The Business Council of Westchester's Board of Directors Elects Four to Three-Year Terms

PLUS: Nominate a Westchester Wunderkind, Dorf & Nelson Law celebrates 20th anniversary in Westchester and more.



The Business Council of Westchester's Board of Directors Elects Four to Three-Year Terms; Dorf & Nelson Celebrates Emerald Anniversary With Diamond Properties; Yost & Campbell Heating, Plumbing, and Cooling Is Hot Among Angie's List Members.

But first: Do you know a wonderful wunderkind—an accomplished or astounding member of our county’s business community who is under 30 years old? 914INC. is looking for the best and the brightest young people making a difference in Westchester businesses today. If someone you know (including yourself!) is under 30 as of May 1, works here, and has reached a remarkable level of success or ascension in his or her chosen field, please tell us about this “Westchester Wunderkind” by completing the online form here. Those we select after a careful vetting process will be featured in 914INC., and will be honored at a special 914INC. party. Hurry. The deadline is soon!

REVOLVING DOOR

PEOPLE

The Business Council of Westchester has elected four prominent business leaders to the Board of Directors for three-year terms: William Marsillo is a partner with the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, in Armonk and has represented clients in federal and state courts. Ralph Martinelli is publisher of Westchester Magazine, Hudson Valley Magazine, Westchester Home, 914INC., and Westchester/Hudson Valley Weddings. Andy Tung is a partner at Divney Tung Schwalbe, LLP, a multidisciplinary land-planning firm based in White Plains, where he specializes in environmental planning, regulatory processing, and project management for institutional, corporate, and developer clients. Laura Woznitski is a senior director of leasing and development for BioMed Realty Trust, the owner of the Landmark at Eastview complex, and has managed real estate debt, equity, and corporate real estate portfolios for Fortune 500 companies.

PR and social media marketing specialists Robin Leedy & Associates (RL&A), a 26-year old, award-winning integrated marketing firm specializing in national health, wellness, beauty, and lifestyle brands, opened an office in Manhattan in December. The new office, at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, joins RL&A’s Mount Kisco location, which will remain its headquarters. Heading up the Manhattan office is the firm’s new managing director, Tara McNally, formerly of Edelman, Chicago.

Susan Yubas

Port Chester Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre has appointed Darrell Sokol, MPA, NHA, RRT, of Yorktown Heights administrator of the facility. Sokol was previously the administrator at Waterview Hills, following advanced training and experience as a registered respiratory therapist at Westchester Medical Center, Hudson Valley Hospital Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, and Benedictine Hospital.

The Bristal at White Plains has appointed Susan Yubas director of business development. Prior to joining The Bristal, Yubas was president of FYI Senior Living Solutions, Inc., which provides consulting services to older adults and their families. She has worked with other providers of long-term care services, as well as serving as senior vice president/COO of Xware Compliance, a New York City provider of compliance services to the healthcare industry; vice president of Managed are Consulting at Creative Health Concepts and administrator for HMO Operations at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

The Bristal has also promoted of Jessica Schmidt to recreation director. Schmidt was recreation assistant at The Bristal, North Hills, Long Island, for the past two years. Prior to joining The Bristal group of residences, Schmidt was recreation assistant at the New Windsor Country Inn in New Windsor, New York. She received a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where she served as president of the Therapeutic Recreation Club.

Susan FisherThe Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, has promoted Susan M. Fisher to group sales manager. Prior to joining the Ritz-Carlton, Fisher was a special events assistant at Monteverde at Oldstone Manor in Cortlandt Manor. She has been a sales coordinator with the Ritz-Carlton for the past two years. In her new position, she will be soliciting and managing group sales opportunities. Fisher graduated cum laude from Pace University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2007 and is involved with Community Footprints, the Ritz-Carlton’s social and environmental responsibility program.

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Westchester County has announced the election of its slate of officers for the 2013 term. Bill Muzzio of Reckson, a division of SL Green, was elected president for his second term. Other officers elected for the 2013 term include: Vice President Ian Ceppos of CBRE, Secretary William Bassett of Cushman & Wakefield, and Treasurer Catherine Morrissey of BioMed Realty Trust. The following directors were also elected: Dean Bender of Thompson & Bender, Sean Brown of Peel Properties, Susan Curtis of RXR Realty, Art D’Estrada of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Vinny Finnegan of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., and John Lomurno of GlobeOp Financial Services LLC. Fred Siciliano of C.W. Brown, Inc. was elected allied representative.

NEW BUSINESSES, RELOCATIONS, OPERATIONS

MDxpress, a new walk-in medical facility, will make its Westchester debut in February at 1030 West Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck. The facility, which will be open seven days a week, including all holidays, will have doctors and medical assistants on staff to treat a variety of pediatric and adult non-life- and limb-threatening injuries and illnesses, including cuts requiring stitches, flu, strep and sore throats, sprains, burns, headaches, stomachaches, asthma, allergic reactions, and much more. MDxpress will have on-site digital X-ray and lab facilities as well. 

