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CEEQA Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate award

The recipient of the 2024 CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in real estate is CEO and Co-owner Europe, UK, Middle East & India, of real estate developer Panattoni. Robert Dobrzycki will be presented with the award at the 2024 CEEQA Gala. He joins a select band of real estate leaders and entrepreneurial empire builders of regional and global stature to be recognised for their significant and durable contribution to the sector.

The CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate is the highlight award of the year, given to an inspirational leader who has made a transformative and durable contribution to the “New Europe” property sector in their own right.

Recognised as the industry’s highest accolade and the highlight award of the year among a total of 23 awards presented for the best buildings, companies and industry professionals of the year in Central & Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe, it is the only award to be announced in advance of the CEEQA Gala, and is chosen each year by the organiser in consultation with the CEEQA Jury.

For more information about the award and previous winners see below.

2024 Recipient:


      Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate

      Having got his start in real estate, fresh from university, with small American warehouse developer in Poland, Menard Doswell & Co., Robert Dobrzycki has risen to become a household name in commercial real estate in central & Eastern Europe. An encounter in Warsaw a few years later with the founder of another American developer, Panattoni, resulted in a partnership building a European platform from scratch which thrust a young Dobrzycki into the mainstream as CEO & Co-owner Panattoni Europe, UK, Middle East and India, a company, today towering as the largest industrial developer in Europe and the dominant developer per sqm in CEE see more


Past Recipients:

    • 2023 MAREK DOSPIVA

      Czech born Marek Dospiva is a dominant figure in the Czech investment market and has few domestically trained peers in the Central & Eastern European commercial real estate market place.

      The highlight award of the sector year is presented at the annual CEEQA Gala to an inspirational industry leader that has made a transformative and durable contribution to the “New Europe” property sector in their own right   see more

    • 2022 HADLEY DEAN

      Founder MDC²

      “Great Motivator” Hadley Dean the 2022 recipient of the CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate

      As a motivator, team builder, thought leader and ring master the recipient of this year’s CEEQA Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate award has had few peers in the CEE, SEE and wider East European real estate markets over the past 20 years. The highlight award of the sector year is presented at the annual CEEQA Gala to an inspirational industry leader that has made a transformative and durable contribution to the “New Europe” property sector in their own right.

      A corporate leader with an entrepreneurial gait and wide smile, today Hadley Dean is undoubtedly one of the sector’s most loved, respected, visible and influential figures  see more


      Chairman of Dentons’ European Real Estate Group

      It’s not often that a single individual comes to exert a level of grip and influence on a market place as to dominate and, in some ways, define it. Pawel Debowski joins a select band of real estate leaders and entrepreneurial empire builders of global and regional stature to receive the “New Europe” property sector’s highest industry accolade.

      On paper a Polish-born, highly ranked corporate M&A and real estate lawyer and a Partner and Chairman of European Real Estate at international law firm, Dentons, his role in the industry extends far beyond that description and few who really know and understand the sector would dispute that, today, he is the most influential figure in the CEE real estate market place, and probably its single most influential figure overall since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. A towering force, his contribution to the development of the trajectory of the commercial real estate sector in his home country and beyond is immeasurable see more

    • 2018 GORDON BLACK

      Senior Managing Director, Heitman

      As the leader of Heitman’s European Private Equity operations since 1995, Gordon Black has been one of the central figures in the emergence and growth of the CEE and SEE real estate markets for over two decades as he and his team have frequently led the charge of institutional capital investing across the region as the various country markets have cascaded open behind them.

      Gordon was clear early on where his interests lay. During his time at Michigan State University working toward a BA in Finance, he knew he was destined for a career in real estate and following graduation, he joined Heitman in 1988 see more

    • 2017 RADIM PASSER

      Founder & Chairman, Passerinvest Group

      The recipient of the 2017 CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate was Radim Passer, Founder and Chairman of leading Czech based developer Passerinvest Group primarily associated with the innovative BB Centrum “City within a City” development. He is one of the most revered pioneers in the project of rebuilding Central & Eastern Europe post-Communism.

      Born and educated in Communist Czechoslovakia, Radim Passer was 26 years old when the Velvet Revolution swept the country to democracy in 1989 on a tide of popular and peaceful revolt against Soviet rule see more


    • 2016 JAN KULCZYK

      Kulczyk Investments & Kulczyk Silverstein Properties


      In 2015 we lost one of the most significant figures on the Central European business landscape post 1989 and an increasingly important figure in Central & Eastern European real estate.

      Hailing from a merchant family in Bydgoszcz in rural Poland, he studied law at the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan before embarking on a business career in the latter days of communism see more

    • 2015 DAVID MITZNER

      Founder & President, Rida Corporation & Apollo Rida

      Celebrating the heroes of the sector over time, as well as today’s market leaders, is central to CEEQA’s role and mission. Few can lay greater claim to the title of sector hero than David Mitzner.

      Already a past winner in 2005 of CEEQA’s garland Lifetime Achievement Award given each year to important figures recognised across the sector for notable and durable contribution to the rebuilding of Central & Eastern Europe post-communism, David reached another important milestone on the eve of the 2015 CEEQA Gala when he turned 100 years old see more

    • 2014 PAUL GHEYSENS

      Founder and President, Ghelamco

      The eleventh recipient of our highlight award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate is founder and president of leading international real estate developer Ghelamco, Paul Gheysens. The award is in recognition of his outstanding services to the European real estate sector and his company’s extensive, award winning achievements in the Central & Eastern European market place.

