Boston Real Estate Times Announces 2022 Excellence Awards Honorees in Architecture, Brokerage, Construction, DEI, Engineering, and Others


BOSTON—Boston Real Estate Times, New England’s largest commercial real estate digital, print and video media, today announced the winners of its annual Excellence Awards in Commercial Real Estate in 2022.

As previously announced, Peter A. Merrigan, CEO and Managing Partner of Taurus Investment Holdings LLC. (Taurus) has been named as Boston Real Estate Times’ Person of the Year for 2022. Jennifer Clark, Managing Director at The RMR Group (RMR), will receive Boston Real Estate Times’ Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022. Ms. Clark has made a huge impact on the commercial real estate industry not only in Boston, but across the country, while serving as a role model for shattering the glass ceiling as well as maintaining a high standard of excellence in her work.

All the winners will be honored at the award ceremony during the 2022 Excellence Awards gala on Oct. 6, at the Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. To buy tickets for the award ceremony, please click here. For more information on sponsoring this event, please contact [email protected]

Here is the complete list of the Boston Real Estate Times’s 2022 Excellence Award Recipients:

Peter Merrigan

Person of the Year

Peter A. Merrigan

CEO, Taurus Investment Holdings

A distinguished leader, whose keen foresight enabled his firm to establish itself as a driving force in decarbonizing the built environment and the development of sustainable real estate, Mr. Merrigan has overseen the acquisition and development of more than 69 million square feet of commercial space to date, with a value exceeding $10 billion.

As CEO and chairman of the firm’s Investment Committee, he has guided Taurus in developing and executing investment strategies in multifamily housing, logistics, retail, office, hospitality and renewable energy throughout the United States and nine foreign countries. Through Merrigan’s leadership, Taurus announced multiple acquisitions throughout the United States and abroad, including a number of multifamily deals in Massachusetts and Florida, and numerous multi-state industrial portfolios across the Midwest and Southeast.

Jennifer Clark

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jennifer Clark

Managing Director, The RMR Group

Ms. Clark has made a huge impact on the commercial real estate industry not only in Boston, but across the country. She is widely recognized throughout RMR as a shrewd business strategist, a decisive steward during times of uncertainty and a champion for inclusion and employee development.  As an executive leader, Ms. Clark has been a driving force in RMR’s growth into a leading alternative asset manager with $37 billion of assets under management, including nearly 2,100 properties, and over 600 real estate professionals in more than 30 offices nationwide.

In addition to these roles and accomplishments, Ms. Clark champions diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in her position at RMR and fiercely advocated for DEI before the topic came to the forefront of market discussion. Under her leadership, RMR has advanced its DEI initiatives over many years by increasing the presence of women and underrepresented communities at the highest levels of business.

David Nagahiro

Architectural Firm of the Year

CBT Architects

David Nagahiro, AIA, LEED AP, Principal

Boston-based design firm CBT Architects creates tomorrow’s landmarks through its high level of expertise in architecture, interior design, and urban design. After 20 years at 110 Canal Street in Boston, CBT recently moved to its new office in Charlestown at One Constitution Wharf, which will house CBT’s 200 design professionals on one floor for the first time in the firm’s 54-year history.

“Moving to our new headquarters will allow us to push the next generation of our office and the way we do our work. It will afford CBT a way to experiment for the future, explore dynamic ways of communicating with our clients, and totally rethink the way we practice,” David Nagahiro, Principal and President at CBT, said recently.  Over the course of the firm’s 20-year tenure in the Bulfinch Triangle neighborhood, CBT was the architect and designer of many of the projects that defined the area’s transformation into a distinctive neighborhood. These projects include the new Bulfinch Crossing development at Government Center Garage; the Beverly, one of the city’s most celebrated affordable/workforce housing and mixed-use developments; and the transit-oriented residential high-rise Avalon North Station.

David Nagahiro, Principal and President of CBT is the driving force and inspiration behind CBT’s vision, design ethos and advancement of practice into the next generation. He leads the firm’s most ground-breaking projects, often resulting in the revitalization of undeveloped and underutilized urban sites which create places and buildings that enrich urban and community life.

