Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, Appoints Neil Maxwell as Partner; Bayer Acquires Schiff Nutrition for $1.2B; Local Food Industry Earns High Marks



REVOLVING DOOR

PEOPLE

Michael Carter, founding principal and managing director of Carter Morse & Mathias, a Southport, Connecticut-based investment-banking firm, has been appointed to the board of directors of The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Fairchester Chapter (NFTE FC).

Neil S. Maxwell has joined Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP as a partner. In his new position, Maxwell will continue to advise healthcare practices and professionals in New York City and the greater metropolitan area.

NEW BUSINESSES, RELOCATIONS, OPERATIONS

Tarrytown-based Bayer HealthCare LLC announced on October 30 its acquisition of Schiff Nutrition International for $1.2 billion. It’s priced at $34 a share; the transaction is expected to close by year’s end. Schiff, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, manufactures the supplements MegaRed, Move Free, and Airborne. Schiff employs 400 people in its Salt Lake City headquarters and an office in Emeryville, California. According to Dr. Jörg Reinhardt, CEO of Bayer HealthCare, the company will use its expertise to further develop Schiff’s brand. In addition, Reinhart noted, “We will also look to leverage Schiff’s new technology platforms with innovation potential for other Bayer-owned brands and markets globally.”

Voters in the Town of Greenburgh overwhelmingly approved a referendum to allow the town to lease the former Frank’s Nursery site on Dobbs Ferry Road to Game On 365, LLC, to build the Westchester Field House. The controversial referendum passed 66 percent to 34 percent; 7,734 votes to 3,863. Supporters maintained that it would create revenue, help lower taxes, and create field space, while opponents questioned the speed of the deal, as well as the potential traffic issues it would create.

First Niagara Financial Group has donated $100,000 from First Niagara Bank Foundation to the American Red Cross in support of its Superstorm Sandy disaster-relief efforts. The funds will be distributed for use in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to help the Red Cross continue to provide food, shelter, and basic services to those affected by the storm in these three states where First Niagara operates. Additionally, First Niagara has established a bank-wide Red Cross donation account that customers can deposit money into at their local branch. First Niagara also recently established a “YouFirst Neighbor” loan program for customers impacted by Sandy, allowing them to quickly receive unsecured, low-interest home-improvement loans. 

According to Nonprofit Westchester, which represents Westchester’s leading nonprofit organizations, thousands of calls and requests are being handled by local agencies that manage emergencies. Some examples include:

United Way’s 2-1-1: With expanded hours of operation, 2-1-1 already has taken more than 3,000 calls, serving as a resource for people seeking information about storm recovery and lessening pressure to 9-1-1 and other government agencies. The United Way also is initiating a Westchester Disaster Recovery Fund in collaboration with the County, which is intended to address long-term recovery, after immediate response efforts have been completed. Contact: Shannon Cobb, (203) 300-3300

The Volunteer Center of United Way is assessing volunteer needs and posting opportunities for people to help on their website, www.volunteer-center.org. Contact: Alisa Kesten, (914) 980-2574.

Grace Church Community Center: Despite its administrative office being without power, its client services have continued to operate. The staff saw an uptick in the number of people seeking shelter, and its soup kitchen continued to serve a hot midday meal daily throughout the storm and aftermath. Contact: Paul Anderson-Winchell, (914) 497-9945

Open Door Family Medical Services: Open Door stayed open to provide essential medical services during and after the storm. Contact: Lindsay Farrell (914) 502-1457

MHA of Westchester: Throughout the storm, caseworkers were out checking on clients with mental health disabilities, who are often individuals without family or friends and are typically economically disadvantaged. Contact: Amy Kohn, (914) 330-6718

Westchester Libraries are offering heat, Internet access, electricity to charge cell phones, and coffee. When every seat was taken, folding tables and chairs were provided in conference rooms to provide space for as many people as possible.  Contact: Terry Kirchner, Westchester Library System, (914) 674-3600

