Boston Real Estate Times Announces 2019 Excellence Award Winners for Architecture, Brokerage, Construction, Engineering, Green Design and Other Awards


BOSTON—Boston Real Estate Times, one of New England’s largest digital, video and print real estate publications, today announced the winners of the 2019 Excellence Awards in Commercial Real Estate. The individuals and companies selected for this award will be honored on Aug. 6 at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.

Major sponsors of this event are: Boston law firm of Sherin & Lodgen LLP, The Mishra Group and Boston Sound & Light Company.

“These companies and individuals represent the best of the best in commercial real estate,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of Boston Real Estate Times, whose digital daily edition is subscribed by more than 13,500 real estate professionals from across New England. “We had an overwhelming number of nominations by our readers this year and it was difficult to choose winners in each category. After careful research and due diligence, we have selected 11 recipients. On behalf of our readers, we would like to congratulate all of them.”

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William McQuillan, founding principal of Boylston Properties, will receive the 2019 Person of the Year Award. Bill McCall, president of McCall & Almy, will be bestowed the “Broker of the Brokers” and “Lifetime Achievement” Award.

Here is the complete list of Boston Real Estate Times’s 2019 Excellence Award Recipients:

Bill McQuillan (Photo: Boylston Properties)

Person of the Year

William McQuillan

Founding Principal, Boylston Properties

Mr. McQuillan has dedicated 40 years to developing real estate in Greater Boston. With his vision and leadership, Boylston Properties has brought distinctive real estate to the city, including CityPlace, the Longwood Galleria, Fenway Triangle Trilogy, Marriott Residence Inn Fenway, Wellesley Gateway, the corporate headquarters for Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, Marriott Residence Inn Watertown, LINX and Arsenal Yards.

Bill McCall

Broker of the Brokers and Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill McCall

President, McCall & Almy

Mr. McCall, whose name heads Boston’s two major real estate companies, has not only dedicated 53 years of his life to commercial real estate, but also has served the community well. He is a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute and serves as Chairman of the Board at the Norman B. Leventhal/Post Office Square Park & Garage. He founded Boston-based McCall & Almy in 1990 and Leggat McCall Properties in 1965.

Carolyn Sidor

Commercial Brokerage Firm of the Year

Cushman & Wakefield, New England

Carolyn Sidor, Managing Principal

In 2018, Cushman & Wakefield’s New England offices completed 811 transactions with about $2.4 billion in transaction value. As a Managing Principal, Carolyn Sidor oversees all lines of business and leads a team of more than 180 professionals in Boston, Hartford, CT and Manchester, NH who develop creative and holistic real estate solutions for the firm’s investor and occupier clients across the region.

Architecture and Design

RODE Architects

Kevin Deabler and Eric Robinson, Principals & Co-Founders

Kevin Deabler
Eric Robinson

RODE Architects is a Boston-based team of architects, designers, and urban planners. Founded in 2006 by Principals Kevin Deabler and Eric Robinson, the firm’s capabilities span across a wide variety of services including architecture, interiors, urban design, and master planning. The firm also focused on

transit-oriented development. RODE’s projects have received dozens of industry accolades and awards over the years, including placement in BostInno’s 50 on Fire in 2016.

Riaz Cassum

Real Estate Finance Leader

Riaz Cassum

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF)

Riaz Cassum is a Senior Managing Director in HFF’s Boston office and co-head of the firm’s

Global Capital Team. Throughout his career with HFF, he has completed in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions. He focuses primarily on originating debt and equity placement transactions throughout the United States as well as raising discretionary funds and arranging programmatic joint ventures through his affiliation with HFF Securities. As a member of HFF’s Executive Committee, Mr. Cassum is responsible for the overall direction of the firm’s 26 global offices. Mr. Cassum joined the firm in 1989 when it was known as Fowler, Goedecke, Ellis & O’Connor, Inc. Prior to HFF, Mr. Cassum was a Vice President with Wells Fargo Bank.

Tom Groom

Construction & General Contracting

Groom Construction

Tom Groom, President

Based in Massachusetts, Groom Construction has quietly built a national reputation. The firm, headed by Tom Groom, has multiple offices around the country. Groom Construction was founded in 1979 by brothers Tom and Dave Groom. The company’s early focus was on residential renovations and additions, but quickly grew to include a portfolio of custom homes and small commercial projects. Joined by youngest brother Dwight Groom in the late 1980s, the company’s portfolio has expanded into the retail market across the country.

Jacob Knowles

Sustainability & Green Design

Jacob Knowles

Director of Sustainable Design, BR+A Consulting Engineers


Jacob Knowles is an Associate Principal and the Director of Sustainable Design of BR+A, leading the firm’s NET+ sustainability consulting team. His work focuses on the integration of strategies that reduce environmental footprint, while supporting occupant wellbeing and maximizing return on investment. Over the past decade, he has championed the sustainability agenda for major academic, healthcare, research, and other commercial and institutional projects. Project highlights include achieving LEED Platinum, Zero Net Energy, and receiving a MA DOER High Performance Buildings Grant. Jacob is also a frequent presenter at Labs21, NESEA, Healthcare Design, Build Boston (ABX), Tradeline, and Autodesk University.

Organization of the Year

NAIOP Massachusetts

Sara Cassidy
Tamara Small
Reesa Fischer

NAIOP Massachusetts made history this year- it not only broke but shattered the glass ceiling.

This is the first time that the top leaders of NAIOP Massachusetts are all women: Sara Cassidy, President; Leslie Cohen, President-Elect; Tamara Small, CEO; and Reesa Fischer, Executive Director.

This new, female-driven team reflects the increasing role of women in commercial real estate and the importance of diversity and inclusion to the organization.


Melissa Fish-Crane and Karen Fish-Will

Multifamily Management

Peabody Properties, Inc.

Karen Fish-Will and Melissa Fish-Crane, Principals, CEO and COO

Peabody Properties is a full-service real-estate firm which manages more than 13,000 units of housing throughout New England, as well as additional communities in New Jersey and Florida. The company was originally started in 1976 by the late Edward A. Fish, who was considered one of the “founding fathers” of the affordable housing industry.

Karen Fish-Will and Melissa Fish-Crane, daughters of Mr. Fish, today run and manage the company with their core values of “FISH”: Fiscal responsibility, Integrity, Stability, and Humility. The company has a longstanding commitment to their employees and has been recognized for their efforts as a 2017 and 2018 Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe.

Timothy Williams

Civil & Structural Engineering

Allen & Major Associates

Timothy Williams, Principal and Co-Owner

The company began as Allen & Demujian in 1973 but officially became Allen & Major Associates, Inc. in 1991.  A belief in minimizing environmental impacts drives the firm’s design approach and allows its members to incorporate sustainable practices into the aesthetics as well as the nuts and bolts of engineering design. Principal and co-owner of the firm is Timothy Williams, who is recognized for his expertise and ability, and has managed the design efforts for some of the largest development projects in the Northeast.

Ashley Brooks

Real Estate Law

Ashley H. Brooks

Sullivan & Worcester

Ashley H. Brooks is a partner and co-leader of Sullivan & Worcester’s real estate practice group. She was recently selected to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2018 “Top Women of Law.”  Ms. Brooks’s practice focuses on all aspects of transactional commercial real estate law, including debt financing, equity investment, development, acquisitions and dispositions representing institutions and public and private companies across all asset classes. She is a trustee of Lawrence Model Lodging House Trust and is spearheading a pro bono project with InspireDC Affordable Housing Coalition to help develop vacant properties owned by the Methodist church in Washington DC as affordable housing.