Webb and Brooker

Bernard Warren, Chairman and President
Bernard Warren is the chairman and president of Webb and Brooker. In his role, Warren supervises the senior staff and acts as the primary liaison for building boards and committees. He joined Webb and Booker in 1990. Mr. Warren has owned and operated properties in Queens and Harlem and is a registered apartment manager, and is one of the founding members of the not-for-profit corporation New York Affordable Housing Management Association.


Dimitri Naylor, Vice President
Dimitri Naylor is the vice president at Webb and Booker. He joined the company in 1990 as an accounts administrator. Since the beginning of his time at Webb and Booker, Naylor has also worked as a property manager and field operations supervisor. Prior to joining Webb and Booker, Naylor worked at Ensign Bank, FSB as a supervisor of Jumbo CD’s. He is registered in apartment management and holds a New York City Real Estate Broker’s License.

Mark Weiss

Executive Vice Chair, Cushman and Wakefield

Mark Weiss is the executive vice chair of Cushman and Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm. Mr. Weiss joined the company in this role in 2016. He has over 32 years of experience as a leading commercial real estate broker, advisor, and tactician in New York City. Prior to joining Cushman and Wakefield, Mr. Weiss worked at Olympia & York, The Edward S. Gordon Company, Studley, Inc., and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. He is also a published author, having written a book on the effects of breast cancer on family members of patients.

Seth Weissman

Founder and President, Urban Standard Capital

Seth Weissman is the founder and president of Urban Standard Capital, a real estate lender, developer, and investment firm in New York City. Before founding the company, Mr. Weissman worked at the real estate private equity group of Perry Capital, and was previously a member of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division. He is also the founder of Real Estate Has Your Back, an organization dedicated to supporting communities in need throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens.

James Whelan – Real Estate Board of New York

James Whelan

President, The Real Estate Board of New York

James Whelan – Real Estate Board of New York

A life-long Queens resident and son of Irish immigrants, Jim Whelan has led REBNY since late 2019. As REBNY president, Jim leads an organization that promotes policies to create more housing, including below market rate units, and good jobs as well as provide for a more vibrant and sustainable city. Prior to REBNY, Jim served in several high-impact roles that have shaped the city we know today, including securing the initial funding to expand Union Square Park, creating the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning plan and devising advocacy strategies for the redevelopment of Hudson Yards, Willets Point, Coney Island and Lower Manhattan.

What is your favorite landmark in New York State?
That is like asking me to pick my favorite child! I can’t answer that without making some member unhappy. They have a lot of great buildings!

What has been your favorite development project and why?
I am most proud of the redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn. When I started that effort in 1999, not many paid it much attention or thought it would be successful. The rezoning plan has had a profound impact on that area.

What is the current state of commercial real estate in New York? What impact has the pandemic had?
The residential market – both ownership and rental – has bounced back strongly. It is becoming more and more apparent that NYC is not producing enough housing. That needs to change, or our housing crisis will worsen. The commercial market is rebounding; some parts, like Class A office space, is rebounding very nicely. The retail sector, to the extent it relied on the tourist or office market, will take a little longer to recover.

How did you become interested in architecture, real estate, or construction?
In 1995, I left the practice of law and went to work at the 14th Street-Union Square Local Development Corporation and Business Improvement District (now the Union Square Partnership). During my tenure there, we did a lot of great things to turn the neighborhood around. I saw the ability of real estate advocacy groups that operate effectively to produce positive change.

What is your favorite place you’ve ever lived?
I have spent fifty of my fifty-eight years of my life in Queens – split roughly equally between Bellerose and Elmhurst. Hands down, it is Queens!

Valerie White Portraits 8-8-21

Valerie White

Senior Executive Director, LISC NYC

Valerie White Portraits 8-8-21

As senior executive director of LISC NYC, Valerie is responsible for advancing a platform of racial and economic equity by building on $3.1 billion in LISC NYC investments to spur affordable housing, economic development, health equity, and workforce development in underserved neighborhoods. In this role, Valerie leads the team in developing a vision, and advancing strategic policies and programs that foster equity and inclusion in disinvested communities.

What is your favorite landmark in New York State?
I have two. One is Niagara Falls — which I visit each summer. No matter how many times I go, I am in complete awe of the Falls’ beauty and majesty. It’s one of Mother Nature’s finest works. The other is the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University — my alma mater. The history of the rigorous intellectual scholarship and committed symbolism to its motto — Sapientia et Doctrina — emanate throughout the campus.

What has been your favorite development project and why?
The Moynihan Train Station in NYC. It was wonderful watching this amazing structure unfold during my time at Empire State Development. As the EVP and executive director of the NYS MWBE Division, I was thrilled to be a part of the ESD during the development and construction of the station.

What is the current state of commercial real estate in New York? What impact has the pandemic had?
The commercial real estate industry is still full of uncertainty at the moment, particularly for Black and brown property owners. Due to systemic inequities, there have always been far too few BIPOC owners of commercial real estate space. The pandemic has only made that inequity worse – with minority neighborhoods and businesses facing an unprecedented economic setback since the start of the pandemic. Without relief for these property owners in our underserved commercial corridors, I worry we’ll see even fewer Black and brown property owners in the years ahead.

How did you become interested in architecture, real estate, or construction?
Working in the economic development space – both in the private and public sector – two inequities were always glaring to me: the persistent lack of housing and homeownership opportunities for people of color and the challenges Black and brown developers faced in trying to make their mark on the industry. I knew there was more that could be done to address these systemic inequities. Since then, I’ve been working across industries to ensure that BIPOC New Yorkers are no longer marginalized in the city’s housing industry – both in the development of housing and in the ownership of it as well.

What is your favorite place you’ve ever lived?
Brooklyn, no doubt. The culture, opportunity, and communities in Brooklyn are all unrivaled. While I am a native of the Hudson Valley, I’ve been a proud resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant for almost 40 years, and I couldn’t be happier to call it my home.

Jacqui Williams

Founder and CEO, 99 Solutions

Jacqui Williams is the founder and chief executive officer of 99 Solutions, a Dumbo-based government relations and consulting firm focused on real estate lobbying. Ms. Williams has had an incredible career trajectory, as she’s progressed from experiencing homelessness to becoming a key figure in some of the most high profile real estate projects in Brooklyn. She previously served as the director of economic development for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Leslie Wohlman Himmel

Founder and Co-Managing Partner, Himmel and Meringoff Properties

Leslie Wohlman Himmel is the founder and co-managing partner of Himmel and Meringoff Properties. Himmel founded the commercial real estate firm in 1985 with business partner Stephen Meringoff. She began her career at Integrated Resources as an acquisitions associate, and has progressed to become one of the foremost female leaders in today’s commercial real estate industry. Ms. Himmel also founded and continues to co-chair REBNY’s Economic Development Committee, as well as serving as a board member of a number of institutions and advisory councils.

Franklin S. Zuckerbrot

President, Sholom and Zuckerbrot Realty LLC

Franklin S. Zuckerbrot is the president of Sholom and Zuckerbrot Realty LLC. Mr. Zuckerbrot joined the company in 1993, and has since been responsible for the sale and leasing of an excess of five hundred million square feet. He is also a Managing Member of Octagon Properties. Prior to joining S&Z, he worked as an associate broker for the Edward S. Gordon Company and Peter R. Friedman Ltd. In addition to his position at S&Z, Mr. Zuckerbrot is also affiliated with a number of organizations and boards, including the Real Estate Board of New York, the B’Nai B’Rith NYC Real Estate Division Board, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.