PepsiCo Prez Trades Soda for “Oil”; Tarrytown House Scares up New Halloween Tourist Packages; SUNY Purchase Receives a $2.5 Million Endowment



John Compton

PepsiCo Inc. President John Compton, widely regarded by industry analysts as the eventual successor to CEO Indra Nooyi, has resigned. Compton, who was named PepsiCo’s president in March 2012, leaves to become CEO of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Pilot Flying J Oil Corp, one of the largest highway rest-stop chains in the US, with 550 locations. Having joined PepsiCo as a 21-year-old at the Pulaski, Tennessee, Frito-Lay facility, Compton says he viewed the new appointment as a chance to return to a state where he has “deep and personal ties.”

- Advertisement -

PepsiCo Europe CEO Zein Abdalla, who has led the Purchase-based snack and beverage company’s operations there since 2009, replaces Compton. During Abdalla’s tenure, the company’s European revenues doubled to $14 billion, with PepsiCo now ranking as one of the largest food and beverage companies in Russia.
In his new role, Abdalla will oversee PepsiCo’s global beverage, snack, and nutrition groups; its global operations divisions; global marketing services; and corporate strategy. Enderson Guimaraes, who has served as president of PepsiCo’s Global Nutrition Group since 2011, will take over Abdalla’s previous position.

William E. Griffin

William E. Griffin, a founder of Hudson Valley Bank and the longest-serving chairman of the board, died September 1 at age 79 after a long illness. Griffin retired as chairman in May after 22 years, but remained a board member until his death. Under his chairmanship, the Yonkers-based bank grew from a $400 million company with 10 branches to a $2.8 billion-plus financial institution. Today, it has 36 branches throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties, New York City, and Connecticut. An attorney, Griffin was founder and president of the Bronxville law firm Griffin, Coogan, Blose, & Sulzer, P.C. He was one of 10 businessmen who founded Hudson Valley Bank in Yonkers in 1972. Griffin is succeeded by James J. Landy, former president and CEO of the bank.

Pragmatix, Inc., a managed IT services and technology consulting firm, has added Randy Rosler as sales executive. In his role, Rosler is responsible for cultivating relationships with prospective clients throughout Westchester and Fairfield Counties, as well as New York City. Prior to joining Pragmatix, Rosler served as a national director for AdzZoo and as an area sales manager for Regus Office Group. He also has held sales positions with IntroKnocks Corp, American Office Equipment, and Stratocom. Rosler has been trained in the sales methods of Sandler, Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, and Tom Hopkins.


- Partner Content -


Leveraging its proximity to the Sleepy Hollow area, this Halloween season, Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center will offer tourists a selection of “eerie” experiences, in partnership with Historic Hudson Valley, which operates many of Westchester’s historic sites. Located in the area made famous by the Washington Irving classic horror tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the 26-acre estate hotel, which is managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, is the prime destination for a spook-tacular Halloween experience. Guests can take advantage of deluxe overnight accommodations, VIP admission to “The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze” at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson or tickets to “Horseman’s Hollow” at historic Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, as well as a full American breakfast. The King Mansion may even be a haunted Halloween destination unto itself. Some guests and staff believe that a former owner of the mansion continues to walk the halls of the second floor of the mansion, usually appearing as an apparition dressed in white.

Returning veterans and hiring employers were the big winners at Empire City Casino on August 23. Hundreds of job-seeking veterans attended a Veterans Job Fair to try their luck, with the hope of securing employment. The event was organized by the Casino as part of a “Hire a Hero” effort to encourage regional employers to hire military service men and women. Veterans from across the tri-state area came armed with their resumés, while 45 employers who were looking to add veterans to their employee ranks attended the event.

Gibbons Digital Consultants, a leading social media management firm, has opened its second office, located at 141 Parkway Road in Bronxville. From its inception in 2008 until May of this year, the company served clients from its Manhattan office. Gibbons Digital simplifies social media for businesses in a wide variety of industries, including accounting, factoring, business coaching, public development projects, sports facilities, and home improvement, among others.