County Executive Rob Astorino urges businesses that hire via the local One-Stop Employment Centers to follow the lead of Elmsford's Solar City and apply for reimbursement funds to train new hires. Businesses may contact Bob Fois at (914) 995-4976, Milton David at (914) 995-8631, or Walter Recher at (914) 761-7111, ext. 324, or apply online at westchesterputnamonestop.com. Reimbursements are available only to participating employers that hire via the Employment Centers.

GHP Office Realty, LLC, an owner and manager of office properties in Westchester, announced the signing of seven leases totaling 30,729 square feet at 4 Red Oak Lane, a 135,000-square-foot, Class A office building located on I-287, in the eastern corridor of White Plains. The building is now 96-percent leased. The recent flurry of deals was highlighted by a 13,516-square-foot commitment by HOP Energy, a provider of energy services.    

KUDOS

Valley Pediatric Dentistry’s Benjamin Dancygier, DDS has been named one of Hudson Valley’s “Favorite Docs” by Hudson Valley Parent magazine. This annual award is given to those doctors and healthcare professionals who have been selected by their patients as going above and beyond their expectations and for providing exceptional healthcare services.

With four decades of service in healthcare, during which time she developed two award-winning cancer and stroke treatment programs, Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester’s Executive Director Mary K. Spengler was recently honored as Salve Regina University’s 2012 Distinguished Alumna. Spengler, a resident of White Plains, graduated from Salve Regina with a degree in biology. She has worked for 32 years in a variety of administrative positions at White Plains Hospital.

Dorf & Nelson Law celebrates its 20th anniversary in Westchester, while retaining several of their original clients. The Diamond brothers hired Jon Dorf in 1992 to assist with a catalog startup and continued to work closely with him as they expanded their real estate operations, Diamond Properties, over the past 20 years.

Heating, cooling, and plumbing company Yost & Campbell has received the prestigious Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2012. This recognition is bestowed on fewer than 5 percent of all companies listed with the nationwide reviewing service. Companies achieving this milestone have the Super Service Award logo placed next to their listing on angieslist.com. Angie's List awards this honor to companies that have provided outstanding service according to the feedback from Angie’s List registered members.  

Rubina Heptulla, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, has been appointed to the Westchester County Laboratories and Research Board of Managers. Dr. Heptulla will serve a three-year term starting this month and will oversee quality assurance, reporting, and budgeting for Westchester laboratories. Dr. Heptulla is a Rye resident and professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

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BIZ BUZZ: OUR BUSINESS BLOG 

WESTCHESTER'S REAL ESTATE MARKET: REDLINE OR RECOVERY? 

As 2013 begins, County real estate experts put 2012 into perspective. The verdict: greater residential market stability as luxury prices outpaced the overall market. The commercial real estate landscape, however, is characterized by at least one expert as a lurching, "student driver" recovery: "Step on the gas, step on the brake." As real estate market participants and observers keep their seat belts fastened, business confidence in the New York State economy hits a rough patch.

Howard E. Greenberg, president of Howard Properties, Ltd. in White Plains, moderated the annual Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) Westchester “State of the Market” panel on January 10 at the Crowne Plaza White Plains-Downtown. During his commentary, Greenberg noted that the market is changing in various and significant ways. He cited the flurry of mid to large transactions in the fourth quarter that led to an almost break-even net absorption of negative 21,600 square feet. “The fact that we were almost break-even—something that has not occurred for most of the last decade—was pretty amazing,” he noted.   According to Greenberg, the market was very slow in the first nine months. But in the fourth quarter, 651,000 square feet was leased, led by PepsiCo’s 234,000 square-foot commitment at 1111 Westchester Avenue in White Plains, bringing the year’s total to 1,482,000 square feet. In 2011, 1,600,000 square feet was leased with negative absorption of 600,000 square feet.  He noted that the availability rate in 2012 was 17.4 percent, almost 1 percent less than at the end of 2011, though the County still has more than 5,000,000 square feet of space available. Of a total of 235 lease transactions, 73 percent were for office spaces less than 5,000 square feet, accounting for 25 percent of the total space leased. “There were lots of lease renewals as tenants are still reluctant to make major capital expenditures,” he says.

Greenberg referred to PepsiCo’s decision to renovate and expand the corporate headquarters in Purchase and to lease an additional 234,000 square feet of office space during the construction period as “huge.” This year has been, in many ways, a continuation of past trends in the Westchester office market, but some encouraging new trends are beginning to emerge. "On the plus side, medical uses have soared," he stated, pointing out that Montefiore Medical Center has been continually expanding its back-office space in Yonkers, and purchased the 300,000 square feet that formerly housed Kraft Foods research and development center in Tarrytown. "This certainly represents a good repurposing of what would have been a very difficult property to re-lease."  Distilling his thoughts on market trends, Greenberg offered, "A healthy market is one that is in equilibrium, where supply and demand are approximately equal. It will take time to get there, but the Westchester office market is finally taking some real steps in the right direction."  

