James Rather Joins Greyston Foundation, Empire City Casino Reports Another Great Earnings Month, Geri Pell a Barron's Top Financial Woman Advisor



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PEOPLE

Progressive Computing, Inc., (PCI) a Yonkers-based computer consulting and network installation, design, and maintenance firm, has added Technical Advisor Jose Rodriguez to its team. A six-year veteran of the IT industry and a graduate of the ASA College in New York City, Rodriguez formerly worked at Health Insurance Plan of NY (now EmblemHealth) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Littman Krooks LLP has formed a new special-education team of dedicated attorneys and educational advocates committed to the rights of children and young adults with special needs. The firm welcomes Marion Walsh, an attorney with extensive experience in education law, including employment and special education defense. Walsh is also a certified impartial hearings officer with a background in legal publishing. Nanette Saturn also joins the firm as an education advocate. Most recently, Saturn worked at Putnam Independent Living Services, where she assisted families of children with special needs through advocacy and peer support.

WCA President Bill Mooney has been elected chair of the Independent Judicial Election Qualifications Commission for the 9th Judicial District. The commissions are part of a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates for election to the Supreme Court, County Court, Surrogate’s Court, Family Court, New York City Civil Court, District Courts, and City Courts. They evaluate local candidates for elective judicial office to ensure that they possess the qualities necessary for effective judicial performance.

James Rather has joined the Greyston Foundation as grants manager. Rather was the assistant planner for the Village of Ossining from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant project manager for real estate development at the Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell, Massachusetts, and holds a master’s degree in regional economic and social development from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Simon Property Group, Inc., recently appointed Ken Hamilton of Waldwick, New Jersey, to the position of general manager at Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights. Hamilton will leverage his 27 years of operations, facilities, and property management experience in his new assignment at the regional shopping center. Since joining Simon Property Group in 2006, he has held various management positions with several of the company’s New Jersey properties, including Newport Centre in Jersey City, Livingston Mall in Livingston, Menlo Park Mall in Edison, and Brunswick Square in East Brunswick.

The Westchester Library System (WLS) recently announced the appointment of Cortlandt Manor resident Elena Falcone as director, office of community connections. Falcone received her bachelor of arts degree at New York University and her master of library and information science degree at CUNY Queens College. She has more than 20 years of experience as a leader of library services in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, most recently as senior director of strategic planning and information services for Consumer Reports in Yonkers.

Brewster resident John Blumberg has been appointed general agent for a new National Life Group agency in Westchester. In his new post, Blumberg will lead market development and agent recruiting in Westchester for National Life Insurance Company, a member of National Life Group, a Fortune 1000 company with $29 billion in assets under management. Blumberg previously represented Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds FINRA registrations 7, 24, 51, 63, and 66.

 
NEW BUSINESSES, RELOCATIONS, OPERATIONS

Kudos to ANDRUS on receiving the Council on Accreditation (COA) Innovative Practices Award for its Sanctuary Model at the COA Networking Breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. With locations throughout Westchester County, ANDRUS is recognized for its organizational development approach towards understanding how stress, trauma, and loss affect clients and staff. The Innovative Practices Award is presented to COA-accredited and in-process organizations that demonstrate the effective application of new and forward-looking practices to improve service delivery.

Elmsford-based Urnex Brands’ eco-friendly Full Circle Coffee Cleaning product line is now available in several new distribution venues. Building on the momentum of its highly successful partnership with Williams-Sonoma, Urnex will now partner with three additional high-profile retailers: Amazon.com, Home Outfitters, and Chefs Catalog. Further defining the Full Circle brand, Urnex Brands has also created a designated website for the growing Full Circle at Home portfolio, fullcircleathome.com, to help keep consumers well-informed on the importance of maintaining a clean machine.

Empire City Casino had another winning month in July, according to recently released data available on the Division of Lottery’s website. Of the nine racetrack casinos statewide, Empire City Casino was responsible for generating $23 million, nearly one-third of the $71 million raised for education this month through gaming, in partnership with the New York State Lottery. Beyond directly funding New York’s public schools, the monthly revenues continue to help keep property taxes down for all New Yorkers by offsetting the cost of education.

The Women's Enterprise Development Center has been named as the first Kiva Zip Trustee in New York State. Kiva is a new US initiative that enables borrowers to be "crowd-funded" by lenders. Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending to help alleviate poverty. It leverages a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to let individuals lend as little as $25, for example, to help create opportunity around the world. WEDC grad Margie Nugent of Making Faces Parties has been named the first New York State entrepreneur to be endorsed on the Kiva Zip platform.

The Doral Golf Club at Doral Arrowood in Westchester has expanded its golf amenities, now offering extended hours and expanded practice facilities, including a driving range with state-of-the-art synthetic turf, practice bunker and professional putting green. In addition, The Doral Golf Club continues to offer golf instruction for all skill levels onsite via the Mitchell Spearman Golf Academy.  

