The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) announced the winners of the Gold Circle and “The Outstanding Building of the Year” (TOBY) Awards at its TOBY/Gold Circle Awards Gala on Sunday, January 23 in the Great Hall at historic Union Station.
BOMA/Chicago’s Gold Circle Awards honor individual excellence within Chicago’s commercial real estate community in five categories: Property Management Professional of the Year, Building Engineer of the Year, Security Professional of the Year, Emerging Leader of the Year and Affiliate Member of the Year. BOMA/Chicago received 34 applications for its second annual Gold Circle Awards.
“We congratulate our members and member buildings on their outstanding professional accomplishments and thank them for their continued service to BOMA/Chicago,” says Michael Cornicelli, executive vice president of BOMA/Chicago. “We are honored to count many of Chicago’s most influential commercial real estate professionals and most recognized buildings as BOMA/Chicago members, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements for years to come.”
Nominees were required to submit an extensive award application and two letters of recommendation, as well as participate in an interview with a panel of local real estate professionals. Nominees were judged on a wide range of criteria, including their professional accomplishments, involvement in BOMA/Chicago and positive impact on Chicago’s commercial real estate community.
The 2010-2011 Gold Circle Award winners are:
- Property Management Professional of the Year: Betty Casties, LEED AP, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle and general manager of the Hyatt Center. Casties was nominated by Stephen Zsigray of Jones Lang LaSalle for her more than 20 years of dedication to providing extraordinary services and results to building owners and tenants. During her career, Casties has trained and mentored dozens of property managers and volunteered as a TOBY Awards judge, Ollie Scholarship mentor and committee member. The Property Management Professional of the Year Award recognizes excellence in property management for professionals charged with managing the day-to-day operations and maintenance of BOMA/Chicago member buildings.
- Building Engineer of the Year: Dan Wagner, chief engineer at 555 West Monroe. Wagner was nominated by Debra Julien of CB Richard Ellis for his commitment to fostering a tenant-driven environment and spearheading numerous sustainability initiatives that resulted in 555 West Monroe achieving LEED-EB Sliver and LEED-NC Platinum certification. The Building Engineer of the Year Award honors operational excellence of engineering professionals overseeing the systems and infrastructure of Chicago’s commercial buildings.
- Security Professional of the Year: Donna Kobzaruk, vice president and Midwest regional security manager at JP Morgan Chase. Kobzaruk was honored for her service to BOMA/Chicago as past chair of the Security Committee and current chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. During her tenure, Kobzaruk expanded BOMA/Chicago’s public-sector profile through partnerships with the Illinois State Police Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center and Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). As a representative of BOMA/Chicago, Kobzaruk now chairs the OEMC’s Chicago Information Sharing Group, which helps coordinate communication in the event of a disaster, and is also co-chair of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force’s private sector committee. Kobzaruk was nominated by Dave Beeman of MB Real Estate.
- Emerging Leader of the Year: Wade Rogers, RPA, property manager at 120 South LaSalle, was named Emerging Leader of the Year, an award recognizing the leadership achievement of BOMA/Chicago’s building and affiliate members with less than 10 years of industry experience. Rogers was nominated by Robert Quast of Lincoln Property Company for his work as chair of the Emerging Leaders Subcommittee, including launching the Emerging Leaders Ambassador program and organizing numerous philanthropic and social events.
- Affiliate Member of the Year: Carlos Villarreal, senior vice president of commercial real estate services at Whelan Security, was recognized for his exemplary service to BOMA/Chicago as an active affiliate member. Villarreal was nominated by Dave Beeman of MB Real Estate for his service to BOMA/Chicago’s Security and Emergency Preparedness Committees. He also coordinates the organization’s annual “Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise,” which simulates disaster or terrorist situations to test property management teams.
BOMA/Chicago also honored local TOBY Award winners for excellence in office building management in six respective categories based on building size and facility type. TOBY Award nominees were judged on their tenant relations initiatives, commitment to environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, budgeting, work order systems, security standards and staff experience and continuing education opportunities. A team of local commercial real estate professionals served as TOBY judges and determined the winners based on a detailed application process and extensive interviews with building management.
The following buildings earned TOBY awards:
- 250,000 – 499,000 Square Feet Category: 303 West Madison, managed by CB Richard Ellis and owned by 303 Madison Chicago, LLC.
- 500,000 – One Million Square Feet Category: The United Building, located at 77 West Wacker Drive, managed by Jones Lang LaSalle Americas (Illinois) LP and owned by 77 West Wacker Drive, LLC.
- Over One Million Square Feet Category: 111 South Wacker, managed by The John Buck Company and owned by Union Investment Real Estate.
- Government Building Category: The Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building, located at 77 West Jackson Boulevard, owned and managed by the General Services Administration. This is the second year in a row that the building has won this award.
- Earth Award Category: FBI Chicago Regional Office, located at 2111 West Roosevelt Road, managed by USAA Real Estate Company and owned by FBI Chicago Partners, LLC.
- Suburban Office Park Mid-Rise: U.S. Cellular Plaza, located at 8420 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, managed by Parkway Realty Services and owned by PKY Fund Chicago, LLC.
BOMA/Chicago TOBY Award winners will be invited to participate in the north central regional TOBY competition, where they will compete against local TOBY winners from cities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio for a chance to qualify for the BOMA International TOBY Awards, one of the highest honors in the commercial real estate industry.