Ben & Jerry Visit Greyston Bakery, Iona’s New Prez Begins Term, Curtis Instruments Named Best Company to Work for
Pictured (left to right): Ben Cohen, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s; Bill Mistretta, CEO of Greyston Bakery; and Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s.
Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, and Jostein Solheim of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream recently spent the day at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, where the brownies for Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream are baked. Members of the bakery staff held a brainstorming session with their visitors to come up with new ice cream flavors to incorporate more of Greyston’s baked goods.
Provident New York Bancorp, the parent company of Provident Bank, recently announced that Jack Kopinsky would serve as the firm’s new president and CEO. Kopinsky replaces George Strayton, who recently retired after 25 years at the bank’s helm. Kopinsky brings over three decades of banking and financial services experience to the firm. He served as the CEO of SJB Escrow Corporation, a $1.1 billion investment pool since 2009, and as a partner in Mercatus, a national financial-services consulting and investing firm, since 2008. From 2005 until 2008, he was president and CEO of The First Marblehead Corporation.
The bank named Thomas Leboffe as business manager and assistant vice president with responsibility for managing the overall sales and customer services operations of the Provident’s Monroe branch. Leboffe, who has 24 years of experience in the banking and financial-services industry, was previously with KeyBank, where he was responsible for hiring, training, and coaching the bank’s branch teams in Monticello and Marlboro.
Provident also announced that Nancy Feeley, who has 14 years of experience in commercial real estate and lending, has joined the bank as commercial relationship manager and assistant vice president. Feeley previously served as a commercial loan underwriter for the Community Preservation Corporation, where she originated multi-million-dollar commercial loans for the development of affordable sale and rental housing. She was previously a program specialist for the New York State Housing Finance Agency, where she administered the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to promote affordable housing development. Provident Bank, which is headquartered in Montebello, New York, operates 35 regional branches, including three in Westchester County.
The Kensington, an enhanced assisted-living and memory-care facility opening this summer in downtown White Plains, has announced the appointment of Mount Vernon resident Celso Cedeno as director of environmental service. Cedeno worked for two years as a building supervisor director at West 86, an Atria assisted-living residence in New York City. He also worked for E-Larsen Management in New York City for 15 years, the last 12 of which he served as property manager. Located on Maple Avenue in downtown White Plains, the Kensington is an assisted-living and memory-care residence featuring 87 suites and rooms for 105 residents. Fredrick Z. Bierman, M.D., a nationally known pediatric cardiologist, clinician, and educator, has joined Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester (CWPW) as a partner. Dr. Bierman has been involved in the graduate medical education training programs at Westchester Medical Center. While serving as a consulting pediatric cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Rockland County from 1982 to 1991, Bierman initiated one of the first pediatric cardiology programs in the region. Later, while serving as chief of pediatric cardiology at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, he developed a cardiac ultrasound screening program for middle school students entering competitive sports in order to identify clinically silent cardiac abnormalities that might pose a risk to young athletes.
Joseph Nyre recently began his first day on campus as the eighth president of Iona College in New Rochelle. Nyre succeeded Brother James Liguori, and is the first Iona president not to be a member of the Christian Brothers religious order. Nyre is a U.S. Naval veteran who has held academic and administrative positions at the University of Kansas, Harvard Medical School, Baylor University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and The Hope Institute. Founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, Iona College currently is listed in the top tier of US News & World Report's annual " Best Colleges” 2011 edition as well as The Princeton Review's “Best Regional Colleges” 2011 for the northeast, and Businessweek's “Top 25 Undergraduate Business” programs in the northeast.
New businesses, relocations, and operations
White Plains-based manufacturing company ITT Corporation recently announced the new names and ticker symbols for its water and defense businesses. The business units will separate from the company’s main engineering products business later this year. As reported in the Journal News, the company announced that the water technology business would be called Xylem and shares would trade under the symbol "XYL." Meanwhile, the defense unit will be called ITT Exelis, and shares will be traded under the symbol "XLS." The main industrial unit will keep the ITT Corp. business name, as well as the "ITT" ticker symbol. The company also announced that it had agreed to purchase YSI Inc., a maker of environmental water monitoring products. YSI is a privately held company based in Yellow Springs, Ohio. According to the Journal News, the firm boasted $101 million in revenue last year and currently employs 390 people in 22 locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, P.C. (VHB), a firm that provides integrated planning, transportation, land development, and environmental services, opened a new and expanded regional office in downtown White Plains earlier this month. The move follows VHB's acquisition of Saccardi & Schiff, a White Plains-based planning and development consulting firm, last October. Principals, John Saccardi, David Schiff, David Smith, and Michael W. Junghans, lead a staff of planning, engineering and environmental professionals from this new transit-oriented location. At 9,000 square feet, the new office at 50 Main Street is nearly double the size of the former office at 445 Hamilton Avenue. The White Plains location represents VHB's 20th office since the firm's founding in 1979.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester (HPCW) held a successful Ninth Annual Golf Invitational at Westchester Hills Golf Club. Grand sponsors of the event included Entergy and Hildegarde D. Becher Foundation, Inc. Sponsors included Beecher Funeral Home, Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., James P. O’Toole Consulting, and Zanzarella Marketing Consultants.
