Business Council’s Hall of Fame Awards Breaks Records, Honors Local Who’s-Who

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The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester recently welcomed new Executive Sous Chef Kennardo O. Holder from The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, where he served as executive sous chef. In his new role, Chef Holder will oversee all culinary operations for the 146-room hotel. A native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Chef Holder began his career in 2000 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica, as chef de partie for four years. Holder also worked for three years at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain as a sous chef; two years at The Abaco Club, a Ritz-Carlton-managed club in the Bahamas, as chef de cuisine; and two years at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain as executive sous chef.

Tara Rush has been named senior director of corporate communications for the Heineken USA Corporate Relations team. Rush will oversee Heineken USA corporate and brand public relations, employee and distributor engagement, and consumer response and crisis communications activities. Rush joins Heineken USA from Emanate, a mid-sized public relations agency, where she led consumer marketing and social relevance campaign work for Hilton, Heinz, Mattel, Bank of America, Skyy, Verizon, Nissan, Maclaren, National Geographic, and Hickory Farms. Prior to Emanate, she worked as a public relations manager at Mars, Incorporated on brands including Uncle Ben’s, Pedigree, Cesar, and others.

Chris Meyers, managing principal of real estate brokerage Houlihan Lawrence, has been named the 2013 Corporate Walk Chair of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Westchester/Hudson Valley Light The Night Walks. Light The Night funds lifesaving research and support programs for individuals battling cancer. The Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter will host three Light The Night Walks this year: Saturday, November 2 at Playland Park in Rye; Saturday, October 19 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York; and Sunday, October 20 at Provident Bank Park in Pomona, New York.

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Marc Lippman of Stamford, Connecticut, has been appointed executive chef of culinary operations at Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, including its award-winning restaurant, Equus. Lippman began his culinary career at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in hotel management before continuing his studies at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. Since beginning his culinary career at New York City’s Bouley in 1991, Lippman has served as executive chef at Miami Beach’s Raleigh Hotel; New York City’s Wild Blue at Windows on the World; and famed luxury resort Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico.



Greyston Bakery dedicated its first solar array, funded by a $33,000 donation from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to the bakery’s non-profit arm, Greyston Foundation. The Sun Club is a program enabling Green Mountain Energy Company residential customers, including many in Yonkers, to provide solar power to non-profit organizations like Greyston Foundation. The 8.82-kilowatt solar array is made up of 36 solar panels and measures more than 1,000 square feet on the bakery’s roof. The array is expected to generate about 10,000 kilowatt-hours of pollution-free energy per year.

CBRE Group’s Westchester/Connecticut office has been appointed the exclusive leasing agent for The Exchange at Westchester Avenue, a 1.6-million-square-foot, Class-A office portfolio comprising 14 buildings along Westchester Avenue.

The County’s Local Development Corporation (LDC) has approved low-cost and tax-exempt financing for four Westchester non-profits orchestrating a range of projects. The approvals come approximately 13 hours after the Board of Legislators, in a 16-to-1 vote, ratified County Executive Rob Astorino’s creation of the LDC on April 15.

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The four projects approved include: $64 million to refinance existing debt and make capital improvements to Kendal on Hudson, a continuing-care facility in Sleepy Hollow, resulting in $100,000 annual savings for the next 30 years; $43 million in low-cost financing to design, construct, and equip the expansion of a Northern Westchester Hospital surgical suite in Mount Kisco, including six new state-of-the-art operating suites and the addition of 13 pre/post-anesthesia care-unit beds; $16 million in low-cost financing for the construction, renovation, and equipping of a 20,000 square-foot surgical suite at Phelps Memorial Hospital’s Medical Services Building in Sleepy Hollow, as well as for the acquisition, construction, and equipping of an enclosed corridor-bridge connecting the surgical suite to the third floor of the main hospital building; $5 million in low-cost financing for Iona College in New Rochelle to pay down existing debt incurred by the acquisition of and improvements made to five faculty residences.

A Place 2 Go, a new bistro serving fusion cuisine blending Caribbean spices with Southern soul food, recently opened, offering contemporary Caribbean-American dining in New Rochelle’s downtown business district. 



More than 600 attendees representing a who’s-who of the Westchester business community came out to salute the winners of The Business Council of Westchester’s 12th Annual Business Hall of Fame Awards. The awards, held at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle on April 18, broke records for attendance, sponsorship, and fundraising, announced Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the BCW. 

This year’s honorees are: Ruth H. Mahoney, president of Key Bank’s Hudson Valley/Metro NY District (Corporate Citizen Award); Patrick L. Vaccaro, managing partner of Jackson Lewis, LLP (Entrepreneurial Award); Christopher and Sean Murphy of Murphy Brothers Contracting, Inc. (Small Business Award); Glenn Pacchiana, president and CEO of Thalle Industries, Inc. (Family Business Award); and Judith Huntington, president and CEO of The College of New Rochelle (Women in Business Award). 