Thomas Collins

Commercial Brokerage Firm of the Year

Avison Young

Thomas Collins, Managing Director/Principal

Founded in 1978, Avison Young is a global real estate advisor powered by people to create real economic, social and environmental value. As a private company, Avison Young’s clients collaborate with an empowered partner who is invested in their success.

Avison Young’s New England and Boston office is led by Thomas Collins, who joined the firm as a Principal and Managing Director in 2019. He manages the day-to-day operations of Avison Young’s Boston and Hartford offices and is also responsible for all service lines, leads the regional expansion strategy, and recruits top talent for the firm’s existing and future New England locations and service offerings.

He was a market leader for 20 years with Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) in New England. Prior to joining Avison Young, he was the founder and CEO of Collins Strategies, a consulting firm providing insight and advice, along with coaching and mentoring services, for real estate companies and professionals. During his expansive real estate career, Mr. Collins has successfully negotiated investment property acquisitions and dispositions for a diverse client base of local, regional and global institutional investors and developers.

Jay Calnan

Construction Firm of the Year

J. Calnan & Associates, Inc.

Jay Calnan, CEO

JC&A is a construction management firm at its core, but works with the mindset of developing solutions to satisfy clients’ distinct business objectives. The firm prides itself in being sophisticated enough to work with Fortune 100 companies and emerging R&D firms, yet firmly remaining a grounded, nimble, and innovative group of uniquely talented professionals. JC&A recognizes the importance of developing and fostering a culture that is continuously improving and embracing emerging technologies.

The people who work at JC&A are the lifeblood of the company, and without their contributions to the culture developed over the past 25 years, JC&A would cease to exist as it is today. Combined with the company’s steadfast commitment to customer service and “everyone is a client” attitude, JC&A have grown into the best merit shop construction management firm in the Northeast.

Led by CEO Jay Calnan, JC&A has enjoyed numerous repeat business relationships earning a strong reputation as one of New England’s leading construction management firms through his leadership and unequivocal commitment to client service. JC&A’s clients include MassBio, Salesforce, Reebok, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Atlantic Management, Boston Properties, New England Sports Network (NESN), iRobot, Biogen IDEC, Boston Dynamics and General Electric

Rachel Woodhouse

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Award

Dyer Brown & Associates

Rachel Woodhouse, Principal

Certified through the Washington, D.C.-based National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) through its Supplier Diversity Initiative, the national architecture and interior design firm Dyer Brown leads in its professional fields in a business environment that increasingly values diversity and seeks out certified LGBTBE (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans Business Enterprise) service providers.

With over 50 years in business, Dyer Brown is a midsize full-service Architecture, Interiors, and Graphic Design firm with an impressive portfolio of corporate interiors, retail, hospitality, higher education, and asset design + support services projects. With offices in Boston and Atlanta, Dyer Brown has designed projects in over 20 states and five continents.

In her role as Director of Operations, Ms. Woodhouse has turned her focus to the inward management of Dyer Brown, refining our processes and ensuring the firm has consistent and appropriate staffing levels to best serve clients. She plays a key role in successfully integrating new hires and their strengths into the firm’s close-knit culture, while managing the organizational complexity of an ever-evolving firm.

Joe Peznola

Engineering Firm of the Year

Hancock Associates

Joe Peznola, Director of Engineering

Since 1978, Hancock Associates has been providing land surveying, civil engineering and wetland science services throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Comprised of talented surveyors, engineers and scientists dedicated to excellence in land/coastal development, construction and preservation, the firm has maintained their position as an industry leader through their investment in exceptional staff, state-of-the-art equipment/technology and acquisition of multiple surveying and engineering firms, and historical survey records dating back to 1852.

Their Director of Engineering, Joe Peznola has 35 years of experience in land development projects for Hancock’s private sector development clients, non-profit organizations and municipalities. He has extensive experience with complex, high density commercial and residential developments throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Tamar Warburg

Excellence in Green & Sustainability Design


Tamar Warburg, Associate Principal, Director of Sustainability and Resilience

Sasaki’s Associate Principal and Director of Sustainability and Resilience, Tamar Warburg leads the firm’s partnership with the City of Boston/Mayor Wu on the Heat Resilience Solutions for Boston plan, also known as The Heat Plan. This robust plan has 26 strategies to build a more equitable and resilient Boston, which has been experiencing increasingly hot summers. Sasaki was instrumental in this plan, including developing solutions such as cooling centers, increased tree shade and other nature-based cooling solutions. The project will provide millions of dollars of funding to help bolster the City’s resilience to inclement weather and is the first of its kind for a major US city. The Heat Plan is holistically alleviating constraints on Bostonians through incredible strategies and solutions that expand the sustainability of crucial systems and facilities.

