New York AIR Society Raises More Than $400,000 for Nation’s Leading Respiratory Hospital, National Jewish Health

‘The Sky’s The Limit’ Event Honors Alliance Building Services President Michael Rodriguez

MAY 14, 2014

New York, NY — Above, L to R: Dinner Co-Chair Roger Silverstein, Honoree Michael Rodriguez and Dinner Co-Chair Justin Magazine Nearly 500 people gathered for the 23rd annual New York AIR Society “The Sky’s The Limit” benefit held at 4 World Trade Center on May 1 to honor Alliance Building Services President Michael Rodriguez. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray and professional skier Jake Cohn spoke at the event, which raised more than $400,000 for the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health.


Rodriguez, who began his career with Alliance Building Services as a nighttime supervisor, has served as president as the company has more than quadrupled in size, revenue and services. He has received recognition for his support of the Diabetes Research Institute and the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families Inc. and has been named one of Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40.

During her remarks at the event, the city’s first lady said, “I don’t just admire National Jewish Health, I owe my life to them.” McCray explained that while she was in her 20s, she had many emergency room visits and three hospital stays, all because of asthma attacks. “That third time I was hospitalized, I almost died,” she recounted. “I wanted my health back; I wanted my life back. And so I put my research skills to work. Everything I learned steered me to the leading respiratory hospital in the nation, National Jewish Health.” Through the institution, McCray found a physician in Brooklyn who had recently trained at National Jewish Health in its fellowship program. That doctor, Bruce Dobozin, MD, a founding member of the AIR Society, used the knowledge he gained at National Jewish Health to successfully treat McCray and her family.

Guests at the benefit also heard from professional skier Jake Cohn, who spent much of his childhood in hospitals with severe asthma. After seeing physicians at National Jewish Health, he was able to manage his asthma and pursue his dream of becoming a professional freestyle skier. As an adult, Cohn has become an active supporter of the institution.  Attendees also heard from Erwin Gelfand, MD, head of the Pediatrics Department at National Jewish Health, where Cohn received his life-changing treatment.

AIR Society Benefit Co-Chairs were Justin E. Magazine, vice president at Savills, and Roger Silverstein, executive vice president of Silverstein Properties Inc. Honorary Chairs were Richard J. Mack, Mack Real Estate Group; Jason D. Pizer, Trinity Real Estate; and Peter G. Riguardi, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc.

VIP event sponsors were Alliance Building Services; Silverstein Properties Inc.; Stacey and Roger Silverstein; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP; and SL Green Realty Corp.

Other sponsors included Ashkenazy Acquisition, Kathy Chazen and Larry Miller, JAD Corporation of America, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Trinity Real Estate and Upgrade Services LLC, and dozens more. Click here for a complete list of sponsors.

The AIR Society was formed in 1991 by Kathy Chazen; Michael Comras; Bruce Dobozin, MD; Keith and Stacey Locker; Jeffrey L. Rubin; and Roger Silverstein. The group inspires young professionals to engage in fundraising activities on behalf of National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital and a world-renowned research center. Since its founding, AIR Society members have raised more than $3.5 million to fund research, patient care and educational programs at National Jewish Health.

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