For its part, the residential market seems to be gaining traction, according to the Elliman Report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, which reported that  Westchester housing prices continued to show stability in the final quarter of 2012 and throughout the past year. Sales were up sharply as many anticipated higher taxes relating to the Fiscal Cliff in 2013. Listing inventory continued to fall and higher sales and tight credit continued to keep inventory low. Interestingly, luxury prices continued to outpace the overall market. However, compared to one year ago, median sales price slipped 0.6 percent to $395,000, while average sales price increased 11.5 percent to $585,232.  

Most encouragingly, the number of sales increased 26.3 percent to 1,762. Single-family-home sales increased 31.1 percent to 1,042, with the median sales price up 3.8 percent to $545,000. Multi-family home prices fell 15.2 percent while prices went up 4.2 percent to $359,125. In the co-op market, the median sales price was $145,000, down 1.4 percent, but the number of sales increased 15.9 percent to 343. The median price of a condominium was $320,000, down 5.9 percent, and sales for them increased 42.9 percent to 293. The luxury market—which represents single-family-home sales above $1,450,000, or the upper 10 percent of all such sales in Westchester—had a median sales price of $2,150,000, up 21.6 percent, with the threshold being $1,450,000.

Business executives in the Hudson Valley/Westchester region appear to be following their counterparts in upstate New York in expressing less confidence in the 2013 state economy while adopting a cautious outlook in projections for any new hires, revenues, and profits, according to results from First Niagara’s Sixth Annual Survey of Upstate New York Business Leaders. Overall, the survey, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute, found that 1,142 leaders of private companies in 55 counties (representing all New York State counties outside New York City and Long Island) had dialed back their confidence levels regarding current and future economic conditions after three years of increasing optimism following the 2007-08 recession. This represents the first year the survey was expanded to include responses from business leaders in all 55 counties.

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

Property: Westchester Medical Pavillion, 311 North St, White Plains  
Brokered by: Rakow Commercial Realty Group, rick@rakowgroup.com, (914) 422-0100, ext. 15.  
Availability: Located directly off I-287, the 72,000-square-foot medical office complex is a technologically advanced, conveniently located medical building in Westchester, offering a full range of amenities designed specifically for medical users. The landscaped campus setting on 23 acres is located only minutes from downtown White Plains.  
Selling points: The property includes an elegantly designed lobby, cafe with free WiFi access and outdoor seating, all new common areas, abundant parking, full-building back-up power, and infrastructure to support the needs of medical users. The property also features extensive use of green-building techniques, a new HVAC system, double-panel thermal windows, and energy-efficient lighting.  
Downside: The property may not appeal to non-medical space seekers. 

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914 DATEBOOK – UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS

WEDNESDAY, 1/23/13
Communicating with Confidence
Reformed Church of Bronxville, 180 Pondfield Rd, 7:30 pm. Executive Coach Dinah Day returns to the Bronxville Career Network (BCN) on Wednesday, January 23, to conduct an interactive workshop on communicating with confidence. The presentation will explore projecting a professional presence and making first impressions that start when your interview is scheduled. For more information, visit reformedchurch.org or call BCN Leader Sheila Larkin at (914) 393-2258. 

MONDAY, 2/4/13
"I Love Networking" Event 
Ruth's Chris Steak House, 670 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown, 6 pm – 8 pm; $15, Professional Women of Westchester members; $20, non-members. Must pre-pay to attend. The event includes appetizers and a cash bar. Men are invited in honor of Valentine's Day. Click here for more information.  

THURSDAY, 2/7/13
Get Organized! Intro To Evernote
W@tercooler, 21 N Broadway, Tarrytown, 7 pm - 8 pm, $20. This class will introduce you to Evernote—a free way to collect and organize your digital life. Bring a friend, and get 50 percent off the second registration fee. Register here.

WEDNESDAY, 2/27/13 
Leasing Commercial Real Estate 
120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. 1 pm - 3 pm. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this seminar covers the business aspects of a lease and what issues prospective tenants should negotiate to get the most value for their money. Call (914) 948 3907 or visit scorewestchester.com for details. 

THURSDAY, 3/21/13
Building a Successful Business
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown, 455 S Broadway, 7:30-9 am. Experts from the fields of accounting, law, commercial lending, marketing, and more will be leading this power breakfast/panel discussion that will tell you all about how to start and grow a successful company. Guests register free online, but seating is limited. Register at pr@westchestermagazine.com.

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

Upcoming events should be submitted no later than Sunday, January 27, to be considered for the February 5 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.

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