Mount Kisco resident Martin Heikel, co-founder of Flat Iron Apps, LLC, has created a smartphone app that can now “broadcast” an electronic street hail to nearby cabs with the touch of a button. ZabKab, a new, GPS-driven app, is free for passengers and available for immediate download and use in New York City, allows those with Apple iOS (iPhone or iPad) or Android mobile devices to digitally hail a cab by signaling their exact location to cab drivers blocks away.

On August 10, 22 local high school and college students graduated from White Plains Hospital’s Richard P. Biondi Nurse Apprentice Program during a ceremony that celebrated the program’s success. The students were recognized for completing an intensive, seven-week nurse apprenticeship at the hospital during the summer. Hospital officials reported that by the end of 2012, 50 students who have gone through the program will be full-time nurses at White Plains Hospital. The program was created six years ago to address the nursing shortage in the face of an aging population.

On August 6, The Business Council of Westchester announced a new partnership with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) on the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. This initiative will provide access to capital for small, local businesses, which is a goal identified by The Business Council’s Coalition for Business Development led by Chairman Tim Jones, managing partner at Robert Martin Company, LLC, based in Elmsford. The initiative also will provide much-needed training and education for Westchester businesses to help meet their various financing and growth objectives.

Thanks to significant support from AT&T and Taco Bell Foundation for Teens’ Graduate to Go initiative, Dreaming Tree Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) are giving more than 200 teens nationwide the unique opportunity to create a feature film this summer that will benefit BGCA’s youth education efforts. The feature film called “The Stream”—a coming-of-age family comedy set in 1981—began filming July 16th in Philadelphia, with some 200 teens from Boys & Girls Clubs across the country working on the film. The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (BGNCW) was chosen among 11 other Clubs across the eastern seaboard to participate in production of the film.

According to CoStar Research, Westchester County has retained two major employers: Bunge Management Services, Inc., and Bunge Limited, a pair of food companies involved in international agribusiness. Bunge will keep its offices in the 16-story, 309,000-square-foot office building in the Westchester Financial Center.


KUDOS

For the fourth consecutive year, Geri Pell, president of Rye Brook-based Geri Pell & Associates, was listed in the Barron's Top 100 Women Financial Advisors for 2012, after earning the distinction in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester (HPCW) celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing hospice services to patients and families throughout the county. The center was established in 1992, when Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester and White Plains Hospital collaborated to provide comprehensive, end-of-life care to Westchester residents. Ten years later, when Hospice of Westchester began to offer palliative care services in addition to its hospice services, the name was changed to Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester.

Westchester Community College has been awarded a $300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant for Two-Year Colleges to establish a humanities institute. This challenge grant will require the Westchester Community College Foundation to raise an additional $600,000, bringing the full value to $900,000. Ultimately, the funds will be used to create an endowment to support the activities of theinstitute beyond the initial grant period. The institute will be led by the two Westchester Community College English professors who wrote the grant, Frank Madden, PhD, and Heather Ostman, PhD.

 

BIZ BUZZ: OUR BUSINESS BLOG

Extensive numbers crunching and wildly divergent forecasts on the ultimate cost of crossing the new Tappan Zee Bridge are taking a toll on regional commuters and local residents, while tension mounts in the Town of Greenburgh in an increasingly bitter dispute over the legality of a proposed multimillion-dollar sports center. PepsiCo, however, announced two sweet developments: the construction of a new manufacturing facility and significant expansion of its soft drink business in South East Asia.

At an August 5 press conference, Rockland and Westchester County public officials gathered to endorse and discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Whether it's to repair the current span or construct a new one, local officials maintain that the cost of crossing the Tappan Zee will inevitably rise. Currently, the toll is $5 for cash customers, $4.75 for E-ZPass users, $3 for commuters who enroll in the Commuter Plan, and 50 cents for carpool commuters making at least 20 trips per month.

Calculations vary, but the estimated toll increase for E-ZPass users to cross a new span would be approximately $.60 more per trip vs. the toll that would be required to help pay for the necessary maintenance of the outdated existing bridge. Commuters who use E-ZPass packaged plans would pay an estimated $7.20 in tolls to cross the existing Tappan Zee Bridge and $8.40 to cross a new $5.4-billion bridge construction. Regular E-Z Pass users would pay an approximately $13.30 toll in comparison.

For cash customers of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, the toll is estimated at $14, while the toll for cash customers of the existing bridge would be $12, to help pay for the estimated $3 billion to $4 billion in necessary repairs in forthcoming years. Tolls for a new bridge and new 30-mile Bus-Rapid Transit System were estimated at $16.80 for commuters and $28 for cash customers.

