President's Welcome

A Message from David Leviton, President of CIBS                               

I am honored to accept the role of President of the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society (CIBS).  I have been a member of CIBS since our organization’s inception. I have proudly watched it grow from a grassroots initiative where we played softball, drank some beer, and had many good laughs, to establishing itself as a force within the Long Island business community. All of this has been accomplished by the hard work, dedication, persistence and vision of all the past Presidents, Board Members, Sponsors and most importantly each and everyone one of YOU – our Brokers and Associate Members. Without you and your support, this great organization’s remarkable growth and success would not have been possible.

So, what’s in store for the next two years?

As President, I wish to continue increasing the public awareness of the CIBS’ brand along with new, proactive approaches to further the CIBS platform and continued support and promotion of our existing Committees. Please read below for a sneak peek of some of the exciting new developments and events we have planned for 2019. 

The Board recently formed a new committee, The Economic Development Advocacy Committee (EDAC), chaired by Michael Rosenfeld. Also serving on the committee are Peter Curry, Esq., Eric Launer, David Pennetta, Ted Stratigos, and Daniel Weiner. Our goal is to provide a stronger unified “voice” at local public hearings to promote smart development, which will ensure our economic survival as a region while protecting our great environmental assets.  We already received amazing press as a result of John Magnani speaking on behalf of CIBS in favor of the NYCB Live Nassau County development. 

For those who qualify, the Board recently passed a motion to develop a special designation for our Brokers called CIBS Elite (CIBS-E). We will be providing New York State Real Estate continuing education classes that are required by NYDOS. In conjunction with this the “E” designation, which would be awarded to those that took additional classes to become more educated in the field of Real Estate, CIBS will highly publicize this new industry designation for those who achieve it. The “E” designation would signify that the individual spent considerable more time educating themselves through industry-specific classes to provide clients with a higher level of service and professionalism.  

Naturally we are always looking to expand our Activities and Educational Meeting Series.  John Magnani and Daniel Weiner serve as Co-Chairs of this committee along with Board Members Kyle Burkhardt, David Chinitz, and Alberto Fiorini. There will be many educational events planned throughout the year and I hope you will take advantage of all of them. I suggest that you check the website calendar often and make your reservations, so you do not miss out on these informative events.  If there is something specific that you would like to see offered, such as an idea for the Lunch and Learn series, please feel free to reach out to me directly as the Board is always looking for new ideas to bring value to our members.

Let’s not forget about our Future Generation Committee led by Dan Weiner along with committee members Kyle Burkhardt, Alberto Fiorini, and Marisa Karmitz. This year they are planning a special early spring event to be held at Six Harbors Brewing Company, so check your emails for updates and RSVP quickly. One advantage of becoming President – I get to go to this event even though I have aged out of it! ?

Soon this arctic blast will be behind us. Before you know it, spring will arrive which for many of us means GOLF!  Our Annual CIBS Golf Outing, chaired by John La Ruffa along with committee members David Chinitz and myself, will be held on Tuesday, May 28th. As you know, this event has become one of the “Can’t Miss” golf outings on Long Island. We consistently sell out early, and for those who have attended, I know you all can attest … it’s a great day. John has promised me that this year’s golf outing will be the BEST YET!!! Make sure you save the date and secure your reservation with John.

I have to mention our Summer Cocktail Party. Last year our summer event was held poolside at the Crest Hollow Country Club. In terms of attendance, it turned out to be our largest CIBS event ever. This year, we look to shatter that record, so I hope to see you at this event which I promise will be spectacular. 

Melissa Naeder has taken on the responsibility of increasing our Retail Broker membership. In the past, we have had a difficult time attracting Retail Brokers into our family at CIBS. As the retail real estate environment undergoes change, I see many synergies and advantages that could exist between Retail Brokers and CIBS. For example, lately we have seen many retail stores being converted into medical offices and/or mixed-use developments. As the retail environment continues to transform itself, I think it is ever more apparent that we all need to start working together to achieve smart growth in our region. I am confident that Melissa will be successful in growing the retail broker membership thereby strengthening the value of our organization.

Last year we rolled out our new website under the guidance of Michael Rosenfeld, Chair of the Website/Social Media/PR Committee. He works closely with our other committee members: Mario Asaro, Ralph Benzakein, Doug Hayes, Amanda Gorozdi, and Gary Schacker. Together, they work tirelessly in making sure the CIBS brand remains highly visible in the media and that our website is intuitive in its usability by our members.

None of the above is remotely possible without the hard work and contributions of the following committees. Without them, we as an organization would cease to exist. Please join me in giving special thanks to:

  • Membership Committee: Bradley Diamond, Dan Gazzola/Chair, Amanda Gorozdi
  • Associate Membership Committee: Bradly Diamond, Dan Gazzola, Amanda Gorozdi, Gary Schacker/Co-Chair, Karen Scutellaro/Co-Chair
  • Sponsorship Committee: Mario Asaro, Kyle Burkhardt, David Chinitz, Michael Rosenfeld, and myself
  • Charitable Initiatives Committee: Alberto Fiorini, Marisa Karmitz/Chair, Dan Weiner

As we move forward into the New Year, it is important to take a step back and thank Kyle Burkhart for his tenure as President. Kyle did an outstanding job of making sure CIBS thrived under his leadership. I look forward to following in his footsteps and leading this organization for the next two years. In closing, I am excited to be your President and can’t wait to see what we achieve together in 2019. Thank you for your support. I will not let you down!

David Leviton
President 2019-20
Commercial Industrial Brokers Society of Long Island