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At its Annual Gala on May 2, the JCC of Mid-Westchester will honor Karen Spar Kasner of Scarsdale for her outstanding service on the JCC Board of Directors and her accomplishments in spearheading the JCC’s Revitalization campaign. Kasner served as president of the JCC and is currently on the board, focusing on development and fundraising. A former corporate and real estate litigator, Kasner has spent more than 25 years as an active volunteer at agencies including UJA-Federation of New York and the Washington Institute; she is also on the board of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) will receive the JCC’s Community Service Award in recognition of her long, distinguished record of activism regarding public policy and community issues. 

County Executive Rob Astorino celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Household Materials Recovery Facility (H-MRF) in Valhalla this month. The facility oversaw the collection of more than 325,000 pounds of household materials in the past year, much of it hazardous and toxic. Calling the first year “a success for the environment and public health and safety,” Astorino added that even more needs to be done.

Westchester County’s local governments, community groups, students, and businesses were announced as winners of the County’s annual Earth Day awards for commitment and innovation in their environmental efforts by County Executive Rob Astorino on April 21 in Valhalla. Awards in various categories were presented to the Villages of Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Bronxville, Ardsley, Pleasantville, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Irvington; Cities of White Plains and Rye; Town of North Castle; community or school district programs in Tuckahoe, Croton-on-Hudson, Pleasantville, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Katonah; Yonkers student Jeffrey Fukushima; and Croton-on-Hudson’s The Blue Pig.

Westchester Children’s Museum has announced that Barbara Peters, superintendent of the Elmsford school district, is this year’s recipient of the Milton A. Williams, Jr. Scholars in Education Award, which honors teachers for their positive impact on education and will be bestowed on May 10 at the museum’s annual benefit gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains. The award was created in partnership with Helen Williams in memory of her late husband Milton Williams, Jr., father of celebrity resident Vanessa Williams, who serves on WCM’s Advisory Board.

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Consortium: healthcare keeps local economy healthy; Acorda stock price jumps; partnership between Yonkers corp. and Chinese group praised by BCW; terrorism-awareness campaign makes Bee-Line to Westchester

Although Americans are drinking less soda, Purchase-based PepsiCo reported a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as it saw strong growth in emerging markets like China and India and benefited from a lower tax rate. Its North American snacks business also saw growth, with Doritos and Lay’s helping increase revenue by 4 percent. PepsiCo, the world’s biggest salty snack maker, noted that premium products such as Stacy’s pita chips and Sabra hummus are seeing particularly strong gains. For its beverage business in the Americas, revenue and volume declines were offset by increased prices on products such as Tropicana juice, Mountain Dew, and Aquafina. 

To understand how the healthcare industry has evolved and to be able to anticipate what’s likely to occur in the future, the new WCA Healthcare Consortium is undertaking a study into the price, supply, and demand structure of regional healthcare, a key economic engine for Westchester County and the surrounding region as its largest industry-as-employer by far and generating $10 billion locally.

The Consortium, comprised primarily of the CEOs of more than 50 key healthcare and business stakeholders, released the study’s preliminary findings at a recent press conference: Since 1997, in-patient hospital use in Westchester has declined; homecare and nursing facility admissions are up; maternity and pediatric services are down; and Medicare has now surpassed commercial insurance as a primary payor. 

According to the study’s orchestrators, these findings should come as no surprise to local healthcare leaders—hospital utilization is changing, reimbursements are down, and the delivery model is evolving. “Years ago patients may have needed to travel into Manhattan for more advanced care such as cancer treatment or specialized surgery,” said Jon Schandler, CEO of White Plains Hospital. “Today, we know that that is no longer the case.” 

Shares of Acorda Therapeutics got a shot in the arm with the announcement that its drug Ampyra, used to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis, helped stroke patients recover their ability to walk in a mid-stage clinical trial. Based in Ardsley, Acorda said patients who took Ampyra were able to walk faster and had an easier time performing daily tasks. The trial involved 83 patients who had an ischemic stroke at least six months earlier, and who still had walking problems. Acorda stock climbed to $35.75, its highest level since June 2010. The drug, which the company is also studying as a treatment for cerebral palsy, accounts for roughly 90 percent of Acorda’s revenue

The new partnership between ContraFect Corporation of Yonkers and the Zongyi Group of China marks a significant step forward for Westchester’s thriving biotechnology industry, according to Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. The Zongyi Group will invest $8.6 million as part of a $9.5 million financing that will ramp up ContraFect’s clinical trials of a new drug that will address drug-resistant diseases, while giving the Yonkers-based company unique access to the Chinese market.

Gordon notes that the new partnership with ContraFect and Zongyi is the third major development within the local biotechnology scene this month. In past weeks, New York Medical College in Valhalla purchased a 248,500-square-foot office building in Hawthorne, and Regeneron announced it is expanding its operation in Tarrytown with construction and 400 new employees. 

