The American Conference on Diversity will host the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Networking Reception and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 4 (11:30 am – 1:30 pm), at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, NJ.

This significant industry-wide event – which brings together bankers, real estate professionals, and economic development and community leaders to recognize the civic contributions of its distinguished members and supported by NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association – will honor Greater Trenton Founding CEO George Sowa with the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Humanitarian Award. Proceeds from this fall fundraiser will help educate tomorrow’s leaders through the organization’s diversity and inclusion programs.

“I am thrilled to pay tribute to George Sowa for supporting economic inclusion and for furthering the growth of New Jersey communities and, particularly, rapidly changing communities like our state capital,” says American Conference on Diversity President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley. “Now more than ever, we need thriving communities offering greater access to opportunities to earn a living, attain a quality education, and enjoy the recreational advantages Trenton offers.”


The Annual Commercial Real Estate Humanitarian awards event was launched more than 40 years ago by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Now, as the American Conference on Diversity approaches its 70th anniversary, the nonprofit continues to build on the rich legacy of this event and the support from economic development leaders continues to be a source of tremendous pride.

“My mission is to revitalize neighborhoods and facilitate the development of downtown Trenton that will create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to find success. This means having access to education for their children and a safe place to live. This also means working toward job creation that will allow individuals to provide for their families. Economic success requires inclusive relationship-building, partnerships, and collaboration,” says Mr. Sowa. “In this spirit, I’m honored to receive the American Conference on Diversity’s Commercial Real Estate Humanitarian Award.”

George Sowa, whose family history in Trenton dates back more than 100 years, brings a successful 30+ year career in real estate development to his role as founding CEO of Greater Trenton. For the past 18 years, he was with Brandywine Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded, full-service real estate companies. Most recently, he served as Brandywine’s executive vice president and senior managing director and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s New Jersey and Delaware operations and development. He has substantial experience in urban development, and in 2014 led Brandywine’s selection by Campbell Soup Company to be the developer of the Camden Gateway District — a transformative 1.5 million square foot, mixed-use project for that city.

Prior to joining Brandywine, Mr. Sowa was director of development for Keating Development Company and was also director of development and operations for Linpro/LCOR. He currently serves on the National Board and Executive Committee of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), and is a past President of NAIOP’s New Jersey chapter. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey. Mr. Sowa holds a B.S. Degree from Cornell University.

ACODDS1startTylerIn addition to recognizing Mr. Sowa for his economic development outreach and inclusion efforts, attendees will also be able to view the displayed artwork of talented student artists.

Proceeds received from this benefit will provide scholarships for high schools and students across the tri-state area to attend the Lead for Diversity Institute, formerly known as Anytown. 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 had more than 3,400 graduates. Each year, the American Conference on Diversity receives requests from schools seeking support to end bias, bullying, and violence on their campuses. This benefit helps us provide more than $65,000 in Lead for Diversity scholarships to schools from communities impacted most by social and economic disparities.

Special thanks to Mountainside Development, NJM Insurance Group, New Jersey Resources, Investors Bank, Tri-State Capital, M&T Bank, Rockefeller Group, CBRE, Elberon Development Co., JG Petrucci Co. for supporting the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Networking Reception and Awards Ceremony.

To register, please visit Sponsorships and advertising opportunities for this fundraiser are also available. Please contact Roseann Martinez at JM Creative Enterprises: or 973-672-3212.

About Greater Trenton

Greater Trenton is an independent 501c-3 nonprofit that uses private funding and a network of collaborative relationships to advance economic revitalization efforts in the state’s capital city. Formed in the fall of 2015, Greater Trenton’s key objectives include coordinating downtown economic development projects; providing one-stop support and information for investors interested in taking on new projects; reaching out to potential residential, commercial and/or retail investors and tenants; supporting and promoting existing downtown initiatives; engaging downtown stakeholders in a strategic economic development plan; and developing investment marketing strategies. To learn more, go to

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

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