About The REFA Gala


The REFA Gala is an annual celebration of the Real Estate Finance Association and its mission. REFA’s largest gathering of the year brings together over 500 members of the real estate finance community to network with colleagues, reflect on the year, as well as honor one of their peers with REFA’s distinguished service award.

The REFA distinguished service award is named in honor of the late Robert S. Swain, Jr. In his 33-year career in his profession, Mr. Swain gained the admiration and respect of his colleagues throughout the real estate finance industry. He was a valued member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board for over 25 years and was an active member and leader of the Mortgage Finance Committee, which developed into the present Real Estate Finance Association. This award is an annual recognition of an outstanding contribution made to the real estate industry either by lifetime example or specific achievement.

The award itself is the Boston Harbor Bowl, a piece requisitioned by Shreve, Crump & Low, the famous Boston jewelers. It is fashioned in the style of a Chinese export punch bowl, is the product of Japanese potters and is decorated by German and American craftsmen. Around the bowl is a picture of Boston, circa 1800, taken from a lithograph by Deroy.

The Boston Harbor Bowl





  • BOMA
    Building Owners
    & Managers Association
  • CBA
    Commercial Brokers Association
  • GBAR
    Greater Boston
    Association of REALTORS®
  • REFA
    Real Estate Finance Association
  • RHA
    Rental Housing Association