The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center, a nonprofit, interfaith organization based in White Plains, has announced that Mount Vernon resident David A. Alpert has been elected to serve as the center’s chairman. Alpert currently serves as senior vice president at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan and is vice president of the Advisory Board of the New York Board of Rabbis. He also serves on the Board of Governors at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and on the Advisory Council of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
The Westchester Library System named Mount Vernon resident Chris Hansen as the newest member of its Board of Trustees. Hansen serves as the District 13 representative for the organization. He is currently employed as a senior staff counsel at the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and has been a civil liberties lawyer for more than 35 years.
New businesses, relocations, and operations
A new IT consulting firm known as 24-7 Tech Solutions opened last month at 381 McLean Avenue in Yonkers. Anthony Bailey, founder and CEO of the firm, co-owns the company with partners Sheng Chih “George” Liao and Alex Goenaga. The three entrepreneurs have more than 37 years of combined experience in information technology. The company provides IT services that include spyware/antivirus removal, PC and Mac upgrades, remote support, and network configuration. The company will also assist computer users with customized web-page design, development, and Flash implementation, as well as set up peripheral devices such as printers, iPods, and USB devices.
White Plains-based Visiting Nurses Services In Westchester, Inc., (VNSW) announced the opening of a new division in Putnam County. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Putnam County officials on May 18, Visiting Nurse Services in Putnam (VNSP) opened for business at 979 Route 22 in Brewster, New York. VNSW has provided home-care services for more than a century in Westchester, and Putnam County officials selected the agency to purchase a Certificate of Need from the County Health Department. The certificate will allow the agency to provide the home health-care services previously provided by the department.
Another Westchester-Putnam health-care agency partnership came to fruition last month, when the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley (VNAHV), based in Tarrytown, announced that the Carmel-based Certified Home Health Care Agency of Putnam Hospital Center would become a part of the VNAHV. According to the agency, the partnership with the VNAHV will offer the residents of Putnam County greater access to a larger scope of home-care services than was previously available to them, while ensuring continued access to services.
Willow Towers Assisted Living, a premier licensed assisted-living facility in New Rochelle, recently hosted a health and wellness fair in partnership with CVS Pharmacy. The health fair participants included Nora O’Brien, director of rehabilitation at United Hebrew of New Rochelle; Emma Alava, a pharmacist with CVS Pharmacy in New Rochelle; Samantha Joy Mark, registered dietitian from Shoprite Supermarkets; Kellie Montagnino of White Plains Hospital Center; and Dr. Jasen Ruiz, chief audiologist from Advanced Audiology of New York. More than 60 residents attended the presentations, where topics ranged from healthy eating to hearing loss.
The Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District helped celebrate the one-year anniversary of Retro Fitness on May 20 at the fitness facility, located at 66 Main Street in Yonkers. The anniversary celebration featured refreshments, a DJ, and giveaways, including a chance to win more than $1,000 in prizes and a free one-year gym membership. City officials, including Mayor Phil Amicone, were on hand for the occasion. The fitness facility recently announced that it would be partnering with the America’s Next Great Trainer (ANGT) reality show through the ANGT Youth, Health, Fitness & Empowerment Program. The goal of the program is to educate, empower, and transform kids through exercise, health, fitness, and proper nutrition, providing children and teens with the keys to ending obesity and the confidence to effectively deal with peer pressure and bullying.
Quantimum Business, a telecommunications and technology consulting firm, recently celebrated the opening of its New York office in Tarrytown. The company, which serves as the authorized Business Agents for Optimum/Cablevision company, held a networking event and grand opening celebration on May 24. The firm’s existing clients attended the event along with members of the Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce, and others.
The Music Conservatory of Westchester culminated its jazz series this year with a special brunch that raised $37,000 benefiting the White Plains arts organization’s 21st-century programming and scholarship support for students from low-income families. More than 150 people attended the jazz brunch.
Grand Prix New York of Mount Kisco announced that it has reached more than 4,200 regional high school students through its sponsorship with SurvivetheDrive, a national program that encourages safe driving among teens. Fox Lane High School is one of 15 local campuses that recently participated in a SurvivetheDrive demonstration, with five additional presentations scheduled throughout Westchester County and beyond. Xand, a data-center infrastructure and business continuity provider in Hawthorne, announced that it will expand its data center facility at its Skyline Drive location, adding another 5,000 square feet to its current space.
The Greyston Foundation, based in Yonkers, was recently awarded more than $1.3 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The renewal grant of $1,365,890 will help the nonprofit to continue to provide facility-based housing assistance to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in and around the city.
Rose Associates, Inc., of Manhattan was chosen to manage and serve as the exclusive leasing and marketing agent for the 311-unit residential development known as One City Place at City Center in White Plains. Built in 2004, the rental tower comprises one-, two-, and three-bedroom properties, ranging in rental price from $1,875 to $4,700 per month. The building’s physical amenities are currently being renovated, and will include the construction of a game room with a golf simulator.