The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) has moved to new headquarters in White Plains. HHREC is now based in the Red Oak Corporate Park, owned and occupied by GHP Office Realty. The new location has room to house the organization’s Holocaust library [BB—IS LIBRARY PART OF NAME, OR MERELY DESCRIPTIVE?], and allows HHREC to hold seminars on location.
Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco recently hosted the StrikeDownCancer.org East Coast Karting Championship to benefit Ride for Kids, a national community of motorcyclists supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Almost 100 racers participated in the karting championship, with some traveling from as far as Atlanta to compete. Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19) acted as the honorary starter for the event alongside Jon Ford, the founder of StrikeDownCancer.org and a task force leader for Ride for Kids. All proceeds from the event, which grossed $5,000, will go toward continuing efforts in researching new cancer treatments.
Yonkers-based commercial real estate agency NAI Friedland Realty closed seven transactions covering Westchester and the Bronx in June. The combined transactions represented more than 120,000 square feet of retail and industrial space.
The Westchester Children's Museum announced that the vote for its Rye Playland lease has been rescheduled for Monday, August 8. The museum also announced that it has received more than 1,000 letters of support for their lease, with 80 percent of the letters coming from new supporters.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown announced that it is awarding $50 coupons each week to select guests as part of its Golden Anniversary promotion. The $50 for 50 is one of several special promotions the hotel is offering during its 50th anniversary celebration. A guest can be chosen to win $50 any day of the week and can use it on room rates, food and drinks. The hotel’s year-long series of golden anniversary celebrations include parties, special offers, 1961-themed overnight room packages, menus, and cocktails, as well as opportunities to win prizes and hotel discounts. The hotel, which was formerly known as the Tarrytown Hilton, is located on Route 9 in Tarrytown.
The Friends of Westchester County Parks took part in helping underprivileged young residents by participating in Friendship Day activities at Camp Morty earlier this month. Located in North Salem, Camp Morty is Westchester County’s summer sleep-away camp for boys and girls who live in foster homes or receive financial assistance from the county’s Department of Social Services. Members of the FWCP Board of Directors hosted a Friendship Day lunch at the camp and met with campers, who received specially designed FWCP T-shirts. The organization helps fund the camp for underprivileged children.
After two years of study and planning, Pace University unveiled a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable Master Plan for the repositioning of its Pleasantville campus this month. The plan is designed to enhance the quality of the campus experience by reconfiguring the campus core, improving the infrastructure, and upgrading existing facilities. The multi-phase plan calls for bringing functions currently at the school's Briarcliff campus to the Pleasantville campus. Approximately 690 students live on the Pleasantville campus, with 590 residing at the Briarcliff site.
The New York State Department of Labor reported that layoffs will affect two Westchester institutions. Our Lady of Victory Academy in Dobbs Ferry will be closing down on August 31, laying off 29 employees. Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla announced plans to disband its mobile psychiatric crisis unit and reorganize its 24-hour psychiatric emergency room. The medical center will eliminate 35 jobs.
Curtis Instruments, Inc., a developer of green electric technologies based in Mount Kisco, was recently honored as one of the Best Companies to Work For in New York for 2011. Twenty-five other companies in the state were identified in the fourth annual edition of the Best Companies Program, which is the result of a partnership between the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and Best Companies Group. A statewide survey conducted by Best Companies Group evaluated and ranked the best places of employment in the state based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and employees. Curtis, which was founded in 1960 and employs approximately 90 people at its Mount Kisco headquarters, was honored at the Best Companies to Work For in New York awards dinner held in May at the Albany Marriott.
The Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Board’s Committee on Community Services recently honored Dottie Jordan and Dawn Meyerski of Mount Kisco Child Care Center (MKCCC) for their continuing efforts to provide quality childcare. MKCCC also recently partnered with local IBM employees and retirees as part of IBM’s centennial Celebration of Service. The program, designed for employees, retirees, and business partners, was put in place to lend time and support to local community organizations during the company’s centennial year.
