Nutter Chair Paul J. Ayoub to receive REFA’s Swain Distinguished Service Award

Paul J. Ayoub Chair, Nutter

BOSTON–The Real Estate Finance Association (REFA) announced that Paul J. Ayoub, Chair, Nutter has been selected to receive the Robert S. Swain, Jr. Distinguished Service Award at the 34th Annual REFA Gala, to be held Thursday, October 6th, 2022 at the Westin Copley Place, Boston.

The Annual REFA Gala, Boston’s premier commercial real estate awards dinner, will honor Ayoub for his professional achievements as well as his unwavering commitment to REFA, the commercial real estate industry, the greater Boston business community, his leadership roles in civic and charitable causes, both locally and nationally as well as his long-standing impactful advocacy of diversity, equity and inclusion.

2022 REFA President Lauren O’Neil, Chief Operating Officer, Private Equity, AEW Capital Management and REFA Gala Co-Chairs Elizabeth Lowrey, Principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects, and Nilesh Bubna, Founding Partner & CFO, Longpoint Realty Partners, will present Ayoub with the highly coveted Boston Harbor Bowl.

“Receiving the Swain Award is humbling, especially coming from a group I deeply respect.  Appreciating those who have been recognized previously amplifies the privilege of being a recipient.  To the extent that receiving the Swain award helps to further inspire others to contribute to the betterment of our industry and our community, especially with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, it will be even more rewarding,” Ayoub said.

Ayoub joins an elite list of award honorees, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the greater Boston community, including: Kirk Sykes, Co-Managing Partner, Accordia Partners; Tammy Jones, CEO and Founder, Basis Investment Group; Jon Davis, CEO and Founder, The Davis Companies; Bryan Koop, EVP, Boston Properties; Pam Herbst, Managing Director, AEW; and Mayor Thomas Menino. In 2021, REFA honored The Bulfinch Companies, Inc. and WinnCompanies for their profound impact on the community, their employees, and the industry during the pandemic.

Adrienne Maley, Executive Director, REFA, shares, “Paul has been a member of the REFA Board for over 15 years, including serving as Board President in 2018. He has distinguished himself among those in the industry as an exceptional leader and impactful member of the real estate community. Paul helped transform REFA into a strong voice in the commercial real estate industry and the vibrant, inclusive organization it is today, and there is no one more deserving to receive this year’s Swain Distinguished Service Award.”

In addition to Ayoub’s service with REFA, Ayoub is involved in a number of civic, professional, and charitable organizations.  He serves as chair of the national Board of Governors of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as a member of the Board of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. He previously served as Chair of the ALSAC Board. He is Chair emeritus, chair of the Nominating Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Ayoub is one of the founders of the CRE DEI Collaborative – is a group comprised of 10 of the regions commercial real estate industry trade groups (Builders of Color Coalition, Building Owners and Managers Association of Boston, Commercial Brokers Association, CoreNet Global New England, CREW Boston, Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Massachusetts Apartment Association, NAIOP Massachusetts, Real Estate Finance Association and ULI Boston/New England) and the Real Estate Executive Council. The group meets quarterly to collaborate on meaningful DEI initiatives. He also served as co-chair of the Health Equity Advisory Board for the International WELL Building Institute.  He was only one of a few members of the real estate industry on the Mayor’s Reopening Advisory Board during the height of COVID-19.

Lauren O’Neil, COO, Private Equity, AEW Capital Management, 2022 REFA Presidents added “Paul has been a role model in his professional and philanthropic work for so many in the industry over his tenured career.  He is one of those rare individuals who has big ideas and then the fortitude to follow through with them to ensure they get accomplished.  Paul has continuously been a giver to his family, community and the real estate industry with no expectation of anything in return.  It is an honor to be able to recognize all he has done.”

The Robert S. Swain, Jr. Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of the late Robert S. Swain, Jr. Mr. Swain gained respect and admiration of his colleagues throughout the real estate finance industry during his 33-year career in the profession. He was a valued member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and was an active member and leader of the Mortgage Finance Committee, which developed into the present Real Estate Finance Association. The award is an annual recognition of an outstanding contribution made to the real estate industry either by lifetime example or specific achievement.