HGAR Bronx Chapter to Hold Golf & Tennis Outing on June 21 Honoring David Diamond
NEW YORK—HGAR’s Bronx Chapter will be holding its annual Golf & Tennis Outing this year on Monday, June 21 at The Village Club of Sands Point in Sands Point. The all-day event will honor David Diamond, owner of the Diamond Property Group, with the “Outstanding Humanitarian Award.”
Diamond is the first recipient of this award, and was chosen by an HGAR committee of Realtors and Affiliate members. “I was so surprised—no, more like shocked—when I found out about this award,” he admitted. “I never expected anything like this.”
The outing will feature a comprehensive full day of activities including golf and tennis tournaments, lunch, prize drawings, a sports memorabilia silent auction, networking opportunities, and much more. The event will finish with awards presentations and a full dinner will be available. Donations will also be collected for Camp Good Days and Special Times in Mendon, NY. The camp is a not-for-profit organization for children being treated for cancer. Founded in 1979, Camp Good Days has served more than 50,000 campers from 22 states and 36 foreign nations. All of its programs and services are free of charge for families.
Honoree Diamond began his real estate career shortly after graduating from the University of Miami in 1974. By 1981, he co-founded the Rosenberg-Diamond Development Corp. and was among the first property owners to take up the challenge of rehabilitating abandoned properties in some of the most economically-challenged neighborhoods in the Bronx.
With the help of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Diamond was able to benefit from low interest loans and tax exemptions. The firm invested almost $20 million in their properties, and his company also hired local minority contractors. They then purchased tools and materials from community wholesalers, creating a positive impact on the local economy.
In 2012, Diamond, along with his wife, Susan, founded Diamond Property Group and the company has since grown to own and operate 28 buildings throughout The Bronx and Westchester. Together, they have expanded the corporate footprint to include single-tenant net-lease shopping centers across the country, in addition to owning and operating a multi-bay warehouse and industrial park complexes totaling close to 500,000 square feet in Miami.
Over the past 40 years, Diamond has been involved in restoring approximately 5,000 apartments, providing homes to nearly 5,000 families. “My roots are in the Bronx, since our family business has been here for so long, going back to my grandfather,” he said. “After graduating college, I worked in my father’s office for many years and it was always my dream to get involved with rehab and renovation work. I wanted to be able to offer affordable housing for the local communities.”
Diamond Properties is also involved in several Bronx civic organizations such as: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where he is Chairman Emeritus of the Board; The Community Housing Improvement Program; The Bronx Realty Advisory Board and, the Rent Stabilization Association. Diamond also serves as Vice Chairman Emeritus of Mercy College.
In his free time, Diamond is an EMS Captain of the Roslyn Highlands Fire Dept. (NY), where he has volunteered for the past 25 years. “As a kid I always thought about becoming a firefighter—it just took me 40 years to do it,” he quipped. Diamond found his niche at the Roslyn Highlands Fire Department when they were looking for more drivers. Fortunately, he had the experience from years back when he drove a dump truck to plow an airstrip runway in New Hampshire. “At one point, I wanted to be a pilot, so I took flying lessons,” he recalled. “And I paid for those lessons by plowing the runways for the instructors.”
In addition, Diamond is the Commander of NY-2 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), with more than 20 years of experience. Some of the more memorable deployments were the terrorist attack on 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the earthquake in Haiti and tsunamis in Guam.
It was just after 9/11 that he was introduced to DMAT, and knew he had to get involved. “Besides 9/11, I think the events that impacted me the most were Hurricanes Katrina in New Orleans and Maria in Puerto Rico. We’re out there with these people on the worst day of their lives,” he explained. “They’ve lost everything and we have to somehow help them try to put their lives back together again.” Diamond and his crew worked long hours, sleeping in tents for days.
Since February 2020, Diamond has been deployed several times receiving passengers from the Diamond Princess Cruise Line in Hawaii to various COVID quarantine compounds in San Diego and San Antonio, as well as serving at the Javits Field Hospital as a subject matter expert in Manhattan. During the last few months, he led DMAT Assessment Teams throughout the Midwest and Texas, assessing the needs of local hospitals that were overwhelmed with COVID cases. Most recently, he returned from deployment in Oakland, CA where he was the first team serving the nation’s 1st Joint Federal-State Mass Vaccination Drive Thru Site, between the State of California and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ultimately, the site delivered more than 6,000 vaccinations per day.
Since the Oakland site was the nation’s first drive-through vacation site, it has now become a model for the rest of the country. Diamond and his team also worked with local EMTs to provide training on giving vaccine injections. “We actually had them practice on oranges, using syringes donated from local hospitals,” he noted.
His DMAT unit is one of just 60 across the U.S. and Diamond is always ready to jump wherever and whenever he’s needed. “I guess you could say it’s a calling,” he added. “Anyone involved in emergency services or the medical field are people who just want to help any way they can. Sometimes the things we see are very difficult, but that doesn’t stop us from our callings.”
Diamond and his wife, Susan, live in the Village of East Hills, NY, where he also serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals and is the village’s Commissioner of Roads. Their daughter, Erin, works in the family business.
“David Diamond’s story is compelling in so many ways,” said Eli Rodriguez, HGAR Liaison for Bronx Chapter. “Everyone has been affected by disasters and by COVID, and he has gone into the eye of the storm, helping to heal the world.”
For more information about the Golf & Tennis Outing, please visit HGAR.com/Events.