2018 Women in Real Estate and Construction Services: Beth Zafonte, Akerman LLP

March 20, 2018 - Spotlights

Name: Beth Zafonte

Title: Director of Economic Development Services

Company Name: Akerman LLP

Years in your current field: 33

What professional organizations or associations are you a member of? WX – New York Women Executives in Real Estate, CREW Network, IIUSA – Invest in USA

What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017?

A record number of my professional goals were achieved in 2017. My most challenging work last year involved negotiations to achieve amendments to significant City and State multi-year incentive awards on behalf of two clients. I was able to successfully conclude the negotiations and achieve results that were beyond expectations in both instances. I love it when the “problem projects” come my way, which they often do, and I can resolve the obstacles in a manner that is a win-win for all of the stakeholders. In the case of the economic development work that I do, ultimately creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base in a community is very satisfying.

What trends are you seeing so far this year in your field?

New York City will see more laws and initiatives to help minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) gain access to government business. A new local law, expected to be effective April 30, reduces the M/WBE solicitation requirement threshold on ICAP projects from $1.5 million to $750,000. This has a huge impact on projects seeking ICAP tax abatement. Developers need to be aware of this. The comptroller’s new 2018 “M/WBE University” will hold workshops designed to help M/WBEs get certified with the city, navigate the procurement process, and gain access to government business. The needle on the 2017 M/WBE’s 4.9% of the $1 billion in awarded city contracts will be moving up.

When I am not working, I am…

When I am not working I find great joy in directing my energy and full attention toward my family and friends and engaging in various philanthropic activities. 

Comments

Add Comment


More from the New York Real Estate Journal