Intellectual property law publication Managing Intellectual Property named Martin Schwimmer, a law partner at Leason Ellis LLP in White Plains, to its list of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property law. Schwimmer is best known as the publisher of The Trademark Blog (www.trademarkblog.com), the world’s oldest blog on trademark law with entries dating back to May 2002. He uses the blog to summarize trademark court cases and court documents. He is a frequent speaker at the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and at various International Trademark Association (INTA) conferences.
For the second consecutive year, Rob Clarfeld, founder and CEO of Clarfeld Wealth Strategists & Financial Confidantes, was rated by Barron’s as the top independent financial advisor in New York and the Northeast. Clarfeld also was named among the top five independent financial advisors in the country in Barron’s national rankings of America’s top 100 independent investment advisors. Clarfeld and his firm are headquartered in Tarrytown.
While a variety of economic barometers and numbers painted a mixed picture of Westchester’s economy in the past two weeks, the county continued to adapt to a changing business climate as businesses adjusted their plans to take advantage of new and emerging markets.
Real estate sales often are regarded as a key indicator of economic health, but the numbers in a quarterly sales report issued by area realtors provided a mixed diagnosis. As reported in a July 12 article in the Journal News, 986 single-family homes were sold in the second quarter of 2011, representing a 17- percent drop in home sales from one year ago. But while condominium and co-op sales also fell, the median home price was $622,750 in the second quarter, an increase of 2.5 percent from the same period last year. Twenty-four percent of homes sold in the second quarter of 2011 went for $1 million or more, compared to 20 percent in 2010 and just 17 percent in 2009. The number of homes listed for sale also rose 4 percent in Westchester to 4,720 — adding to the overall mixed message.
(Another key economic indicator — consumer confidence — appeared to be slightly up in Westchester during the second quarter of 2011, at least according to sales tax figures. According to the Journal News, sales tax collections rose 0.37 percent in Westchester in the second quarter compared to one year ago. Sales tax collection figures also rose in the county’s cities, with White Plains reporting nearly an 18 percent increase over the same period last year. The newspaper noted, though, that the city of White Plains increased its sales tax by one-quarter percent in June 2010.
One of the county’s largest and most well-known companies, Armonk-based IBM Corporation, reported 8 percent growth in its quarterly earnings report. The company also announced earlier this month that it was launching its cheapest mainframe server computer ever. The zEnterprise 114 will start at $75,000—while larger mainframes in the same series cost $1 million and up. The new server line is expected to be targeted to emerging markets as well as smaller governments and businesses overseas.)
But another iconic Westchester brand made far different news. According to numerous financial news sites, Reader’s Digest reportedly put itself up for sale last week, with most reports placing the asking price for the company at $1 billion. The publishing company — which has offices in White Plains and Manhattan — left its long-time Chappaqua headquarters last December and recently underwent bankruptcy proceedings.
Despite the mixed news about the health of the county’s economy, area companies are still lining up to take advantage of new emerging markets in Westchester. Small businesses catering to seniors, such as elder law firms and geriatric care management companies, are on the rise throughout the region. (There is even more growing demand for assisted living facilities, with large new senior developments on the horizon such as The Kensington in White Plains, slated to open later this year, and The Club at Briarcliff Manor, which is scheduled for a 2013 or 2014 opening. Even Purchase College is considering leasing part of its campus to develop a retirement community in close proximity to the co-eds living there. Our next issue of 914INC., on sale in the next couple of weeks, includes a feature on “The Elderboom,” exploring this topic in detail.
In addition to seniors, same-sex couples represent another new and potentially lucrative emerging market following the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. Starting this past Sunday, same-sex couples are able to marry in the state under legislation signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month. As noted in a July 1 article in Patch.com, the new law was welcome news to area wedding planners and wedding-related businesses such as catering halls, photographers, and florists. The wedding industry struggled during the recession, and an influx of gay and lesbian couples seeking to marry may provide a needed boost.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is attempting to create a new commercial real estate market by finding new business uses for some of the county’s most historic buildings. As reported on Main Street Connect sites, the agency put four Metro-North stations in Ossining, Peekskill, Tarrytown, and Port Chester on the rental market this month — with the goal to turn century-old buildings into bustling new commercial spaces. Companies leasing the station spaces must allow railroad passengers to use the waiting rooms and bathrooms, and must sell coffee to customers each weekday morning.
