First Niagara Banks on New Commercial Lending Team, Elevation Burger Opens Second Location at Ridge Hill, White Plains Hospital Named One of New York’s Top Hospitals



Colin Westcott-Pitt

Heineken USA has announced the appointment of Colin Westcott-Pitt as vice president of marketing. In his new role, Westcott-Pitt will lead marketing for the flagship Heineken brand in the US. Most recently, Westcott-Pitt served as vice president of marketing for Dos Equis, Amstel Light, and Newcastle Brown Ale. Under his leadership, the Dos Equis brand continued its double-digit growth through the award-winning “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign.

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Jonathan B. Nelson, Esq, partner and director of litigation at Dorf & Nelson LLP, welcomed new associate attorney, Scott J. Greenblatt, to the litigation department, where he will work in the creditors’ rights and financial services litigation practice area. Before joining the firm, Greenblatt was a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Union County, where he assisted in the drafting of opinions and court orders on motions brought before the court.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind announced the promotion of Nancy Lothrop to senior director of development and the recent hire of Gail Resnikoff as director of planned giving.

First Niagara Bank N.A., which recently completed the acquisition of 26 HSBC Bank branches in the Hudson Valley, has announced the appointment of its new business banking team focused on commercial lending and cash management for small and middle-market businesses. The team, which covers Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam, and Sullivan Counties, is headed by Sara Tucker, first vice president, business banking team leader. With 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Tucker was previously team leader for Upstate East at HSBC Bank. The members of First Niagara’s Business Banking Team, all of whom were previously with HSBC Bank, include:

***Tracy Dembicer, vice president, business banking relationship manager, brings more than 15 years of experience with an investment banking and commercial real estate lending background. Ms. Dembicer is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Lenders Association, Business Council of Westchester, and the New York State Bar Association. 

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***Joe Ferri, vice president, business banking relationship manager, has more than 30 years of banking experience starting in the retail branch network of HSBC and working in commercial banking over the past 10 years. Ferri serves on the Board of the Occupations Foundation of the Hudson Valley and is an active member of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

***Ken Hennessey, vice president, business banking relationship manager, has more than 18 years of experience in business banking and middle market lending. A past president of the Westchester County Banker’s Association, he is a current member of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation’s External Marketing Council.

***Beth Lawrence, vice president, business banking relationship manager, has 10 years of experience in Commercial Banking, with Provident Bank, Commerce Bank, Citizens Bank RBS, and HSBC.

***Melissa Marcopoto, vice president, business banking relationship manager, joined HSBC in 2010. Previously with Chase Bank and Citigroup, Ms. Marcopoto is an active member of the Hudson Valley Young Professionals group. 

***John Tesoriero, vice president, business banking relationship manager, has been in the financial industry for 15 years with HSBC, PNC Bank, and Chase Bank. He is the recipient of the Congressional Award entitled “Angel in Adoption” for his charitable efforts and work in the adoption community for homeless children. 

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Full Throttle Consulting, a Westchester-based sales/marketing consulting firm, announced that Alison Sribnik, co-founder and CRM specialist, is now a Certified Administrator. Sribnik has many years of direct sales experience, ranging from Fortune 100 companies, such as Northrop Grumman Corporation, to startup software providers.



With the Summer Olympics in full swing, Westchester’s weekend warriors may now try their hands at archery at a new 3-D archery range at the Blue Mountain Sportsman Center in Cortlandt. The course, which began as an Eagle Scout project led by Nelson Trusler, Troop 911, of Yorktown, and Brian Powell of Troop 45, Van Cortlandtville, brings a new recreational component to the Sportsman Center. Funding was provided by the Friends of Westchester County Parks, with other work completed by volunteers from the Westchester County Adaptive Deer Management Program and the Westchester County Bowhunters Association.

Dozens of Westchester restaurants are honoring volunteers that service the more than 5,700 not-for-profit organizations across the county by offering special culinary discounts to anyone who volunteers their time to local or national organizations. Volunteer Appreciation Nights is the brainchild of Elmsford-based ThankYouForCaring, which connects local non-profits with for profit businesses. The program will take place every Wednesday, all year long, excluding holidays. Participating restaurants will offer a 20- percent discount on food and soft drinks to volunteers with a valid ID or documentation. Volunteers without documentation can obtain an ID card at no charge by calling (914) 424-8888.

Video Marketing Systems, a premier reseller of Gallery Digital Signage Solutions, has taken initial steps in implementing a system-wide digital signage network for the Westchester Library System. The Gallery Enterprise signage display system will deliver content to any member library in the Westchester Library System, enabling the member libraries to provide content and media, as well as unify communications to the library patrons. This signage will enable the Westchester Library System and member libraries to reach 460,000 card users with a unified voice. 

