Kudos—Achievements and Awards In the World of Westchester Business, May 24, 2016

Five Westchester IBMers are among the company’s most promising employees; local attorney named to inaugural Women In the Law publication; Yonkers receives award for governmental efficiency; and more recent honors for members of Westchester’s business scene.

Five Local IBM Employees Honored with Fellow Distinction      

The title of IBM Fellow is an honor bestowed upon IBM’s most promising employees in recognition of the continually excellent work they have done in their respective fields, from healthcare to security. In the past, Fellows have won Nobel Prizes and helped create systems that aid space travel. This year’s Fellows are 11 people who all together hold 172 patents. Five of these Fellows work in IBM’s Yorktown Heights office: One, Bill Kostenko, is a Hudson Valley native. Kostenko is the chief hardware engineer in charge of z Systems, currently in its z13 iteration, which is IBM’s line of mainframe computers. Another Fellow, J.R. Rao, is a Director of Security Research. Rao has been an instrumental part of many of IBM’s breakthroughs in data security. Cloud Computing Scientist, Gosia Steinder, first worked with the concept of cloud computing as an intern at IBM Research in New York; she currently is helping develop ways to implement IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy. Salim Roukos, who hails from Lebanon, utilizes his multilingual background in order to help develop the Direct Translation Model. His work has since been developed to support twelve language pairs and is now known as Watson Language Translation on the Watson Developer Cloud. Finally, the last local IBM employee awarded with the Fellow distinction is Ajay Royyuru, a Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Research. At IBM, Royyuru worked with Paul Horn to create Blue Gene, a supercomputer that earned them the top spot in 2004’s TOP500 list. Currently, Royyuru is working on cancer research, developing tools to help determine the best cancer treatment decisions through the analysis of a person’s genome.


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KG+D Architects Wins Award For Bronxville UFSD Auditorium Renovation

Pictured (left to right): Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, FAIA – AIANYS President, Erik J. Wilson, AIA – KG+D Associate Principal, Brian O. Mangan, AIA – KG+D Associate

The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) recently honored Bronxville Union Free School District’s newly renovated and restored community auditorium, designed by KG+D Architects of Mount Kisco, with the Excelsior Award of Distinction in Public Architecture in the “Renovation/Addition” category. The design team, which included Acoustic Dimensions (acoustic consultant), Theatre Projects (theater consultant), Damiano Barile Engineers (MEP engineer), and The DiSalvo Engineering Group (structural engineer), was tasked with restoring the beauty and functionality of the original 94-year-old auditorium while incorporating 21st century elements to create a multi-use space for the Bronxville community. The design of the renovated auditorium combines historic restoration and traditional wood craftsmanship with the openness and technical capabilities of modern theater design, according to Russell A. Davidson, FAIA President of KG+D Architects, PC. The project fully redesigned the floor elevation and seating layout of the space to improve sight lines, and created a fully accessible stage and seating area with a wrap-around balcony that provides an intimate and acoustically excellent theatrical experience.


Local Lawyer Named to Inaugural “Women in the Law” by Best Lawyers

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Frances M. Pantaleo of White Plains law firm Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP has been named to the 2016 “Women in the Law” Business Edition by Best Lawyers. The editors of the new publication describe the list of attorneys as “a go-to short list of exceptional women attorneys, vetted by their peers, inspiring their colleagues and students, and, from coast-to-coast, exemplifying excellence in their practice.” Pantaleo is the head of the Elder Law Practice Group at Bleakley Platt and is a Fellow of the New York Bar Association. She is a past chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Section. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Legal Services of the Hudson Valley presented her with a Partner in Justice Award in recognition of her outstanding pro bono assistance to the organization. She also frequently presents on elder law and special needs planning both to community organizations and to other legal professionals.


Northeast Private Client Group Named CoStar Power Broker

Northeast Private Client Group, which has an office in White Plains, has been selected by CoStar Group, Inc., the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics, and online marketplaces, to receive a 2015 CoStar Power Broker TM Award.  This annual award recognizes the “best of the best” in commercial real estate brokerage by highlighting the firms and individual brokers who closed the highest transaction volumes in commercial property sales or leases in 2015 within their respective markets. Northeast Private Client Group qualified as one of the top commercial brokerage firms in Westchester/Southern Connecticut based on total sale transactions closed during the year. This year, Northeast Private Client Group brokered nearly $200 million. “We work diligently to identify opportunities for clients to maximize the value of their investment real estate properties and to structure deals that are aligned with each individual investor’s goals,” said Edward Jordan, JD, CCIM, Managing Director. Jordan and Bradley Balletto also qualified as top commercial brokers in Westchester/Southern Connecticut based on their total sales transactions closed during 2015. In order to be selected for this honor, Jordan’s and Balletto’s overall transaction volumes were evaluated by CoStar against other commercial real estate brokers active in the region, and subsequently ranked among the top brokers in the market.


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Mayor Spano and City of Yonkers Receive Governmental Achievement Award

L-R: Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director; Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano; Mayor Richard Milne (Honeoye Falls), NYCOM President

The New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) announced on May 1 at its annual meeting in Saratoga Springs that it has selected the City of Yonkers as one of four winners of NYCOM’s Local Government Achievement Award. The award program, in its 29th year, recognized Yonkers for its Consolidation Program, merging several departments from the City and the Yonkers Board of Education. “This award is the culmination of two years of collaborative work among our Governor, state delegation, City Council, Board of Education Trustees, Superintendent and labor-union leaders,” said Mayor Michael Spano. A first-of-its-kind Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) was passed to merge a duplication of non–academic functions such as finance, legal, communications, human resources, and IT, ultimately saving the Board of Education $9 million and hundreds of jobs. This was determined by Mayor Spano to be the most effective way to manage the District’s overestimation of revenues of $55 million. The mayor remarked, “I am proud to say that we rolled up our sleeves and got it done, saving our city and our schools.”


Two Westchester County Brokers Named to Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors”

Kevin M. Peters

Peter Chieco

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management has announced that Kevin M. Peters of Golden’s Bridge as well as Peter Chieco of Bedford Corners have been named to Barron’s list of “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors”: State-by-State. Peters is a Managing Director, Wealth Management, and Private Wealth Advisor in the firm’s Wealth Management office in Purchase. Chieco is a Family Wealth Director & Senior Portfolio Manager, Wealth Management, and Financial Advisor in the Firm’s Greenwich Wealth Management office. Barron’s’ “Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm, and quality of service provided to clients.


Local Entrepreneur Named 2016 Young Retailer of the Year

Aimee Nichols, co-owner of Berger Hardware’s two stores, which are located in Hawthorne and Port Chester, New York, was recently named one of the hardware industry’s eight 2016 Young Retailer of the Year award recipients by the North American Retail Hardware Association. The awards program recognizes individual achievement by industry retailers age 35 and younger throughout the U.S. and Canada. Winners are chosen based on a number of criteria, including professional activities, community involvement, hardware industry education, and extracurricular activities. Within her first year of ownership of Berger Hardware, Nichols made significant improvements to the business. She implemented an automated ordering and inventory control process and added several services, including screen repair and soil testing, to make Berger Hardware a one-stop shop for many home improvement needs.

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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