Shown right to left: American Conference on Diversity President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley; Fred Schmidt, President and COO, Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates LLC; Tanya Reu, SVP, Human Resources and Diversity, Realogy; Sunita Holzer, EVP Chief Human Resources Officer, Realogy Holdings Corp.

The American Conference on Diversity presented the 2016 Commercial Real Estate Industry Humanitarian Award to Realogy on October 4 before an audience of bankers, community and corporate leaders, real estate development executives, law professionals, and a West Orange Chronicle reporter during the annual youth leadership-development fundraiser in West Orange, NJ.

In addition to raising funds to support youth diversity programs, the participants networked and shared the value of diversity in their lives and their work within the industry, and participated in a special Rosh Hashanah blessing for a sweet new year. Fred Schmidt, President and Chief Operating Officer at Coldwell Banker Commercial, candidly shared, “I’m old enough to remember the National Conference of Christians and Jews, which was the genesis of this organization, and I can tell you back then the only diversity in the room was the difference in the color of our ties. We truly have come a long way. I encourage all of you to continue to give your time, money, and resources to the American Conference on Diversity.”

Headquartered in Madison, NJ, Realogy is a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage with many of the best-known industry brands, including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, and ZipRealty®.


“We are still an industry sorely underrepresented in diversity. There’s a wide gap in age and ethnicity,” said Tanya Reu, SVP of Human Resources and Diversity at Realogy, adding that only 7 percent of representatives are Latino, while 50 percent of homebuyers are Latino. “As we begin our journey, it starts from within.”



Shown right to left: Event Chair and President of Mountain Development Group Michael Seeve; ACOD’s Elizabeth Williams-Riley; Realogy’s Fred Schmidt; Realogy’s Sunita Holzer; Patricia Lee, SVP, HR and Chief Diversity Officer, Wyndham Worldwide

Proceeds received from this fundraiser provide scholarships for high schools and students across New Jersey and New York to attend the 2017 Lead for Diversity Institute. Lead for Diversity is a leadership-development program designed to help youth recognize, address, and challenge bias, bullying, and oppression based on ability status, age, body image, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Since 1995, the Lead for Diversity Institute has worked with more than 3,300 students to build a pipeline of future leaders. Each year, the Commercial Real Estate benefit reception helps provide more than $65,000 in scholarships to schools from underserved communities so students can attend Lead for Diversity.

“The most important function for anyone in this room is to create a path for youth for the future. I applaud the American Conference on diversity for educating youth and joining forces with us,” said Reu. “You need an all-in approach to drive the diversity conversation.”

Couldn’t make it to this year’s awards ceremony? There’s still time to make a donation here.

Special thanks to the 2016 Commercial Real Estate Networking Reception and Awards supporters: Elberon Development Group, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, Mountain Development Group, New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP, New Jersey Natural Gas, Realogy, South Jersey Industries, The Rockefeller Group.


Right to left: ACOD Board of Trustees member and PNC Bank VP, Community Development Manager Vanessa Nazario and Ms. Williams-Riley



Right to left: Meghan Hunscher, Executive Director, Morris County Economic Development Corp.; Realogy’s Fred Schmidt; ACOD’s Elizabeth Williams-Riley; Tom Hayes, ACOD Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Director, Customer & Community Relations, New Jersey Natural Gas

Want to be part of the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Networking Reception and Awards? Contact us at or 732-745-9330.

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to building just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders, enhancing our workplaces, and helping to create inclusive communities. Visit to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901