Elevation Burger has opened its second Westchester County location at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, adding 30 new jobs to the local labor force. Its first location in Rye boasts a staff of 20. Franchise owner and Rye resident Daniel Magnus expects to open 12 additional locations throughout Westchester and Fairfield counties by the end of 2015, which will create approximately 300 jobs in the process. Elevation Burger, a 100-percent-organic burger chain known for its healthy menu options, was recently named one of Westchester’s best dining experiences by Westchester Magazine.

More than 60 golfers and tennis players helped raise funds for the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s scholarships and tuition assistance programs during the nonprofit’s annual Golf & Tennis Classic, held recently at Whippoorwill Country Club in Armonk. New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer and renowned Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz were recognized as this year’s event honorees for their exceptional work in our community and throughout their outstanding careers.

Pleasantville entrepreneur Lynn Zachos announced the nationwide launch of Ava Gray Direct, a social selling company that provides home-based entrepreneurial opportunities in fashion. Ava Gray Direct is a family-run company following the success of Zachos’ signature lifestyle brand, Ava Gray, which is sold in specialty boutiques across the country.

Westchester Children’s Museum has been handed its long-awaited lease for Rye Playland’s North Bathhouse, which was unanimously authorized just under one year ago by the county legislature. The museum is now permitted to begin work on the interior of the 1928 building, which will cost approximately $6 million. Fundraising efforts are underway.



White Plains Hospital was recognized in July as one of the top hospitals in New York by the magazine U.S. News & World Report in its 2012 “Best Hospitals” edition. The publication specifically recognized White Plains Hospital for high performing excellence in two clinical areas: geriatrics and gynecology, and named 112 physicians on staff as Top Doctors. These physicians span 40 specialty areas and were selected based on a peer nomination process. This is the first time the 292-bed facility has been recognized in the annual Best Hospitals edition. 

Hudson Valley Hospital Center was chosen from among thousands of hospitals around the world to present at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine in Dublin in June. Ron Nutovits, MD, chairman of emergency medicine at HVHC, presented a paper on the Hospital’s no-wait emergency department at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine from June 27 to 30 at the Convention Centre in Dublin. HVHC was the first in the region to open a no-wait emergency room in 2005.


Bizz Buzz

While midsummer brought the county storms, hail, and volatility, Westchester’s business and financial outlook remained mostly sunny. Westchester affirms its distinction of having the top county credit ratings in the state, while many of the top locally based companies shared good news on the earnings front. As Westchester officially closed the books on 2011, noting reduced tax levies for the first time in a decade, Governor Cuomo helped bring a protracted labor dispute at Con Edison to a resolution, getting thousands of workers back on the job here in Westchester and across the state.

Several Westchester-based companies announced their second quarter profits.

Earnings and revenue fell at PepsiCo in the second quarter. Operating profit was down 14 percent, because of commodity inflation, increased pension expense, losses on commodity hedges and restructuring charges. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., reported a profit for the second quarter, earning $77 million, or 70 cents a share, after losing $63 million, or 69 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2011. Revenue rose to $304 million in the quarter from $108 million in last year’s quarter. Product sales were $200 million in the quarter compared with $5 million in the second quarter of 2011. Provident New York Bancorp, which has branches in the Hudson Valley, reported earnings for its June quarter rose to $6.2 million, or 17 cents a share, from $1.9 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier. Universal American Corp., which provides health benefits and services to people covered by Medicare or Medicaid, returned to profitability in the second quarter compared with the same period last year. The company earned $4.7 million, or 5 cents a share, after a loss of $5.1 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier.

Westchester is the only county in New York State with triple A credit ratings from the three top rating services. Moody’s Investment Service, Standard & Poors, and Fitch Ratings have separately confirmed Westchester’s triple A credit status, County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced July 20. The county expects to refinance $20.7 million in debt this summer. Because of its triple A ratings and record low interest rates, the county expects to save about $1 million in interest payments with the refinancing.

***Westchester County has officially “closed the books” on its 2011 budget and issued its 2011 Financial Statements, which, for the first time in a decade, showed a decrease in the county’s tax levy. According to County Executive Robert P. Astorino, “The two-percent cut in the 2011 tax levy signaled the beginning of our efforts to reverse the bad habits of tax and spend that landed Westchester County in the dubious position of being the highest taxed county in the United States.” Astorino continued, “We have followed 2011 with a 2012 budget with no tax increase and a commitment not to raise taxes in 2013. We have to make Westchester more affordable and the 2011 tax cut was our down payment on that goal.”