Westchester’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation has been awarded a Homeland Security grant to bring the “See Something Say Something” security program to its Bee-Line buses. The advertising campaign has been a ubiquitous part of the New York City transit system since 9/11 and is now arriving in Westchester in a unique way that uses humor to send a serious message, according to County Executive Rob Astorino.

As the US Department of Housing and Urban Development threatened to take away $7.4 million in funds for Westchester and its communities, the county executive has asked for due process in the form of a formal hearing with HUD and for the Board of Legislators’ partnership in seeking an injunction to prevent HUD from taking away the funds promised to Westchester communities two years ago.

On March 25, the county was notified that the $7.4 million would be taken away from the county and reallocated to other communities around the nation on April 25, based on the agency’s claim that the county has failed to “affirmatively further fair housing.” According to Westchester gov, HUD has promised for three years to provide a definition of “affirmatively further fair housing.”

“In a nation of laws, the rules apply to everyone, and that includes HUD,” said Astorino. “If HUD has issues, there is a process to be followed. What HUD is doing is extortion based on nothing more than its unsupported opinions. The county is asking for nothing more than to be treated fairly under HUD’s own rules.”

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Property: 501 E Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck
Robert Lella, Keller Williams International (914) 439-4597
Description: This second-floor suite is currently set up for a professional therapy business, but is adaptable for other professionals (CPA, attorney, etc.) or a small business. Tenant pays metered electric and gas heat. The well maintained building on busy Boston Post Road is walking distance to the Metro-North and two minutes from I-95.
Availability: 675 square feet, $1,375/month
Selling Points: On-site parking lot, close to shopping/transportation, high visibility
Downside: Not available until August.

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FRIDAY, 5/3/13
An Evening of Hope
Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown. 6:30-11 pm. Hope’s Door, a Pleasantville-based organization provides a safe haven for local women and their children, as well as educational programs to the community. On Friday, May 3, Hope’s Door will hold its annual gala titled “An Evening of Hope,” to help the organization continue to provide services at their sites in Pleasantville, Ossining, and White Plains. For information about Hope’s Door or to purchase tickets, visit or call (914) 747-0828.

SATURDAY, 5/4/13
AARP Staying Sharp
Grace Baptist Church, One Grace Plaza, 52 S. Sixth Ave. Mount Vernon, 9-11am. AARP will lead its free “Staying Sharp” program on the aging brain, memory and brain health issues that affect African-American and black communities. Registration is required, and signing up early is suggested because space is limited. Call (877) 926-8300 for reservations.

SATURDAY, 5/4/13
MCW Presents Jazz Uncorked!
216 Central Avenue, White Plains. 7 pm. May Is National Chamber Music Month and The Music Conservatory of Westchester presents an evening of Chamber Music & Wine with MCW faculty member, Rale Micic. Cost is $15.00. Followed by wine tasting courtesy of Corx Wine and Liquor of White Plains. For more information, visit and

TUESDAY, 5/7/13
Professional Women of Westchester Networking Event
Vintage, 171 Main St. White Plains. 6-8pm. How closely have you inspected your branding? Do you know your brand’s personality in and out? If your brand was a TV show, which one would it be? If your brand was a celebrity, who would it be? What emotions does your brand evoke? Lindsay Anvik, CEO of See Endless, Inc., a branding and marketing company, will walk you through these questions and more in a seminar that will help you gauge the strength of your brand and how to take it to the next level. $15/PWW Members, $20/Non Members. Includes appetizers. Cash Bar. MUST Pre-Pay at

SATURDAY, 5/18/13
Bill Clinton Discusses Higher Education
Physical Education Building, Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla. 1:30 pm. President Bill Clinton will make an appearance at Westchester Community College at a fundraiser for student scholarships and other college support on Saturday, May 18. Prior to his discussion on national and world events, he will be presented with a State University of New York Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Tickets range from $150 to $600 with proceeds going toward student scholarships, mentoring programs, faculty development and other essential services. Call (914) 606-6600.

TUESDAY, 5/21/13
PWW Spotlight Series Event
Serendipity Labs, 80 Theodore Fremd Ave, Rye. 6-8pm. Guest Speaker: Stephanie Schwab, CEO of Crackerjack Marketing will discuss  Advanced LinkedIn: Showcasing Your Business & Generating Leads In this fast-paced workshop, we’ll explore how to juice up your LinkedIn presence to grow your business. We’ll cover the advantages of participating in LinkedIn Groups, discuss why you need a company page on LinkedIn (and how to do it right), and review other key points of your LinkedIn presence, so you can use it to help you generate leads, partnerships and sales. Must be a PWW member to attend. $20P/P. Pre-pay is required at

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

Upcoming events should be submitte​d no later than Sunday, May 5, to be considered for the May 14 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.


Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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