PepsiCo Bubbles with Billion-Dollar Successes; Newly Formed Hudson Realtor Association Names CEO; Enterprising Women Magazine Honors Several Local Entrepreneurs



The Kensington, an enhanced assisted-living and memory-care residence in White Plains, has announced the appointment of Mandy Habig as director of memory care.

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Habig, a licensed practical nurse and social services designee, was most recently with Atria on Hudson in Ossining, where she had served as life guidance director since 2009. Prior to that, she was a household coordinator and Dementia trainer with Meadowlark Hills, a continuing care retirement community in Kansas.

Habig has been working with residents and families living with Alzheimer’s and dementia since 2003. She currently volunteers as a support group facilitator with the Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Habig is a resident of Tarrytown.

Jim Huebner

Armonk-based insurance firm Michaels & Associates, Inc., has announced the appointment of Jim Huebner as its new senior employee benefits consultant. Huebner was previously with Lincoln Financial Group as a senior sales representative, and, prior to that, was the senior vice president of employee benefits consulting for USI Insurance Services LLC, for the New York Metro region.

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Richard Haggerty

Richard Haggerty has been appointed CEO of the newly formed Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, now the 11th largest realtor association in the nation.  Haggerty replaces former CEO P. Gilbert Mercurio, who is remaining on staff as a part-time consultant for one year. The Hudson Gateway Association is the result of a merger between the Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors, the Rockland County Board of Realtors and Orange County Association of Realtors.  
Prior to becoming CEO, Haggerty served as director of member services and also as the deputy executive officer for the Westchester-Putnam Association of Realtors.  He was also the professional standards administrator for that group for 27 years.  He has coordinated over 550 arbitrations, ethics hearings, and mediations during his tenure.   

White Plains Hospital has welcomed two new thoracic surgeons to its group of integrated physician practices. Todd S. Weiser and Cynthia S. Chin, MD, have joined White Plains Hospital Physician Associates, a division of the hospital aligning physicians with hospital services.
Weiser and Chin come to White Plains Hospital from The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, where they both held positions as attending surgeons and academic posts as assistant professors of Cardiothoracic surgery.
Dr. Weiser will serve as section chief of thoracic surgery at White Plains Hospital. He received his medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed three separate residencies in cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery and surgical oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and the National Cancer Institute, respectively.
Chin received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. She completed residencies in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.


New Business, Relocations and Operation

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The Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley, located in Tarrytown, announced that it has begun admitting patients in Putnam County to its certified home healthcare agency.
Through a partnership, Putnam Hospital Center conferred operations for its certified home healthcare agency to the VNA of Hudson Valley in a move to offer residents of Putnam access to the VNA’s scope of comprehensive programs. Office space has been secured in Brewster, New York, and will be open for operations in the near future.

Westchester’s first indoor sensory play space and the largest facility of its kind in the country, WeeZee…World of Yes I Can, has broken ground in Chappaqua and is scheduled to open in March.  The indoor play space will span almost 16,000 square feet at the new Chappaqua Crossing business park, located at the site of the former Reader’s Digest building. An original opening of 10,000 square feet in Armonk had been planned for WeeZee, but an expanded design and additional features made it necessary for the company to seek space that included more square footage and an open-air concept. WeeZee is expected to employ more than 100 people.
For more information, visit



Several Westchester women were recently chosen by Enterprising Women magazine as “Enterprising Women of the Year” honorees. The designation recognizes women entrepreneurs in North America and beyond, and is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners.

The Westchester women who were honored were Sharon Rowe, founder and CEO of Eco-Bags Products of Ossining; Liz Perelstein of School Choice International in White Plains; and Wendy Kaufman, founder of Balancing Life’s Issues in Ossining. All the honorees will be feted in March in Fort Lauderdale.


Biz Buzz – Our business blog

Though the country as a whole is slowly recovering from the economic malaise, with unemployment stubbornly stuck between 8 and 9 percent, the lower Hudson Valley is doing significantly better.
The unemployment rate for Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties fell to 6.4 percent in December, according to figures from the state Labor Department. That number is up from 6.3 percent in November, but down from 6.8 percent in December 2010.
In fact, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam were among the five counties in the state with the lower unemployment rate, along with Tompkins County and Saratoga County.
Educational and health services added 5,300 jobs during that period, an increase of 4.5 percent. On the flip side, manufacturing and construction in the three counties suffered job losses of 2,800 and 2,200.

Westchester County’s own PepsiCo has announced that it has spawned several “billion dollar babies,” as its Diet Mountain Dew, Brisk, and Starbucks ready-to-drink brands have each grown to more than $1 billion in annual retail sales, expanding PepsiCo’s portfolio of billion-dollar brands to 22.
The company has doubled the size of its billion-dollar brand portfolio since 2000, adding five new billion-dollar brands in the past five years. PepsiCo has manufactured and distributed Brisk and Starbucks RTD beverages through successful joint venture partnerships with Unilever and Starbucks, respectively, since the early 1990s.
First introduced in 1988, Diet Mountain Dew became the company’s eighth carbonated soft drink brand to reach the billion-dollar annual retail sales milestone. 
Brisk has also had strong growth in recent years, with approximately 30 percent volume growth over the past three years. In fact, one of 2011’s 914INC. Wunderkinds, Jamal Henderson, spearheaded Brisk’s turnaround. Henderson oversaw a 3,000 percent increase in Brisk’s social media presence and a 57 percent sales volume increase during his time as brand manager, as chronicled in the pages of 914INC.


