Empire Ball


Empire Ball 2018>

Photo Credits: Marc S. Levine Photography; Bob Mitchell Photography
A full gallery of event photos can be found here.

The 35th annual Empire Ball, presented by the Real Estate Division of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) Foundation, took place on Wednesday, December 12th at The Grand Hyatt Hotel. The event outdid itself this year in many respects. Six iconic towers lit up the sky for the DRI in shades of radiant blue, the international color of diabetes. The ballroom was filled with 900 members and friends of the metropolitan real estate and construction community and the event raised more than $1.4 million dollars for the DRI’s cure-focused research. In its history, the Empire Ball has raised over $38 million for diabetes research.

A lively cocktail reception that filled the hotel's ground floor was followed by dinner in the Empire State ballroom. During the program, Glen J. Weiss, Executive Vice President of Vornado Realty Trust, was presented with the Empire Ball’s Leadership Award. Joel M. Brenner, Vice President, Head of Global Project Management at WarnerMedia, received the Camillo Ricordi Humanitarian Award. Robert Cuzzi, President/Principal of VDA (Van Deusen & Associates), accepted the Peter L. DiCapua Distinguished Service Award.

Each of the honorees was humbled by the honor, and grateful to their families, friends, colleagues, and to the DRI for their support and good wishes. Glen, Joel, and Robert took time from their busy lives to visit the DRI at the University of Miami, and each came away awed by the hard work and dedication of the doctors and scientists who are devoted to finding a cure.

The emcee for the evening was the New York Yankees play-by-play announcer, Ryan Ruocco.

Entertainment was provided by The Last Nites, and guests also were treated to a couple of up-tempo numbers sung by Sal Valentinetti, season 11 finalist of America’s Got Talent.

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation congratulates each of the evening’s honorees and warmly thanks the many wonderful sponsors and friends of the Empire Ball.

Vice Chairs:
Alfonse Amore/JEMB Realty
Paul J. Amrich/CBRE, Inc.
Andrew Cooke/Hines aaf Morgan Stanley
Peter L. DiCapua*/Code Green Solutions, Inc.
Douglas Donaldson/The Donaldson Organization
Louis J. Esposito/The Durst Organization
James Halpin**/Platinum Maintenance Services
Bonnie Inserra/Inserra Family Foundation
Avi Itzikowitz**/ATCO Properties & Management, Inc.
James J. Migliore/William Macklowe Company
Charles Rizzo/The Rizzo Group
Stephen Rizzo**/The Rizzo Group
Thomas Santiago/WarnerMedia
John Santora/Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

*Chairman Emeritus
**Steering Committee Co-Hosts

Special Thanks to all of our generous sponsors:


Madison Service Corporation
Vornado Realty Trust

A+I and MdeAS Architects
Clune Construction Company
Cushman & Wakefield
The Durst Organization
Icon Quik Park
MdeAS Architects
Related Companies
SL Green Realty Corp.
Structure Tone
Turner & Townsend
We Work

AMA Consulting Engineers/TM Technology Partners
ATCO Properties & Management
CBRE Group
The Donaldson Organization
HermanMiller/Geiger/WB Wood
MG Engineering D.P.C.
Newmark Knight Frank
Normandy Real Estate Partners
Spin Design, Inc.
Ted Moudis Associates
Turner Construction Company
Vanguard Construction and Development Co. Inc.

AB Facility Service
Building Maintenance Services, LLC
Field Brothers Commercial Properties
JAD Corporation of America
John Gallin & Son, Inc.
Knight Electrical Services Corp.
Nouveau Elevator
OC Development Management
Paramount Group
PS Marcato
Quality Building Services Corp.
Schnellbacher Sendon Group
TEI Group
The Rizzo Group

ABM Industry Groups, LLC and Assured Environments
Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP
Alliance Building Services and Icon Interiors, Inc.
Amuneal Manufacturing
ASM Mechanical
CBRE Group
Centennial Elevator Industries, Inc.
Donnelly Mechanical and Unity International Group
Equity Office
Ess & Vee Acoustical & Drywall Contractors, Inc.
The Fireman Hospitality Group
Holt Construction
The Inserra Family (x2)
James E. Fitzgerald, Inc.
J.T. Magen & Company, Inc.
Kone, Inc.
KRW Realty Advisors, LLC
Madison Square Garden Company
Meridian Design
Morgan Stanley
NJM, Ltd.
Otis Elevator Company
Penguin Maintenance and Service
Reuben, Junius & Rose, LLP
Schindler Elevator Corporation (x2)
Staci & Glen Weiss
Titanium Scaffold Services, LLC
Van Deusen & Associates (x2)
Ware Malcomb

Building Maintenance Services, LLC
The Inserra Family
L&L Holding Company, LLC
Onyx Equities LLC
Van Deusen & Associates

Special thanks to our Gift Sponsors:
BMS – Building Maintenance Service
L & L Holding Company, LLC
Onyx Equities
The Inserra Family
William Macklowe Company

And to the iconic towers of Manhattan lit in blue:
Empire State Realty Trust
The Empire State Building

The Durst Organization

One Bryant Park, 151 West 42nd Street and One World Trade Center

The Equity Office

The Pyramid at 65 East 55th

Vornado Realty Trust

The Bloomberg Tower at 731 Lexington Avenue


Special thanks to our Billboard Sponsors & Media Sponsors

View the event video and journal:

Keep up with our progress toward a cure & more

Be a DRI Insider - Get News!