ArtsWestchester offered coffee, power strips to charge devices and the opportunity to see an exhibit while charging at its 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains headquarters. Contact: Janet Langsam, (914) 428-4220

Neighbors Link: Despite the power outage, the center has remained open to serve its clients. The Day Laborer community will conduct a cleanup day during which volunteer day laborers will come together to help clean up village sidewalks of debris. Contact: Marianne Delaney, development director, (914) 666-3410 x14

Family Services of Westchester ensured that a homebound client received a special oxygen delivery from the Yorktown Fire Department when her supplies ran low. Contact: Steve Riordan, (914) 872-5286

Tarrytown’s W@tercooler, which offers workspace options by the hour and day, such as FlexDesks, a meeting room, and event spaces, also reached out to county residents following the storm. Founder Jenifer Ross welcomed local freelancers and displaced commuters to charge up their devices, use free WiFi, and utilize the workspace’s amenities free of charge.

Club Fit and New York Sports Clubs have launched Operation Hot Shower. The two major health club chains have opened their facilities to accommodate those who are without power and need a place to take a warm shower. This was part of Westchester County’s outreach to health clubs, colleges, universities, and other sports and recreational facilities.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino cautioned homeowners and businesses needing repairs to use common sense when selecting a contractor to avoid scams and being gouged. John Gaccione, acting director of the county’s Consumer Department, said that the County will enforce laws against gouging. Home improvement contractors working in Westchester must be licensed. To find out if a contractor is licensed, visit www.westchestergov.com/consumer.

 

KUDOS

County Executive Rob Astorino has commended Westchester County’s food industry for its professionalism in the wake of Sandy. County Health Department inspectors visited and evaluated more than 1,400 Westchester County restaurants, delis, and ice cream shops that are operating with auxiliary power from generators in areas of the county where power was—and still is—out. The inspectors aimed to help business owners ensure that the food they serve is safe to consume and that their establishments are safe work environments.

“We appreciate the difficulties that our local food industries face, both at home and at work, as a result of Superstorm Sandy,” Astorino said. “I want to commend these small business owners for their professionalism and efforts to function and serve the public safely with the help of county government as we move forward together on the road to recovery.’’

 

 

BIZ BUZZ: OUR BUSINESS BLOG

While the most expensive election ever held in the US is now history, businesses in Westchester and throughout the Northeast continue struggling to recover. Thousands of residents remain without power and a gas shortage caused lines at gas stations unseen since the energy crisis of the 1970s. As many residents and businesses still focused on restoring basic needs like power and utilities, many business activities remained stalled throughout the county.

Nine days after the storm, 41,000 Westchester residents remained without power. Both Con Edison and NYSEG have maintained that before power can be restored to individual customers, it must repair the damage to its transmission stations that supply the power. To cope with the outages in Westchester, Con Edison has brought in crews –some by air–from as far away as California.

Following the storm, President Obama declared Westchester a disaster area, making the region eligible for federal aid. The declaration means that individuals and governments may be eligible for help. To qualify, individuals who have unreimbursed losses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Visit www.disasterassistance.gov for further information.

Throughout the region, estimated recovery costs could reach as much as $50 billion in economic losses and $20 billion in insured losses, according to EQECAT, Inc., which produces analyses for the insurance industry. According to the firm, business losses will be significantly higher than expected given the widespread business interruption caused by power outages. New York’s recovery costs could surpass $18 billion, according to some estimates.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced the establishment of the Westchester County Disaster Recovery Fund, set up in partnership with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam to provide recovery assistance to Westchester residents and families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Astorino also recently toured the United Way’s 2-1-1 call center to thank the staff and volunteers. According to Astorino, “The Westchester County Disaster Recovery Fund will be an important tool in helping our residents rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.” In addition fielding more than 3,000 calls, its affiliated website—Hudson211.org—has tallied nearly 220,000 searches since November 4. The top areas of concern have been power outages/restoration, dry ice, shelter, and road closures, according to the United Way.