Regional business leaders will converge in New Rochelle on September 20 as the city, along with the Westchester County Association, welcomes developers, architects, entrepreneurs and commercial real estate brokers to learn why New Rochelle is an excellent place to do business and create the neighborhoods of the future. A collaborative marketing effort, spearheaded by the Westchester County Association’s Blueprint for Westchester initiative, City Showcase: New Rochelle will give professionals involved in location decisions a firsthand look at New Rochelle’s many pro-business assets, including its unparalleled location, diverse and talented workforce, fine quality of life, and proactive city government. The event will begin at 8 am on September 20 with a breakfast reception at 145 Huguenot Street. Attendees will then take part in a city bus tour, followed by a sky-high luncheon and keynote address from Mayor Noam Bramson at Top of the Roc, Avalon on the Sound East. Modeled after the highly successful City Showcase: White Plains, held last April, the New Rochelle event is part of a major collaborative effort with the county’s real estate, business, and academic sectors, and strong participation from Westchester’s six cities and County government.

- Advertisement -

Sur La Table, the Seattle-based specialty culinary supplies retailer and cooking-class provider, will open a 5,812-square-foot store in The Westchester mall in White Plains in October. The retailer, which opened its first Westchester County store at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, will employ more than 20 full-time and part-time employees at its White Plains location. Classically trained resident chef Ally Banks will lead the store’s cooking-class program. Launched 40 years ago in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Sur La Table operates more than 90 stores nationwide and offers cooking classes in more than 30 locations.

Beyond Costumes, Westchester’s largest costume warehouse, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the collection of Creative Costume Company, one of New York City’s last and largest collections of Broadway-quality costumes. By combining these two important collections, Beyond Costumes now has an inventory of more than 20,000 costumes, making it the largest privately owned costumer in the New York metropolitan region. Owner Yon Zweibon, who received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, purchased Westchester Costumes in 2000 and has been rapidly expanding the stock by absorbing collections from closing costume shops and theatre groups as well as creating new costumes from scratch. Presently, Beyond Costumes is housed in a 22,000-square-foot warehouse space at 530 Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers.



Anne M. Janiak, executive director of the Women’s Enterprise Development Center, Inc. (WEDC) in White Plains, accepted the New York State Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (EAP) 2012 Award for Excellence at the recent EAP conference. The award recognizes outstanding program performance and achievement, and dedication to the entrepreneurs of New York State.


Recognizing the impact and importance of the “crowd-funding” provisions in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, the Women’s Enterprise Development Center, Inc. (WEDC) took immediate action. WEDC applied and became the first New York State trustee with Kiva Zip, a new not-for-profit initiative that enables entrepreneurs and microenterprises to be supported by this innovative form of online funding. Lenders from all over the country can invest as little as $25 each in a startup business of their choosing on the Kiva Zip web site. As a trustee, WEDC is responsible for identifying and endorsing eligible borrowers for a Kiva Zip loan and providing ongoing technical support to the borrower throughout the loan term. Kiva Zip loans are zero-percent interest business loans, small in size (less than $5,000), generally repaid in a 12-month term (or less), and posted online.

 Community Health Accreditation Program, Inc. (CHAP) has awarded Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester (HPCW) CHAP accreditation for three years under the CHAP Hospice Standards of Excellence. Since 2006, CHAP accreditation has been awarded to HPCW. CHAP accreditation demonstrates that HPCW meets the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards. Rigorous evaluation by CHAP focuses on structure and function, quality of services and products, human and financial resources, and long-term viability. Through CHAP accreditation, HPCW is also certified as a Medicare provider.


Businesses looking for workers with middle-level skills are encouraged to participate in the Westchester-Putnam One-Stop Employment Center’s month-long virtual job fair in September. Businesses may register at The businesses may list jobs, review resumés, and screen candidates online. Businesses may also work with One-Stop staff to screen candidates and may use office space at the One-Stop to conduct candidate screenings and interviews. Employers may also access thousands of qualified local candidates who are registered with the One-Stop. Contact Milton David or Bob Fois at (914) 995-3910 to learn more. Other sponsors of the virtual job fair are the Yonkers WIB and One-Stop, The Business Council of Westchester, and the New York State Department of Labor.


