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Nominate a Rising Star for Our 2020 Next Generation Awards

Connect Media’s third annual Next Generation Awards in 2019 shone the spotlight on 90 of commercial real estate’s most talented young pros. Now we’re gearing up to do it again, this time with even more honorees in mind, and we welcome your input.

Earlier this year, we launched daily coverage in two new markets: Phoenix/Southwest and Washington, D.C. We intend to find rising stars in these markets, along with those where we have previously established a presence.

As you get ready to submit a nomination, or multiple nominations, for our fourth annual Next Generation Awards, here’s a look back at some of last year’s honorees for a sense of the caliber of talent we’ll be spotlighting. We’re presenting three of them here, and will be spotlighting others over the next few weeks.

At Hanley Investment Group, Jeff Lefko has become one of the top retail investment sales brokers at the company, and in the industry, by showing persistence and commitment to his clients through a proactive, service-oriented approach. Subsequent to Connect’s profile of Lefko last August, he earned the “Elite Agent – Top Producer Award” as the #1 Performer at Hanley Investment Group in 2019, and most recently was promoted from VP to EVP.

Another fast-rising star is CBRE’s Melina Cordero. Within three years of joining the company, Cordero rose through the ranks to lead CBRE’s retail capital markets in the Americas, making her one of the company’s youngest (if not the youngest) executives leading a national business line.

On the lending side, Berkadia’s Chinmay Bhatt possesses an uncanny ability to find unique capital solutions and structure transactions where others have failed or given up. He was one of three tapped to launch Berkadia’s JV Equity & Structured Capital group to bring clients competitive joint venture capital opportunities

Just as we’re looking for Next Generation nominees from across the country, we’re also looking for candidates from across the CRE spectrum. Last year’s winners included rising stars in development, finance, ownership, technology and architecture, to name a few of the disciplines that were represented.

After considering your recommendations, we’ll choose this year’s honorees. We’ll begin announcing them in August.

Candidates must be 35 or younger as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Please return your nomination by June 30, 2020.

Submit Your Nominations

For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny


Inside The Story

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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