Stew Leonard’s in Yonkers recently honored six recipients of the store’s annual college scholarship program: William Chen, Brandon Evans, Jaroslaw Kopcza, Lupita Rivera, and Silvana Vitiello of Yonkers and Monique Fiore of Ardsley. Each honoree received a $1,000 scholarship towards his or her college education and were honored at a surprise awards ceremony, which was attended by their families and fellow employees, on May 20. The scholarship program was designed to help employees with the costs of their college education. The program awards $1,000 scholarship(s) for up to four consecutive academic years, or until the student receives a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. Since the program began in 1999, Stew Leonard’s has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships to employees.
Port Chester-based Seaboard Weatherproofing & Restoration Company was the recipient of a prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for its work on the Liberty Tower, a 100-year-old landmark that was badly rattled on Sept. 11, 2001. The annual awards represent the highest honor given by the New York Landmarks Conservancy — and honor projects, organizations, and individuals that contribute to the preservation and re-use of New York City’s architectural legacy. The New York League of Conservation Voters honored Thalle Industries, a Briarcliff Manor company that supplies aggregate, concrete and asphalt products for construction projects — at an awards ceremony in White Plains. The group honored Thalle Industries’ principal Glenn Pacchiana, as well as the Chappaqua-based Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF) for their commitment to conservation and the environment.)
The Westchester County Government also received kudos by capturing awards for its use of technology and planning efforts. Last month, the county was named as a Laureate in the 2011 Computerworld Honors Program for innovative programs that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change. The county programs highlighted were the Special Needs Registry, REACH Westchester, and the Inmate Mental Health Data Exchange System. Meanwhile, the Westchester County Planning Department’s former commissioner, Gerard Mulligan, and its Stormwater Management and Natural Resources (Aquatic) Restoration Program will be honored at the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation’s 38th Annual Awards Dinner in June. The department teamed up with municipalities, state and federal agencies, and others on a multitude of projects that improve water quality, restore natural resources and lessen the impacts of flood waters through innovative and traditional storm water management practices. Mulligan, who worked in the Department of Planning for 30 years and was commissioner of planning for six years until his retirement in 2009, will receive a President’s Award for his dedicated service at the ceremony.
There were more signs that Westchester’s economic landscape is changing over the past few weeks – and thankfully, most of the change seems to be positive. The New York State Department of Labor announced that the Lower Hudson Valley — comprising Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties — added 6,300 jobs in April. The industries that experienced the most growth were construction, retail, transportation, and professional services.
Meanwhile, more changes are coming to familiar places throughout the county. As the Journal News reported on May 19, more than half of the land at St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester in Harrison is currently up for sale — and the 37 acres are being marketed as ideal for single-family homes, corporate offices, or religious institutions. St. Vincent’s went bankrupt last year, and sold the psychiatric facility on the site to St. Joseph’s Medical Center of Yonkers. The available land is north of the medical buildings, and, according to a marketing representative for the land sale, the irregular shape of the property will ensure that there adequate buffers between any new structures and the hospital facility.
As more companies abandon the large corporate parks on the Platinum Mile corridor along Interstate-287, other businesses are finding opportunities among the vacancies. The Westchester Business Journal reported that Life Time Fitness of Minnesota plans to tear down a newspaper plant and build a fitness and recreation center on the largest corporate park property currently on the market. The company is under contract to buy the 22-acre property from Gannett, the parent company of the Journal News. The print media giant listed the property in 2009 after a series of downsizings at the paper and just before the relocation of its printing and packaging operations to Rockaway, New Jersey. Gannett reportedly is seeking to place local newspaper staff in leased office buildings in the area, while Life Time Fitness is seeking approval from Harrison to demolish the newspaper’s 38-year-old, 232,000-square-foot office to make way for a complex that will include tennis courts, two pools, a gymnasium, a children’s activity center and yoga facility.An economically depressed area of White Plains also found itself in the news this past month, as the Journal News reported that Westy Self Storage expects to open a 117,000-square-foot facility on Westmoreland Avenue by the end of the year. The Stamford company purchased the property last year for $3 million and tore down an 86-year-old dilapidated brick warehouse to make room for the new building. The company hopes to revitalize the area, which is currently populated by rundown industrial buildings and many shuttered businesses along the Metro-North Railroad tracks leading to Rochambeau School.
Those in the local commercial real estate market are also noticing the landscape beginning to change. An article in the New York Observer noted that the New York suburban commercial markets were holding their own as businesses in the city continue to recover. John Barnes, senior vice president at Reckson (recently acquired by SL Green Realty Corporation), was quoted in another recent article in the Observer as saying that rental rates in the White Plains central business district were starting to show incremental improvement. Barnes noted that the vacancy rate has dropped from 17.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to 16.5 percent currently. “So as the White Plains CBD starts to tighten up, that’s a good indicator for us that you’re going to start to see some movement in the rest of the market,” Barnes said. “So we’re starting to feel good about the signs.”