With more and more ticket machines available to commuters, there are fewer passengers buying tickets at the stations, so the MTA is looking for new creative uses of the historic spaces. Some Metro North stations—such as those in Mount Kisco and Tuckahoe—already have Starbucks Coffee outlets or restaurants.
555 East Boston Post Road
Massey Knakal Realty Services
Availability: This two-story office building, which is approximately 5,917 square feet on a roughly 10,000-square-foot lot, is on the market for $1,795,000.
Selling points: The building is located on the highly trafficked Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck – only steps away from nearby banks, restaurants, and other services. The location is conveniently accessible from Interstate 95, which is nearby, as well as Mamaroneck Avenue. The building includes two adjoining structures that share a common two-level entry foyer – the original two-story frame and a two-story concrete-and-steel addition in the back. The current owner occupies the front and rear office and is willing to lease back the space to the new owners.
● What's Next Club Lunch.net.wrk — Noon to 2:30 pm at PLATES, 121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont. Enjoy the company of fellow entrepreneurs while you lunch, network & discuss how to make positive changes in your life and business. The networking event will be facilitated by What's Next Club Business Coach Roseanne Amoils, VentureMom.com Webtrepreneur Holly Hurd, Gotham Media’s Gordon Platt and Andrea Glenn, and Northridge Productions Media Consultant Brad Garfield. $30 includes lunch, program and tax/gratuity. For more information or to register for the event, email Rosanne Amoils at email@example.com
● Workshop: Financing Your Business — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will present an overview on different ways to finance your business and the best practices/processes to follow when starting out. The workshop will be conducted in an open-discussion format. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com
● Workshop: Leasing Commercial, Retail and Industrial Space — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will present the basics of leasing office, retail, and industrial space for your business. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com
• Business Council BBQ Bash — 5 pm to 7 pm at Glen Island Park, New Rochelle. Join the Business Council of Westchester on August 9th for the Business Council BBQ Bash at Glen Island. The event will feature hors d'oeuvres, a full buffet dinner of Caribbean-inspired food, complimentary drinks at the Tiki Bar, live entertainment, and lots of business networking. For more information, call Maria Smith at (914) 948-2110 or visit the BCW website at www.westchesterny.org
● Workshop: Franchises…Are They Right for You? — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will explore the franchise business model. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com
● Lee Pompei Memorial Car Show — 11 am to 3 pm at the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Station, Route 6, Mahopac. Car enthusiasts will have an opportunity to enjoy this classic car show, which will include trophies, raffles, prizes, and five special awards. Proceeds will benefit Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam, which provides end-of-life care to individuals who wish to remain in their homes. The show is named in honor of Lee Pompei, a car enthusiast and former owner of the Wire Shop in Mahopac who was a hospice patient. Free, but contributions encouraged. Pre-registration required by July 31. Sponsorships and raffle prizes welcome. For more information, contact Sandy Pompei at (845) 628-4213 or Mike Purdy at (914) 497-6270.
● Social Networking for Entrepreneurs — Noon to 2:30 pm at PLATES, 121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont. Put social media on your marketing menu! Ellen DePasquale, Regional Development Director of Constant Contact, will educate us all on the current trends and tools in social media. You'll learn social media best practices and what it takes to quickly implement them. $25 for lunch and program. For more information or to register for the event, visit the RSVP page at http://www.constantcontact.com/local/newyorklongisland/events.jsp?template=day&trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D95324714
● BCW’s Entergy Day of Golf — 9:30 am to 6:30 pm at Westchester Hills Golf Club, 401 Ridgeway, White Plains. Join the Business Council of Westchester for a day on the golf course sponsored by Entergy. $375. For more information, visit the BCW website at www.westchesterny.org
● Healthcare Reform Symposium — 8 am to 6:30 pm at the Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown. Join the Westchester County Association for a full-day series of panel discussions and a networking cocktail reception covering what you may not be hearing in the national healthcare debate. $325 per person. For more information, visit the WCA website at www.westchester.org
● 914INC. Accomplished Women Entrepreneur (AWE) Awards — 914INC., the business lifestyle publication launched by Westchester Magazine, is seeking to showcase the greatest success stories among women entrepreneurs throughout the Westchester business community. Female entrepreneurs selected by the magazine’s editors will be featured in its October cover story, and will be honored at an awards ceremony. To be eligible for consideration, the candidate must be the founder of the business, the business must physically reside in Westchester County and the success and general excellence of the business must be demonstrable. Self-nominations will be accepted. For more information, or to apply for consideration, visit the AWE Awards online entry form at http://www.westchestermagazine.com/914INC/Accomplished-Women-Entrepreneurs-Awards/