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The Real Estate Board of New York Announces New Leadership Promotions and The Creation of a Dedicated Diversity Department

17 May 2021
2 min.
The Real Estate Board of New York Announces New Leadership Promotions and The Creation of a Dedicated Diversity Department

The Real Estate Council of New York (REBNY), the city's leading real estate association, on May 13 announced three additions to its leadership team and the creation of a dedicated diversity division to help develop a more diverse real estate workforce.

Basha Gerhards has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Planning and Zach Steinberg has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Policy. Tiffany Johnston joins in the newly created position of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, focusing on implementing strategies to better increase efforts in creating a more diverse industry.

“Real estate will again play a crucial role in New York’s recovery as it emerges from one of the most difficult periods in its history. We are committed to advocating for our members, industry and the City as a whole,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “These promotions and organizational changes strengthen our operations, put us in a better position to serve our members and will help us lead the way in facing the challenges ahead.”

Gerhards joined REBNY in March 2018 as Vice President, Policy & Planning. Prior to REBNY, Gerhards was Deputy Director of Land Use in the Manhattan Borough President’s office and worked as a Zoning Specialist for the NYC Department of City Planning. With this promotion, Gerhards will oversee all planning issues, including housing, land use, zoning, landmarks, community development, climate adaptation and resiliency, transportation, environmental review, retail and streetscape conditions and related broker issues. Gerhards holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

Steinberg joined REBNY in December 2018 as Vice President, Policy & Planning. Prior to REBNY, Steinberg was the Deputy Policy Director at the New York City Comptroller’s office. Additionally, Steinberg has over five years of experience working on Capitol Hill for Senator Tom Harkin. In his new role at REBNY, he will primarily focus on policy issues, including taxes, budget, labor, sustainability, building operations, economic development, construction and real estate market conditions. Steinberg holds a bachelor's degree in history from Wesleyan University.

Johnston joins REBNY from The School District of Philadelphia where she was a Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Procurement Services and Contract Compliance for the past 4 years. Prior to joining The School District of Philadelphia, Johnston spent time in Washington, D.C. and New York City working on various large federal projects. In the newly created role of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at REBNY, Johnston will design and execute strategies to increase engagement, expand program reach, and help develop a more diverse workforce in the real estate industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from Haverford College.

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Vice President of Policy and Planning with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
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