Corey Abdo vowed to continue running Winoker Realty after a tragic skydiving accident took the life of its president and chief executive David Winoker on Friday.
“Our captain is gone but the ship is going to continue to go on,” Mr. Abdo, who is a partner in the firm and was the company’s senior most executive under Mr. Winoker. “That’s the way David would have wanted it.”
Mr. Abdo grieved the loss of his friend and colleague on Monday.
“I have never known a more honest person,” Mr. Abdo said. “I came to know and love him during our time working together and I can tell you there was no darkness in his heart. He was like a throwback to the way the business used to be. Straightforward and honest.”
Mr. Winoker had assumed control of Winoker Realty over a decade ago after his father Sidney, who started the business, retired. Mr. Winoker built the company’s brokerage operations, which were primarily focused on the city’s Garment Center. Last year, Mr. Winoker secured the assignment to lease 1450 Broadway, a larger office building that was an impressive win for him and the firm.
“He always had it in his mind to get back there,” Mr. Abdo said, explaining that years prior, the company had represented buildings on Broadway near Times Square and wanted to extend back into the area. “He thought of it as a great personal achievement and a great thing for the firm.”
Mr. Abdo will assume control of the company until a new management plan is sorted out with Mr. Winoker’s family. Mr. Winoker is survived by his wife, Jillian, and three children as well as his father who is in his 80s.
The company employs about 15 leasing brokers, executive level managers and support staff.
The mood in the office Monday was somber, according to one Winoker employee. Mr. Abdo addressed the Winoker team during a brief 5-minute meeting before everyone resumed their jobs.
“Everybody is doing what people would be doing on a Monday morning, which is really weird,” said Jonata Dayan, a senior vice president at Winoker Realty.