HOT PROPERTIES – 914INC.‘s commercial real estate showcase

Property:   545-47 Saw Mill Rd, Ardsley

Brokered by: NAI Friedland
David Scotto
(914) 968-8500 (Ext. 306)                             

Availability:  1,250-square-foot professional office suite is available in this 34,000-square-foot building. Asking rent is $3,200 per month.

Selling points:  This professionally maintained building has 24-hour access and plenty of onsite parking. There is easy access to all major local highways.


914 DATEBOOK – Upcoming Business Events

THURSDAY  2/9/2012

The Westchester Business Connection presents Wine, Dine, and Design – 6 – 9 pm, at Riverview Club Condominiums, 1155 Warburton Ave, Yonkers. A great opportunity to network with other county business professionals, while sampling some great food and drink from Dolphin Restaurant; Chef David DiBari and his restaurant, The Cookery; Gianna’s Restaurant; Riverview Caterers; and Aries Wine and Spirits. Hosted by Riverview Club Condominiums ( $20 prepaid; $25 at the door. For more info or to purchase advance tickets visit

TUESDAY, 2/21/2012
Young Professionals Meetup – 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ron Blacks, 181 Mamaroneck Avenue.
The Westchester County Association is sponsoring this gathering for young county professionals to meet, greet and network. There is no charge, just pay as you go.

“Freshen Up Your Resume” session—6:30-7:30 pm, Somers Library, 82 Primrose St, Somers. This session, presented by Laura Olert of Career Works, Inc., will go over the latest trends in resume writing. It will discuss how to make you’re a resume unique and market your personal brand. Please bring your resume to this session.

THURSDAY 3/15/2012
Mega Mixer Business Expo—2-6 pm, Hilton Rye Town, 699 Westchester Ave Rye Brook. The Mega Mixer Business Expo, sponsored by the Business Council of Westchester, is Westchester’s largest business trade show, attracting 200 tabletop exhibitors and 1,500+ attendees every year. Whether you are selling a product or service or educating consumers, consider an exhibit at this business-building event. For more information, contact Ebony White at or call 914-948-2110.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Centennial Bash—6 pm,  DoubleTree by Hilton, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown. In honor of Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary,Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson (GSHH) is hosting a Centennial Gala honoring Women of Leadership and Excellence. GSHH will honor women who have distinguished themselves in their fields and are role models for girls striving to become the leaders of tomorrow. 
The evening will be hosted by CBS news correspondent Alexis Christoforous and includes live jazz entertainment by Ragan Whiteside and the Fam, a silent auction, dinner, Girl Scouts ceremony, and a special Girl Scouts 100th birthday celebration. Honorees include actress and singer Vanessa Williams; U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey; Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson, a partner in PR firm Thompson and Bender; The Watson Women of IBM; and an as yet unnamed recipient of the Young Woman of Leadership and Excellence award. Tickets for the Gala are $175 per person. To become a sponsor, attend the event, purchase a journal ad, or for more information, contact Mary Ellen Hoffman at (914) 747-3080, ext. 739,

FRIDAY, 3/16/2012
NY State Legislators Breakfast—8 – 10 am, Tappan Hill Mansion, 81 Highland Ave, Tarrytown.
The Westchester and Putnam Delegation of the New York state legislature will be on hand for an interactive dialogue about the most pressing issues facing our state, in this annual event held by the Westchester County Association. 
This year, the focus will be on key mandate relief issues include pension reform, healthcare insurance contributions, and freezing salary increases when contracts expire.  Alleviating these cost drivers to help make New York a more business friendly and competitive state will be a big topic of discussion.
To register, please visit

WEDNESDAY 4/11/2012
Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation 50th anniversary gala—5:30 – 8:30 pm, Glen Island Harbour Club, New Rochelle.
Friends of Westchester County Parks will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation with its 2012 “Best Friends” Awards Reception.
The reception will salute each of the four living Westchester County Executives—current Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino and former Westchester County Executives Andrew J. Spano, Andrew P. O’Rourke and Alfred B. DelBello—for the important role they played in shaping the history of the County’s parks system, and in celebration of the parks’ golden anniversary.
Friends of Westchester County Parks will also honor David Swope for his outstanding commitment and generosity to land preservation, conservation and Westchester open space.
The ticket cost is $250 per person, and sponsorship packages are available. For ticket or sponsorship information, contact Linda Fleischer at (914) 864-7048 or

THURSDAY 4/19/2012
Business Council of Westchester Hall of fame Ceremony—6:30 pm Glen Island Harbour Club, New Rochelle.
The Business Council of Westchester will induct the class of 2012 to its prestigious hall of fame. This year’s honorees include Pernod Ricard USA for Corporate Citizenship; Robert Martin Co. for Entrepreneurial Success; Community Mutual Savings Bank for Small Business Success; Lenore Minerva of Empress Emergency Medical Services for Women in Business Success; and Empire City at Yonkers Raceway for Family Business Success. For more information on the event, please visit

Know a Wunderkind? You, perhaps? Nominate an under-30 county business professional (including yourself) for 914INC.‘s second annual Westchester Wunderkinds. For more info or to submit a nomination, visit

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!

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

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