      Gheysen’s initial plans to become a veterinarian were curtailed by his personal reaction to the sight of blood and in the late 70s he channeled his attentions to designing gardens and building public areas. This lead eventually to the designing of buildings and the establishment in 1985 of a company that was to become the largest private investment and development holding in Belgium, Ghelamco  see more


      Managing Partner of AIG/Lincoln

      Brian Patterson, Managing Partner of AIG/Lincoln, has been announced as the recipient of the 2013 CEEQA Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the Financial Times.

      The award, which is presented each year to a leading industry figure for significant and durable contribution to the commercial real estate sector in central & eastern Europe, is in recognition of his role since the company was founded in 1997 in helping to lead the company to a position of leadership in the CEE marketplace where it has participated in many of the sector’s landmark commercial real estate projects see more

    • 2012 RICHARD CLARE

      Chairman of EC Harris and Corporate Senior Vice President of Arcadis

      The 2012 CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate was presented to Richard Clare, Group Chairman of EC Harris for 15 years. On hand to assist with the presentation was last year’s recipient of the award, Carl Panattoni.

      During a 30 year career with EC Harris Richard is credited with building the company’s project management capability from scratch and, as Group Chairman for 15 years, steering it to its current position as a global powerhouse in built asset consultancy see more


      Founder & Chairman, Panattoni Development Company

      Carl Panattoni, the founder, owner and Chairman of Panattoni Development Company and numerous business entities under the Panattoni brand, including Panattoni Construction and Panattoni Europe, is the winner of the 2011 CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate.

      Since establishing his own company in 1986, Panattoni has developed more than 14 million square metres of industrial and office space on both sides of the Atlantic and is one of the largest developers of build-to-suit warehousing in the United States see more

    • 2010 ELI ALROY

      Chairman of the Supervisory Board, GTC

      The organisers and jury of the 7th annual CEE Real Estate Quality Awards are pleased to announce that Eli Alroy, the driving force and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GTC [Globe Trade Centre SA], will be invited to receive the 2010 CEEQA Lifetime Achievement award for outstanding and durable contribution to Central & Eastern European real estate.

      Eli Alroy was one of the first professionals in the real estate business in Poland. GTC’s first project, under Eli Alroy’s direction, was the Mokotów Business Park in Warsaw (1996) see more

    • 2009 WERNER OTTO

      Founder, ECE Projektmanagement

      Professor Dr Werner Otto, founder and honourary Chairman of the Management Board of ECE Projektmanagement, received the 2009 CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate.

      Already a successful businessman, having built the internationally renowned Otto mail order business, Werner Otto founded ECE in 1965, primarily to service the growing real estate needs of his existing business in response to a series of disappointing construction contracts see more

    • 2008 JOHN CUTTS

      Founder & Chairman, Parkridge Holdings

      John Cutts serves as Chairman and Chief Executive of Solihull, UK of Parkridge Holdings Ltd. and is the Owner of Astral Developments Ltd. He served as Vice Chairman of European operations at ProLogis, Inc. He joined ProLogis in February 2007 and Co-founded Parkridge in 1998.

      In addition to his role at ProLogis, he remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Parkridge, which continues to focus on the development of retail, mixed-use, office and business centres throughout Europe see more


      Founder, DTZ Zadelhoff

      The organizers of the CEE Real Estate Quality Awards are honoured to welcome Mr Cor van Zadelhoff to receive the 4th CEE Lifetime Achievement Award.

      A key figure in European real estate for nearly four decades, in addition to his current role as Ambassador for DTZ International and consultant for DTZ in the Netherlands, Cor van Zadelhoff is a member of the supervisory board of Damien Shipyards, Reggeborgh Beheer and RABO Bouwfonds NV., real estate advisor to the board of the Dutch Railway, Dutch Airport Authorities and KPN (Royal Dutch Telecom). He is also chairman of his private investment group see more

    • 2006 SANDOR DEMJAN

      Founder & Chairman, TriGranit Development Corporation

      The organisers of the CEE Real Estate Quality Awards are honoured to welcome Mr Sándor Demján to receive the 3rd CEE Lifetime Achievement Award.

      Sándor Demján is one of the founders and chairman of TriGránit Development Corporation. In 1976 he started and directed Scála, the first Hungarian co-operative department store, which later developed into a chain-store enterprise and in 1986 Mr Demján founded and became the inaugural President of the first commercial bank in Hungary, Hungarian Credit Bank see more

    • 2005 DAVID MITZNER

      Founder & President, Rida Corporation & Apollo Rida

      For those of you who don’t know David, you will probably know the Warsaw Trade Tower, built on the edge of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto where many of his family died during WWII, and where he was born and raised. After setting up a joint venture with Apollo Real Estate Advisors as they were then known, he bought it in 2002 – at that time the tallest building in Central Europe. It was completely empty, the concept of private commercial real estate investment, indeed the notion of private corporate tenants, was still in its relative infancy.

      Few people, perhaps no one, put this sector on the international investment map more than David and Rida Corporation did, with such passion, expertise and courage see more

    • 2004 EUGENE GOLUB

      Founder and President, Golub & Company

      Founder and chairman of Chicago-based Golub & Company and its European offshoot GE Capital Golub, Eugene Golub was the inaugural recipient of the CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate.

      He has been chosen by the organisers of the first Central & Eastern European Real Estate Quality Awards in consultation with jury members and senior representatives of the real estate industry to receive a special award for Lifetime Achievement for his services to the industry in the region.

      Mr Golub has since 1960 been instrumental in more than $2 billion of real estate transactions in the USA and Europe, and has developed, owned or operated in excess of 25,000,000 square feet of office, residential and mixed-use properties see more



Cee Markets:

Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine

See Markets:

Albania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia

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