BOMA/Chicago Announces 2014 TOBY Winners

By Matt Baker

300 N. LaSalle Street, which won this year's TOBY Earth Award.

300 N. LaSalle Street, which won this year’s TOBY Earth Award.

Last week, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) announced the winners of the Gold Circle and TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards at a gala held in Union Station’s Great Hall.

The TOBY Awards recognize excellence in office building management, with the slate of nominee buildings divided up by size and function. Criteria for the judges included emergency preparedness, budget management, tenant relations initiatives, commitment to environmental sustainability, security and other factors.

In the 100,000 – 249,000 Square Feet Category, 250 South Wacker Drive took home a TOBY. The building is managed by CBRE, Inc. and owned by Credit Suisse. The next category, 250,000 – 499,000 Square Feet, went to 303 West Madison Street, also managed by CBRE, Inc. and owned by its own LLC.

77 West Wacker Drive won in the 500,000 – One Million Square Feet Category while the Over One Million Square Feet Category went to 300 South Riverside Plaza. Both properties are owned by their own LLCs and managed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The Earth Award goes to a building that has demonstrated initiative in reducing environmental risk, improving indoor air quality, conservation of energy and water, green purchasing and other factors, such as recycling, material reuse and occupant education. This year’s Earth Award went to 300 North LaSalle, managed by Hines Interest, LP and owned by KBS Realty.

“This year’s TOBY Award recipients are truly leaders in their respective categories and demonstrate exemplary management and operations of Chicago’s commercial buildings,” said George Kohl, BOMA/Chicago president. “These office buildings drive our economy and outstanding property management is essential to ensuring Chicago remains a global center of commerce.”

BOMA/Chicago also awarded the Gold Circle Awards to individuals in the local commercial real estate community for their work in various capacities. David Hopwood won Property Management Professional of the Year. The general manager of the Hyatt Center, Hopwood was recognized for, among other things, streamlining operations that resulted in a two-year total operating expense savings of more than $2 million. He was named last year the Jones Lang LaSalle Midwest Manager of the Year

The Engineering Professional of the Year was Brian O’Kane, the Chief Engineer of the Kluczynski Federal Building. O’Kane was selected for his dedication to reducing operating costs while increasing tenant satisfaction by developing re-commissioning and green purchasing program. He also implemented a system to pre-cool and pre-heat sections of the building during a recent $140 million renovation of the mechanical systems.

Mark Anderson, Vice President and Director of Security at the Hyatt Center was honored as the Security Professional of the Year. Also awarded was Kristine Sorenson, the Real Estate Services Administrator at 100 North Riverside Plaza, as the Emerging Leader of the Year as well as Joe Sergi, Senior Vice President of the technology division for Rex Electric for Affiliate Member of the Year.

“The 2013-2014 Gold Circle Award recipients provide strong examples of leadership, professionalism and achievement for future industry practitioners,” said Michael Cornicelli, executive vice president of BOMA/Chicago.

BOMA/Chicago TOBY Award winners can participate in the North Central Regional TOBY competition, where they will compete against local TOBY winners from cities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. Regional winners will then compete for the BOMA International TOBY Awards.

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