On July 27, Westchester County’s Local Development Corporation (LDC) announced the approved a total of $44 million in tax-exempt financing for projects at Northern Westchester Hospital and the Rippowam Cisqua School, the first two non-profits to be approved for funding since the LDC was incorporated in January.

A recent study by Americans for the Arts has concluded that, despite a sluggish economy, the economic impact of the arts in Westchester has grown to $156.44 million from its previous level of $120 million five years earlier. Further, the report states that the arts in Westchester support 4,800 jobs, return $23.1 million to local and state governments, and have 2.7 million in attendance. Data indicates that the economic impact of the arts in Westchester has grown 189 percent since 1995. View the comparative summary at:

Recognizing the powerful economic impact of small businesses and the challenges they face, along with the potential for entrepreneurship to super-charge the local economy, the Westchester County Association is now accepting applications from businesses across all industry sectors for its Blueprint Accelerator Network. With more than $200 million in support for early-stage companies with significant growth potential, the Blueprint Accelerator Network combines Westchester’s prime business resources—debt and seed financing, top professional services, office space, and mentors—into one attractive package. Accepted companies must commit to remain in Westchester following their “graduation” from the Network. Learn more at

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced on July 24 that the county is participating in the ProAct Prescription Drug Discount Program in an effort to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs for those who are uninsured or underinsured—a benefit that comes at no cost to the county or taxpayers. Every household in Westchester will receive the ProAct Prescription Drug Discount Card in the mail. The discount card covers all prescription medications, brand or generic. The discounts are designed for residents who do not have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover particular drugs.



Property: 2062 Central Ave, Yonkers

Brokered by: Michael Rao, New York Commercial Realty Group, LLC

Availability: 2,515-square-foot, two-story building includes a basement and nine-car parking. Annual taxes are approximately $16,000. Lot square-footage totals approximately 3,877.

Selling points: Sale-priced at $549K, this renovated professional building is perfect for an insurance company, according to the broker, as well as a law, medical, or accounting practice.

Downside: Single tenant only; unable to subdivide the property.




Blind Author Hosts Book Signing to Benefit Guiding Eyes

6 – 8pm. Village Bookstore, 10 Washington Ave, Pleasantville. All ages. Pleasantville native Peter Altschul will host a special book signing to benefit Guiding Eyes for the Blind in honor of International Assistance Dog Week. Altschul will sign copies of his compelling memoir, Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind, which will be available for purchase at the event. For more information, call (914) 243-2208.



THURSDAY, 8/16/2012

Protecting Your Family from the High Costs of Aging and Long Term Care: Legal Strategies You Need to Know

7 – 9 pm. W@tercooler, 21 North Broadway, Tarrytown. The chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section, Anthony J. Enea, will provide attendees with an overview of some of the best legal strategies available to help protect themselves—and their family members—from the high costs of aging, particularly long term care. $20 for non-members and $15 for W@tercooler members. Call (914) 332-1400 for more information.


WEDNESDAY, 8/22/12

Workshop: A Winning Business Plan

1 – 3 pm. 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this free workshop will provide advice on creating informative business plans that highlight business goals and that measure actual performance against these goals. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit


WEDNESDAY, 9/12/12

Business After Business Event

5- 7 pm. Crowne Plaza White Plains-Downtown
66 Hale Ave, White Plains.
$20 members / $40 non-members. Connect with more than 150 business owners and professionals.  Meet new prospects and solidify the referral relationships that help your business grow. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages included. Contact for more information.


SATURDAY, 9/22/12

8th Annual Feed Me Fresh Benefit

7- 11 pm. Ivanna Farms, 153 Wood Rd, Mount Kisco. The event will feature food from a number of the best restaurants and farms in the area, as well as an open bar, live background music, along with auctions and raffles. Proceeds will support the Mt. Kisco Child Care Center scholarship program. Learn more at or contact Keri Reitman at (914) 241-2135.


SUNDAY, 9/23/12

Time Management Workshop

4 – 5:30pm. JCC of Mid-Westchester, 999 Wilmot Rd, Scarsdale. Instructor Leslie Josel, principal of Order Out of Chaos, is a certified professional organizer. Contact Lisa Itzkowitz, (914) 472-3300, x275,


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 submitted no later than Sunday August 12, to be considered for the August 21 edition. Please submit business events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.


Our CEOs & Business Leaders Golf Outing is August 5!

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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!

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