For its part, The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) said that it intends to serve as a bridge for connecting businesses to storm-related business resources, for linking businesses to disaster funding when it becomes available, and for assisting businesses interested in making contributions to charitable organizations serving storm victims. The BCW said that it is receiving numerous inquiries from its members seeking to identify business resources and for identifying not-for-profits that are dealing with storm-related victims to whom they can direct contributions and other forms of support. At the same time, numerous other businesses are expected to be seeking direction to various government and other agencies that will be involved in providing disaster relief funding. John Ravitz, the BCW’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, brings a special knowledge of emergency management to the table, as the former head the American Red Cross in Westchester. Businesses are encouraged to reach out to the BCW at (914) 948-2110 or by emailing mgordon@westchesterny.org or jravitz@westchesterny.org.

 

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

Property: 611 W Hartsdale Avenue, White Plains
Brokered by: Peter W. Robinson, Rakow Commercial Realty Group, 914 422-0100 x17

Availability: Entire building is available, and signage is available for a full-floor tenant. The property features 9,800 square feet on the lower level and the first and second floor

Selling points: Location, location, location. The brand-new, 29,400-square-foot building is located off the only four-way interchange on I-287. It is located close to downtown White Plains, as well as to Routes 100A, 100B, and 119, and is minutes from the Sprain Brook Parkway. All spaces are divisible.

Downside: The property features no cafeteria or health club.

 

914 DATEBOOK—UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS

WEDNESDAY, 11/13/12

Monthly Westchester WordPress MeetUp—Monetizing WordPress Sites W@tercooler, 21 N Broadway, Tarrytown, 6.30 - 8 pm.. This group is centered on developing websites and blogs that utilize the WordPress platform. Discussions include WordPress-theme development, plugins, security, hosting, and integration. For additional Information about this group and to register for the MeetUp, please click here. Cost: $6. Note: All payments go directly to the WordPress MeetUp.

 

THURSDAY, 11/15/12

Business After Business Event—Circles of Influence

Westchester One, 44 S Broadway, White Plains, 5 - 7 pm. Sponsored by the Business Council of Westchester. Local nonprofit organizations organizing aid for Sandy victims will be invited to display at the event to further spread the word about what they are doing and how the business community can help. The United Way of Westchester and Putnam, the Small Business Development Center, The American Red Cross, Community Capital Resources and the Volunteer Center are just some of the non-profits that will be on hand. To attend, register online at westchesterny.org.

 

TUESDAY, 11/26/12

“Give Thanks” Networking Party

Sam’s of Gedney Way, 52 Gedney Way, White Plains, 7:30 – 9 am; $28. This Business Breakfast Dialogue will highlight how businesses can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect to other businesses or nonprofit organizations that are in need of resources post-Sandy. The session will also focus on how businesses and organizations in need can connect with people willing to help. The breakfast will feature a presentation by Nancy Shenker, CEO of theONswitch, and roundtable discussions. Members only. Register online at westchesterny.org or by calling (914) 948-2110.

 

THURSDAY, 11/29/12

914INC.’s Second Annual Women in Business Luncheon

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Tarrytown, 11:30 am - 2 pm. Join the editors of 914INC. as they honor the most influential women in Westchester, as featured in the cover story of the magazine’s Q4 issue. Single tickets are $85, and tables of 10 are $800. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit westchestermagazine.com/womeninbusiness

 

THURSDAY, 12/6/12

RE-INVENT THE FUTURE: Green Experts Share Stories and Best Practices on Building Businesses That are Profitable & Sustainable

C.W. Brown Headquarters at 1 Labriola Court
City, Armonk, 6 - 8 pm. Sponsored by Con Edison, this event will be moderated by Sharon Rowe, founder & CEO of Eco-Bags Products, Inc. For more information, visit wedcbiz.org or call (914) 948-6098.

 

WEDNESDAY, 12/19/12

A Winning Business Plan

SCORE Westchester, 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains, 1 - 3 pm. This two-hour workshop offers the opportunity to learn all aspects of creating effective business plans. Call (914) 948 3907 or visit scorewestchester.com for details.

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, November 18, to be considered for the November 27 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.