm, Cushman & Wakefield, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, Douglas Elliman, GLS, Habitat Abstract, Hayduk Engineering, Heatherwood, Japan Schlesinger Narendran, Lipsky Construction, Long Island Board of Realtors, M&T Bank, Property Shark, R&M Engineering, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz, SMR, Stanco Misiti Team at Compass, Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, The Gitto Group, Valley Bank, Weatherstone Mortgage Corp.

“Our second annual REAL awards was another huge success,” exclaimed Stuart Richner, chief executive of Richner Communications, which created the REAL Awards. “Where else can you find so many individuals and organizations that fuel our local economy? The award recipients are staples in our communities, and their recognition is well-deserved. I am excited to see all that the future holds for Long Island.”