Ms. Warburg works with Sasaki teams to develop sustainability and resilience goals appropriate for each project and access critical resources to reach those goals. She works across all Sasaki disciplines, on projects as varied as net-zero campus buildings, resilience and sustainability strategies for cities and corporate clients, and minimizing carbon emissions from buildings and landscape projects. In this era of climate change, she believes that every project is an opportunity to make a healthy and resilient contribution to our clients, our communities, and our planet.

Mark DiOrio

Excellence in Commercial Real Estate Law

Mark R. DiOrio, Managing Director, General Counsel

The Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Over the last 25 years, Mark DiOrio has been instrumental in Bulfinch’s transformation from a small family-owned real estate company to one of the leading commercial real estate companies in Greater Boston, overseeing all legal matters for the Company and its affiliates. Mr. DiOrio joined Bulfinch in 1997, shortly after the firm transitioned to the third generation of leadership.

During DiOrio’s tenure, Bulfinch strategically executed substantial portfolio and team growth. The Company’s portfolio increased significantly from approximately 500,000 square feet to greater than 4.2 million square feet in property, valued at approximately $4 billion. Mr. DiOrio helped execute Bulfinch’s strategic portfolio transition from predominantly suburban office properties to more than 80% urban properties with over 70% of current tenants in the life science and healthcare industries.

Mr. DiOrio’s leadership efforts extend beyond real estate transactions. He has been integral in Bulfinch’s team expansion that has increased from 20 employees to over 60 in the last 25 years and has helped create and enhance employee policies and procedures for the firm’s growing team as well as mentor and support team members. Consistent with Bulfinch’s team-driven mission, his efforts are a testament to the emphasis the company places on the whole team, and the commitment it has made to adapting to the changing needs of the workplace and team members.

Danielle Ferrier

Non-profit Organization of the Year

Heading Home

Danielle Ferrier, CEO


Few have made an impact on families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic quite like Heading Home, a non-profit dedicated to helping individuals and families in Greater Boston exit homelessness. In the darkest days of the pandemic, many housing-insecure families on the brink became homeless after the virus wreaked havoc on the economy, and needed support with everything: from finding safe, stable shelter to procuring food, diapers, and basic necessities. The added stressors of a global pandemic put additional strains on support networks that were never seen before. In her role as CEO of Heading Home, Danielle Ferrier doubled down to help as many people as possible during some of the bleakest moments of the pandemic. Taking on as many urgent problems for their community as possible, Heading Home has been there for their clients when they needed them most in countless ways.

The most recent development under Ferrier’s leadership is that she and Heading Home have saved Casa Nueva Vida, a nonprofit that serves Latinx families in Boston and Lawrence, and whose mission aligns closely with Heading Home. On the verge of shutting down, Casa Nueva Vida, the only Massachusetts homeless shelter network with a largely Spanish-speaking staff will continue operations under a new partnership with Heading Home. Heading Home will now handle financial and administrative work for properties formerly managed by Casa Nueva Vida.

Gerard “Gerry” Nadeau

Real Estate Finance Leader of the Year

Rockland Trust

Gerard “Gerry” Nadeau, President

Built by business owners for business owners, Rockland Trust’s Commercial Banking Group has more than 70 commercial lenders and 20 lending centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. With a large lending capacity, the Commercial Banking Team has broad experience in areas such as asset-based lending, commercial real estate, construction and land development, equipment financing, commercial mortgages, tax-exempt bond financing and low-income housing loans.

Led by President Gerard “Gerry” Nadeau, Rockland Trust has been recognized for excellence by many organizations, including Banker & Tradesman’s “Best of 2021”, The Boston Globe’s “Top Places to Work” for 2021, and as one of Human Rights Campaign’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” for 2022. Before his presidency starting in 2017, Mr. Nadeau worked for Rockland Trust in a variety of capacities since 1984, most recently serving as the Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending since 2007.