As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we highlight 15 agents and staff recognized by the Corcoran community for embodying our “Live Who You Are” philosophy. Their dedication to clients, commitment to communities, and support of colleagues make them an inspiration to us all.
Ida, vice-president of agent marketing and business development, has spent more than 18 years defining Corcoran’s “Live Who Your Are” philosophy. She was nominated by agent Jackie Dunphy, who says, “She represents everything that Corcoran cares about. She proves her tireless commitment to all of us with her coaching skills, her insights, and her commitment to our mental and professional wellbeing. She encompasses what we all aspire to and gently nudges us to be our best.”
Ellen was nominated by fellow agent and Brooklyn Heights office member Cara Sadownick. While her work often earns raves from clients, Ellen also goes above and beyond in aiding her colleagues and community. “She is generous in her time and resources, willing to help others be open to change and growth,” notes Cara. Indeed, Ellen pays forward her 30-plus years of industry experience, often mentoring new agents. She also serves on the board of the Brooklyn Arts Council and is a soprano in the West Village Chorale, a vocal ensemble.
Everyone at Corcoran knows and loves Ali, who celebrated her 17th anniversary with the company this month. Jocelyn Haas says, “Ali goes above and beyond each and every day. She’s created an incredible culture within her own team and for all those who interact with her. She’s a true inspiration to all of us—always levelheaded, driven, and passionate. Go Ali!” Susan DiGregorio, director of product management, echoes Jocelyn, saying “Ali is an amazing boss and has built a team that creates amazing products.”
Jan, senior managing director of the East Hampton office, was nominated by her colleague Sharon Tompkins, who said, “Jan is a terrific manager. I’ve worked with her for many years, and she is super professional, knows exactly how to deal with the complex job of a manager. Plus, she is down-to-earth, approachable, and easily (or so it seems!) finds the right solution or way forward to any situation. She’s also someone we can be friends with—there’s no ego ever with Jan.”
Before she became senior managing director of four Brooklyn offices, Denise was an agent on a top producing team. She understands Brooklyn as well as anyone, which is why Denise’s agents love her approach of constantly brainstorming ideas for growth. “Denise is the epitome of strength, and every person should be so lucky to have a mentor like her,” says Fort Greene agent Jennifer Le. Park Slope’s Ahmed Faiad adds, “She’s always there when I need candid advice. As a newer agent, I couldn’t ask for more.”
Victoria Rong Kennedy
Victoria is a member of the Multimillion-Dollar Club and was the 2022 Salesperson of the Year for our West Side Columbus office. However, Victoria’s non-profit efforts outside of Corcoran are what inspired Eric Hamm, her office’s senior managing director, to nominate her. She is a founder and board member of the Mulan Club, a group created by Asian women for Asian women active in diverse professional fields. Together, they seek to empower their members, provide them a platform to readily connect with and support each other, and advance vital social issues.
Susan’s nomination comes via Brooklyn Heights office colleague Vanessa Villanova, who unquestionably considers this honoree “one of the hardest workers I know.” With a dual license in New York and New Jersey, Susan serves clients on both sides of the Hudson with an unparalleled drive. However, she does not leave her impressive ethic to work alone. Recently, Susan rolled up her sleeves and helped her Jersey City neighborhood transform a vacant lot into a community garden.
Katie was nominated by Amanda Caggiano, who said, “Katie is inspiring, motivating, supportive, and keeps me, her team and everyone moving forward, always striving for the best.” With more than 18 years of experience in the real estate business, Katie is consistently heralded by her colleagues for her ability to guide her teams with a generosity of spirit, intelligence, and excellence. “One thing I admire about Katie is her want for others to succeed and grow,” says colleague Kayla Flanagan.
Courtney McGraw, senior agent marketing services manager, was nominated by Lissette Arias, who said, “Courtney is a woman who wears many hats. She is always intentional with the work she does, and she has great energy and is an inspirational leader.” Courtney is also a co-chair of Corcoran’s DEI Council in 2023, helping to bring awareness to and promote the importance of a culture of inclusion throughout the company.
Ayumi, senior managing director of Corcoran’s Williamsburg office, was nominated by William Kim, an agent in Corcoran’s Park Slope office. “I’m from a different office, but Ayumi is so beloved across the board. She builds community in her office, and she cares about everyone. I’m proud to call her my friend and she’s an awesome inspiration to me and all her agents.” Ayumi speaks fluent French, Spanish, Italian, and English, and celebrates the many different cultures that make Brooklyn great.
Joanna, agent experience coordinator, is often the first staff member new agents meet. Her colleague Lauren Garfinkel says, “Joanna makes sure every agent feels welcomed, with calls in their first week and check-ins throughout their first few months. She also hosts new agent orientation, helping new agents with their transition to Corcoran. She is such a great teammate and truly does so much for our agents!” Joanna is also on Corcoran’s DEI Council, committed to building the inclusive culture that defines Corcoran.
Yael knows how to make a first impression. “From the moment I met her, I knew I wanted to join her office,” says Brooklyn Heights agent Emily Zhang. But Yael’s work as senior managing director of the Brooklyn Heights office, held since 2017, makes an enduring mark. “She has been super empowering and inspiring, making me feel like I can do anything even when I have doubts,” Emily continues. It’s a sentiment echoed by another agent, and a fellow nominee, Ellen Gottlieb, who lauds Yael for her infectious positive energy and unbeatable mind for the industry.
Karen was nominated by Kyle Talbott, her husband and business partner on the Park Slope Union office’s Talbott Team. She came to New York as an actor, applying the deft skills required to succeed in film and theater toward amassing an impressive 20-plus-year real estate career. As Kyle tells us, “She has skyrocketed and is now trusted by celebrities, NDA clients, and neighbors alike.” Karen is also quite active in her Brooklyn community and is a founding parent of the Brooklyn Waldorf School.
In only a handful of words, Amy Flynn wonderfully sums up why she has nominated Sephrah, her fellow agent in the Park Slope Union office: “She is an absolute dynamite real estate agent and a wonderful friend.” As a decade-plus Park Slope resident and a fourth-generation Brooklynite, Sephrah is undeniably an expert in her field. She also gained immense knowledge of NYC’s neighborhoods through working in the culinary arts and as a tour guide. Sephrah defines her business by the principle of “whole life real estate,” tirelessly assisting clients every step of the way.
Lily was nominated by her colleague Carol Lymer, who says, “Lily goes above and beyond to help her agents.” Repeatedly, agents sing Lily’s praises: “From day one, Lily has been in my corner mentoring me, teaching me from her extensive real estate experience and offering support and guidance,” said Jennifer Raanan. Jelena Khurana says, “Lily is always in your corner willing to assist with whatever is needed. I appreciate that she takes the time get to know her agents on both on a professional and personal level.”