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Westchester County Revolving Door, May 29, 2015

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Houlihan & O’Malley Real Estate Services Adds To Its Commercial Sales Group

Dan Houlihan, president of Houlihan & O’Malley Real Estate Services, recently announced that licensed real estate professional Jason Wallace, a 30-year foodservice veteran and past chairman of the board of the New York State Restaurant Association, recently joined the firm’s Commercial Sales Group. Prior to joining Houlihan & O’Malley, Wallace was the CEO and president of Hospitality Concepts Restaurant Consulting, where he worked with top architectural and interior design firms on more than 20 restaurant construction projects. Wallace started his foodservice career as a sous chef apprentice in La Rochelle, France, and then moved on to cooking at high-profile New York City restaurants.

Westchester Community Foundation Names New Executive Director

The Westchester Community Foundation, one of the largest funders of nonprofits in Westchester, has named Laura Rossi as its next executive director. Rossi said the Foundation plans to focus its philanthropic resources to address education and equitable smart growth issues. She plans to engage more donors on all of the Foundation’s programs, which are intended to make life better for all residents.

A lifelong resident of Westchester, Rossi joined the Foundation in 2007, and has been responsible for its grant-making strategy. Rossi succeeds Catherine Marsh, who is retiring after 16 years as executive director. Rossi was selected after a nationwide search. Rossi is the third Executive Director of the Foundation, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Rossi is known for her work as an environmental grant-maker. She developed grant-making initiatives to help communities lower their greenhouse gas emissions and engage residents to live more sustainably. She previously practiced law in New York City and Westchester and taught constitutional and civil rights law at Pace University and the Fordham University School of Liberal Studies.

New Branch Manager for The Westchester Bank Thornwood Location

The Westchester Bank has hired Donna Ruzzi as vice president and branch manager of their Thornwood branch located at 994 Broadway. Ruzzi has more than 20 years of commercial and retail banking experience, mostly with Citibank, where she serviced both business and personal banking customers throughout Westchester County. She managed branches in Bronxville, Ossining, and Mount Kisco, and specializes in commercial lending and wealth management relationship banking.

Ruzzi has been active in the Westchester business community, having lectured on financial literacy to women seeking economic empowerment, serving as a member of the Chambers of Commerce of Thornwood-Hawthorne and Pleasantville, and the Professional Women of Westchester Networking Group. She is also a parish trustee for the Archdiocese of New York.

Cushman & Wakefield Welcomes New Senior Director

Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield recently announced the addition of a new senior director, Craig Ruoff, to its White Plains team. Ruoff specializes in both tenant and landlord representation services in Westchester and Fairfield County, Connecticut, as well as on a national and international basis. An accomplished broker, Ruoff has 25 years of professional real estate experience and is known for his ability to craft creative solutions for his clients.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Ruoff was an associate broker at Rakow Commercial Realty Group, where he specialized in tenant and landlord representation throughout the tri-state area. Ruoff joined Rakow after 13 years as an associate broker at the Wagner Group, and, prior to that, spent one year as a salesperson for William Pitt Commercial Real Estate in Stamford, Connecticut.

New Executive Director for Sustainable Westchester

Leo Wiegman, mayor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, has been named executive director of Sustainable Westchester, the countywide consortium of municipalities working together to build a more sustainable future.

Wiegman was a leader in the formation and success of the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium, a predecessor organization to Sustainable Westchester. He is author of two books and dozens of articles related to sustainability, and he currently serves as second vice-president and chair of the Green Committee of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association.

Brown, Gruttadaro, Gaujean & Prato Expands Health Care Practice

Brown, Gruttadaro, Gaujean & Prato LLC (BGGP), a full-service law firm with offices in White Plains, New York City, and Rochester, has expanded its healthcare practice with the addition of Gary S. Sastow. Sastow comes to BGGP with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, general business, and real estate law. He has a track record of representing physicians and other healthcare providers in all matters of business.

Prior to joining BGGP, Sastow ran a private practice where he represented healthcare providers, businesses, and individual clients in all aspects of their lives. He previously has practiced healthcare law at other prominent law firms. Sastow also serves as an adjunct professor at Pace University where he teaches courses in health law and policy, as well as not-for-profit organizations. 

New Executive Director at Kids X-Press

After 14 years at the helm of the nonprofit organization Kids X-Press, Founder and Publisher Nivia Viera will be retiring at the end of May. Following a search by the organization’s board of directors, Marsha Tom has been named executive director of Kids X-Press, replacing Viera. For the past five years, Tom has served as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester. She has created innovative school-based and workplace mentoring programs and successfully attracted and leveraged new funding sources. Prior to this, Tom worked for the New York City Department of Education, serving as Queens Borough director for the Office of Family Engagement and Advocacy, and earlier as a regional director. Tom began her educational career as an art teacher and spent 17 years in the South Bronx as a substance abuse specialist working with children and families.

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