Finally, as some iconic retail brands shuttered some of their locations across the county, other familiar companies announced they were increasing their Westchester profile. In April, A&P closed five supermarkets in Westchester and Putnam Counties after filing for bankruptcy, while Borders closed its Eastchester location. But Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer for Ridge Hill in Yonkers, announced that six new tenants — including retail clothing chains H&M, Gap, and Old Navy — would be joining the new development.
200 Summit Lake Dr
SL Green Realty Corp.
There are currently three office units, including two corner units, available on the second floor at the site, ranging from 2,011 to 8,500 square feet. Rental rates are $25 per square foot.
The building is part of Reckson Summit, a three-building office park located on 102 acres of landscaped grounds, woodlands, and lakes in Valhalla. The park features atrium lobbies with waterfalls, a state-of-the-art HVAC system, nine-foot ceiling heights, fiber-optic communications, 24-hour and seven-day security protection and office access, and a complete life safety and sprinkler system. The location also features covered on-site parking, on-site management, a professional fitness center, and a dining and catering facility. The site is also accessible from the nearby Sprain Brook, Saw Mill, and Bronx River Parkways, as well as Interstate 287. A private shuttle bus runs from the location to the White Plains Metro North train station.
Workshop: What to Consider Before Going Into Business — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will cover the personal and financial considerations that all individuals should address before starting their own business. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com.
Focus on…Workforce Development and the Economy — 7:30 am to 9 am at the Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown. Renowned labor economist Paul Harrington, PhD, director of the newly created Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, will address economic and labor market development (regionally and nationally) and the uncertain nature of our current economic recovery. Breakfast will be served. $30 for Business Council of Westchester members and future members; $200 for a table of eight. For more information or to register, visit the Business Council website at www.westchesterny.org.
Workshop: The Internet for Business — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will cover what to know to build a website, the importance of creating a site map and wireframe, how to choose pictures for your site, and more. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com.
Rising Stars: Westchester’s 40 Under 40 — 5:30 pm to 8 pm at MasterCard Worldwide, 2000 Purchase St, Purchase. Come join the Business Council of Westchester as it honors the Class of 2011: 40 outstanding individuals under the age of 40 who exemplify leadership, foresight, and vision for the future of the county. Cocktail reception and awards presentation. $50; RSVP required by June 2. For more information, contact Pat Nicolais at (914) 948-2110. To register, visit the Business Council website at www.westchesterny.org
Business Breakfast Dialogue — 7:30 am to 9:15 am at Antun’s of Westchester, 35 Valley Ave, Elmsford. Demonstrate your expertise as you discuss topical business issues with fellow Business Council of Westchester members at this monthly business development event. Share and listen to build the referral relationships necessary to grow your business. This event is open only to BCW members. $27; monthly sponsorships available. Pre-registration required. To register, visit the Business Council website at www.westchesterny.org
Workshop: Sales Strategies — 1 pm to 3 pm at 120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this workshop will cover the importance of establishing a unique sales edge, building a customer profile, performing market research, and more. Free. For more information, call (914) 948-3907 or visit www.scorewestchester.com.
Lunch & Learn: Best Practices in Innovative Online Marketing for Growing Businesses — 11:30 am to 2 pm at Sam’s of Gedney Way, 52 Gedney Way, White Plains. Join the Westchester County Association for lunch and a panel discussion that will explore ways to exponentially leverage online marketing to grow your business and provide “take home” insight in how you can use local marketing, mobile advertising, and social media to help accomplish your business goals. $40 for members; $50 for future members. For more information or to register, visit the WCA website at www.westchester.org
Business After Business Networking Event — 5 pm to 7 pm at the Mansion at Colonial Terrace, 119 Oregon Rd, Cortlandt Manor. Discover new connections, meet new business prospects, and solidify your referral relationships at these casual networking after-hours networking events hosted by the Business Council of Westchester. $20 for members; $40 for future members. Reservations required. To register, visit the Business Council website at www.westchesterny.org
Young Professionals Networking Series — 5:30 pm to 8 pm at the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase. Join the Westchester County Association for a one-of-a-kind networking event at the Neuberger Museum. Co-hosted by the Westchester Chapter of NYS Society of CPAs, the Westchester County Bar Association and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. $35 for members; $45 for future members. For more information or to register, visit the WCA website at www.westchester.org
Connecting Westchester Reception — 5:30 pm to 8 pm at the Mansion at Renaissance Westchester Hotel, 80 West Oak Lane, West Harrison. Join the Westchester County Association for its annual summer networking event and purchase a raffle ticket to win two tickets to the WCA’s fall dinner. $60 for members; $75 for future members. For more information or to register, visit the WCA website at www.westchester.org
914INC. Accomplished Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Awards — 914INC., the business lifestyle publication launched by Westchester Magazine last fall, is seeking to showcase the greatest success stories among women entrepreneurs throughout the Westchester business community. Female entrepreneurs selected by the magazine’s editors will be featured in its October cover story, and will be honored at an awards ceremony. To be eligible for consideration, the candidate must be the founder of the business, the business must physically be located in Westchester County, and the success and general excellence of the business must be demonstrable. Self-nominations will be accepted. For more information, or to apply for consideration, visit the AWE Awards online entry form here.