Meanwhile, Business Council of Westchester President and CEO Marsha Gordon led the distinguished roster of speakers from Westchester and Rockland Counties at Governor Andrew Cuomo's reception August 8 to support the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge. More than 200 of Westchester’s and Rockland's most influential business leaders and elected government officials filled the room at Brynwood Golf & Country Club in Armonk to hear Governor Cuomo explain the rationale and economic benefits for constructing a new bridge. The Governor chose Gordon to act as the official emcee for the event because of her prominence in the region as a business leader and as a proponent for the Tappan Zee Bridge project, especially as president of "Build the Bridge Now." Some of the notable speakers she introduced during the program were US Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Secretary to former New York Governor George Pataki John Cahill, and current Secretary to Governor Cuomo Larry Schwartz.

Following the discovery of a provision in the county tax law, The Town of Greenburgh may need to hold a referendum before it executes a lease with Game On 365, a Tarrytown-based organization that wants to build a $6.9 million sports complex on Dobbs Ferry Road. Simon Cohen, founder of helpburstthebubble.com, sent out an e-mail on August 9, citing a clause requiring Town Supervisor Paul Feiner to sell any property acquired by tax lien. Greenburgh took ownership of the site in 2011, when Frank’s Nursery defaulted.

Town Attorney Tim Lewis said state law provides the Town Board with the authority to adopt a resolution intending to execute a lease. Residents, however, have 30 days to circulate a petition and solicit signatures from 5 percent of the electorate who voted in the last gubernatorial election to force a public vote. Town officials researched case law to support their position that as long as the town is not engaging in leasing on a permanent basis, the agreement is permissible. Feiner said he believes a company with plans to open a similar sports facility in Ardsley is responsible for preventing the town from reaching an agreement.

On August 2, Governor Andrew Cuomo joined PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi and Theo Müller Group CEO Heiner Kamps in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park to celebrate the construction of a new yogurt manufacturing facility by Müller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between the two companies. The facility will be one of the country's largest yogurt-manufacturing plants and is expected to create more than 180 new jobs in upstate New York. This facility is located on an 82-acre parcel of land in Batavia, which is situated in one of the nation's most concentrated milk-producing and processing regions. The first phase of construction is scheduled for completion in 2013.

One week later, PepsiCo, Inc., announced that it has signed an agreement with Diamond Star Co., Ltd., a unit of the Capital Diamond Star Group, to distribute PepsiCo beverage brands in the South East Asian nation of Myanmar. As part of the agreement, Diamond Star, which is one of the largest consumer packaged goods distributors in Myanmar, now has exclusive rights to import, sell, and distribute Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up, and Mirinda, three of the 22 brands in PepsiCo’s portfolio that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.

 

HOT PROPERTIES - 914INC.'S COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SHOWCASE

Property: 33 W Main St, Elmsford
Brokered by: Rick Rakow, Rakow Commercial Realty Group
Availability: Units from 668 to 12,200 contiguous square feet.
Selling points: With lease rates starting at approximately $19 per square foot, this property offers one of the lowest prices per square foot in the area, as well as easy access to the Saw Mill Parkway and I-287. The landlord will allow a full-floor user to hang its sign on the building. The property additionally features 50 percent covered parking, an onsite maintenance engineer, 24-hour key-card access, and FedEx and UPS Next Day Air drop-offs.
Downside: No cafeteria present in building.

 

914 DATEBOOK – UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS

 

WEDNESDAY, 9/5/12

Workshop: Franchises - Are They Right For You?

120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains; 1 - 3 pm. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this seminar explores all aspects of the franchise business model. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit scorewestchester.com.

 

MONDAY, 9/10/12

The Power of Facebook

 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown, 455 S Broadway, Tarrytown; 6 - 8 pm. As a small-business owner, how do you best leverage this powerful platform to gain the most exposure? This advanced social media workshop explores maximizing Facebook marketing exposure. $15 PWW members; $20 non-members. Includes appetizers. Cash bar. Must pre-pay to attend. Register at professionalwomenofwestchester.com

 

WEDNESDAY, 9/12/12

Workshop: What to Consider Before Going into Business

120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains; 1 - 3 pm. Presented by SCORE Westchester, Discussion Includes:
personal considerations including necessary skills and experience, countless hours owner must devote, and risks that must be assumed—both financial and personal. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visitscorewestchester.com.

 

THURSDAY, 9/13/2012

Ready…Set…Interview

W@tercooler, 21 N Broadway, Tarrytown; 7 - 9 pm. Ginny Ruder from GR Career Planning can help you to overcome those fears, and help you to prepare for and master the interview process. Register at www.eventbrite.com/event/4094649206

$20/$15 for W@tercooler members. Call (914) 332-1400 for more information.

 

SUNDAY, 10/23/12

The Business Council of Westchester Annual Dinner

Hilton Westchester, 699 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook. FOX News Commentator Tucker Carlson offers insights on the upcoming election. Call (914) 948-2110, x312.

 

Do you have tips, scoop, or gossip concerning business in Westchester? If so, our INComing blogger, Lisa Cesarano, is all ears. Please e-mail her with a short pitch to 914incoming@gmail.com.

Upcoming events should be submitted no later than Sunday August 26, to be considered for the September 4 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.