The late Shirley Durst, a dedicated advocate and devoted supporter of Purchase College, SUNY, for over 25 years, has been honored by her children—Peter, Leslie, and Stephen Durst—through a $2.5 million donation to the College to establish four new endowment funds in her memory. The funds will provide scholarships, programs, and production support. According to Peter Durst, the gift will commemorate his mother’s love for the arts and education, and for Purchase College students. The four newly established endowment funds are: 

·      The Shirley and Royal Durst School of the Arts Endowment of $1 million to provide scholarships and production support for the School of the Arts and the School of Film and Media Studies;

·     The Shirley and Royal Durst Endowed Scholarship Fund of $1 million to provide scholarships for students across disciplines, with a preference for those studying literature, art history, acting, and creative writing;

·     The Shirley and Royal Durst Dance Scholarship fund of $400,000 to provide scholarships for students in the Conservatory of Dance; and

·     The Shirley and Royal Durst President’s Fund of $100,000 to provide unrestricted funds for the president of Purchase College to support the college’s greatest needs.

[Source: Axel Bang, Harrison Edwards PR]



Following two spirited—and radically divergent—political conventions, Democrats and Republicans headed into the home stretch of the 2012 presidential election campaign, while students headed back to school county wide and across the nation. Hiring slowed nationwide, while projections regarding the potential impact of closing of Indian Point painted a pessimistic employment picture for the county. Meanwhile, a federal loan request for the new Tappan Zee balloons to $3 billion, further contributing to an atmosphere of fiscal and political uncertainty.

While 96,000 jobs were added during the month of August, hiring slowed overall, with gains falling short of expectations, according to a September 7th report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector jobs grew by 103,000, offset by a decrease of 7,000 government jobs. According to a Bloomberg News survey, the median estimate of more than 90 economists called for a gain of 130,000 jobs during the month. Revisions of employment reports for June and July additionally revealed that 41,000 fewer jobs were created during that period than previously thought. As 368,000 Americans left the labor force, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent in July, according to BLS. Unemployment is at its lowest point since April, and was one point below the 9.1 percent rate of the year prior. While the manufacturing sector lost 15,000 jobs, industries that enjoyed increases included finance, professional services, health care, and hospitality.

The State Thruway Authority is seeking up to $2.9 billion to help finance a replacement Tappan Zee Bridge, according to a letter of interest released on September 7th. The authority made the request to TIFIA, a low-cost federal loan program. The sum approaches $900 million more than the state initially sought in early 2012. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged to rebuild the aging span, which stretches 3.2 miles across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties. In the state’s letter, the Thruway Authority also detailed its plans to finance the bridge by issuing between $2.4 billion to $2.8 billion in toll-backed bonds. According to Thruway Authority Executive Director Tom Madison, the importance of the project to the economy of the region compelled them to seek the maximum in the hopes of receiving the most support possible.

A new report on the future of Indian Point Energy Center commissioned by The Business Council of Westchester warns the plant’s closure could result in more than 3,300 jobs lost and more than $11.5 billion in lost economic output in the downstate region over a 20-year period. The report, authored by Howard J. Axelrod, president of Albany-based consulting firm Energy Strategies Inc., also concludes that electricity rates would increase by 6.3 percent should Indian Point be replaced by an equivalent amount of natural-gas generation, which would result in consumers paying $374 million more in electricity costs annually.

The report was discussed in detail by Axelrod and panelists representing Con Edison, New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (NY AREA), Greenspirit Strategies Ltd, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) September 7 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook.

The event and the corresponding report were sponsored by The Business Council and the Westchester Business Alliance, which includes the Building and Realty Institute, the Construction Industry Council, and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.

Axelrod penned a similar report on the future of the Buchanan nuclear power plant four years ago. In the intervening time period, he said, “nothing has been done” that could serve to replace the 2,065 megawatts generated at Indian Point.

Marsha Gordon, president of the Business Council of Westchester, applauded the recent announcement by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council of a wide range of regional projects endorsed for this year’s round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative.

According to Gordon, “The projects chosen mirror the Council’s focus on investment in biotechnology and healthcare; advanced manufacturing and information technology; revitalizing infrastructure, especially housing and urban centers; leveraging our natural resources with a focus on waterfront, tourism, and artisanal food and beverage…and retaining and growing our mature industries, especially distribution.” 


