Korman, Kass, Honored at NKF Awards

In a scene reminiscent of the Oscars, Newmark Knight Frank’s Executive Managing Director Lance Korman learned he had won the national brokerage firm’s “Top Producing Broker of the Year” accolade on the very night of the awards ceremony.

lance korman Korman, Kass, Honored at NKF Awards

Lance Korman.

As has historically been the case, Mr. Korman, 41, and his colleagues at Newmark Knight Frank were kept in the dark until the winners were announced late last month.

“It’s extremely confidential and it’s taken very seriously,” said Mr. Korman.

The affair, which took place Dec. 16 at an events space at 230 Fifth Avenue, bestows honors including “The Aaron Gural Award” and “2011 Industrial Broker of the Year.”

Despite a busy 2011 in which Mr. Korman helped Africa Israel USA sell the top 11 floors of the former New York Times building to Blackstone and represented Getty Images in its restructuring of One Hudson Square, the prize was anything but business as usual.

“I was very shocked and amazed and pleased,” he told The Commercial Observer last night. “I have been in the company for – I stared in 2000 – so this is something I’ve watched other people win, and I have always been trying to achieve that greatness.”

“I was really, really surprised and honored,” he added.

Meanwhile, senior managing director Ryan Kass won the “Aaron Gural Award,” named after Newmark Knight Frank’s founder, and given each year to the broker who has excelled “in the areas of ethics, teamwork, collaboration and professionalism.”

And in an evening that bestowed honors on numerous tristate area brokers, Mitch Katz, a managing director at the firm’s New Jersey office, took home the company’s “Industrial Broker of the Year” award, while Brian Waterman, William Cohen, William Mendelson and Robin Jones all earned public recognition for their 25 years of service with the national brokerage.

The evening’s other award winners included:

Steve Tolkach, managing principal, “National Office Broker of the Year.”

Jason Pruger, executive managing director, “Retail Broker of the Year.”

Jennifer Schwartzman, senior managing director, “Capital Group Broker of the Year.”

Kyle Ciminelli, director, “New York Rising Star.”

Greg Frankovich, managing director at the firm’s Los Angeles office, “Regional Office Rising Star.”

Natalie Donofrio, director at NKF Global Corporate Services; Fenil Manani, network technician; and property management transaction analyst Zack Schnoll, “Employee of the Year” awards.

Daniel Edward Rosen can be reached at DRosen@Observer.com