Celebrating 20 Years of Building Community with United Way

More than 1,200 Boston area real estate leaders attended the 20th Annual United Way Real Estate & Building Industry Leadership Breakfast at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center today, celebrating 20 years of the industry’s collective philanthropic commitment to United Way and the community. The annual event, started by industry veterans Kevin Phelan and the late Ed Sidman has raised $33 million over 20 years to benefit one of United Way’s key focus areas – preventing family homelessness.

“This event is one of the best examples of how we are ‘better together’,” said Michael Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley. “Our local real estate community is among our most generous partners, not only at this event, but throughout the year and for the last 20 years. With their support, we have been able to help 1,200 families build more stable futures by getting them into stable homes through Housing First programs.”

Through United Way, the real estate group focused their philanthropic efforts in recent years on the Housing First model to end family homelessness. As a direct result, support from this breakfast:

• Ended homelessness for 1,200 families through Housing First initiative
• 77% of those families remain stable after three years
• Saved taxpayers $3.6 million in long-term shelter costs

United Way also presented the Norman B. Leventhal/Edwin N. Sidman Real Estate and Building Industry Leadership Award, the industry’s tribute to extraordinary colleagues who have greatly contributed to our community both professionally and philanthropically. This year honored Ronald M. Druker of The Druker Company and Thomas J. Hynes Jr. of Colliers International. The keynote address was given by Peter Meade, Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The event was hosted by a committee of over 60 industry leaders, led by co-chairs Jack O’Neil of National Development, Lenny Owens of McCall and Almy, Joan Parsons of Riemer & Braunstein, and Kevin Boyle of RBS Citizens.

“For 20 years, National Development has been an integral part of our industry’s partnership with United Way. With our industry’s support, together, we’re taking our region’s biggest challenges helping to build a better place to live and do business,” said co-chair Jack O’Neil, Managing Partner at National Development.

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Thank you to event sponsors:

Premier Sponsors: The Druker Company, Elkus Manfredi Architects, Moriarty, New England Development

Gold Sponsors: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charles River Realty Investors/National Development, DLA Piper, Forest City, Jones Lang LaSalle, McCall & Almy, RelatedBeal

Silver Sponsors: ADD Inc, Emmanuel College, Equity Office, HFF, The HYM Investment Group, J&M Brown Company, Red Thread

Program Book Sponsor: Colliers International

Video Sponsor: Neoscape

Media Sponsor: The Real Reporter