The seven Westchester projects are:

  • Echo Bay Waterfront (New Rochelle) – An urban waterfront redevelopment project that will reclaim current commercial/industrial land and provide access to the water’s edge for city residents and regional communities alike. The project also includes new market rate and affordable rental housing with neighborhood retail opportunities, as well as 5+ acres of public open space.
  • Glenwood Powerplant (Yonkers) – The preservation and redevelopment of the iconic 1904 Glenwood Power Plant on the Hudson River in Yonkers for a mixed-use program would create a social, business, and cultural destination.
  • iBio Incubator (Valhalla) – The biotechnology incubator will offer laboratory and office space and services for entrepreneurs and startup biotechnology companies and provide specialized workforce training for established biotechnology companies in the region.
  • Northern Westchester Hospital (Mount Kisco) – This Surgical Services Modernization Project entails the construction of six new state-of-the-art operating rooms. It will strengthen the healthcare industry by maintaining and promoting the delivery of the highest quality health care in the Mid-Hudson Region.
  • Sound Shore Medical Center (New Rochelle) – This project invests in the region’s technology based healthcare industries through an infrastructure project in the form of a garage that will provide needed parking for a Medical Office Building.
  • VBT Laboratories (Tarrytown) – VBT Laboratories will establish a contract research organization (CRO) in the Mid-Hudson Region with a focus on specialized testing in support of clinical trials of vaccines and biologics.
  • Yonkers Rising (Yonkers) – A mixed-used redevelopment of downtown Yonkers consisting of live/work space, retail, and dining. The project also will take advantage of the nearby Saw Mill River daylighting initiative.



Property: 155 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown

Brokered by: Nicole Orefice, Silverman Realty Group, (914) 683-8000

Availability: 22,500 square feet. Rent is negotiable; call for details.

Selling points: Property amenities include private entrance, floor-to-ceiling windows, sub-metered electric, warehouse storage. Excellent signage opportunity, according to broker.

Downside: No cafeteria inside building.



TUESDAY, 9/24/12

Core Business Training Program

43 Grand St, White Plains; Roosevelt High School, 631 Tuckahoe Rd, Yonkers

Begins September 24, Mondays, 6 – 9 pm

Community Opportunity Center (COC), 105 Wildey St, Tarrytown (in Spanish)

Begins October 2, Tuesdays, 6 – 9 pm (weekly)

This 15-week, 60+-hour entrepreneurial training program teaches participants how to write a business plan. Instruction includes success planning, market planning, cash flow, operations, legal issues, and computer instruction. The course is $150 (there is a limited number of scholarships available). For further information or to register, call WEDC at (914) 948-6098, x15 or visit


THURSDAY, 9/27/12

Beyond Policy: The Realities of Healthcare Reform

Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown; 7:30 am – 2:30 pm. Some of the biggest thinkers on the regional and national scene will address the challenges we face at the Second Annual Healthcare Summit, organized by the Westchester County Association (WCA).

For the second year in a row, the WCA has assembled an unparalleled group of experts to address the impact of the ACA’s sprawling changes. Keynote addresses will be given by Rima Cohen, counselor to the secretary for health policy, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Herbert Pardes, MD, executive vice chairman of the board of trustees of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Tickets are $250 for WCA members; $300 for future members. Advance reservations online are required for this event. Visit or contact Julia Emrick at (914) 948-6444


TUESDAY, 10/2/12

Business Opportunities and Success Stories (BOSS)

1133 Westchester Avenue, White Plains; first Tuesday of each month, 6 – 8 pm. Cost: $120. This is a business-development program for small business owners who have been in operation for more than one year and who have completed written business plans. The program is designed to assist participants in developing structured and specific ways to strengthen and grow their businesses and to plan for short- and long-term goals. It will focus on business strategies and methods to take a business from the formative stage and position it for growth and sustainability. For further information or to register, please call WEDC at (914) 948-6098, ext. 15 or visit


THURSDAY, 10/11/12

M/WBE Certified? Marketing How-to’s to Secure Government Contracts

12:30 – 1:30 pm; tele-class. For those who have secured their M/WBE (Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise) certificate, this free tele-class offers information about doing business with governments and corporations with supplier diversity programs. For further information or to register, please call WEDC at (914) 948-6098, ext. 15, or visit


THURSDAY, 10/18/12

13th Annual Senior Law Day

Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave, White Plains; 9 am – 2pm.

Attorneys and certified financial planners will offer free advice on elder law topics such as housing options, wills and trusts, ways to pay for long-term care, and how to put your estate in order. Eighteen workshops – including two in Spanish – will be led by elder law attorneys, certified financial planners, and professionals from agencies that serve older adults and their families. Free one-on-one, 15-minute consultations. To register, call (914) 813-6400 or sign up at


THURSDAY, 10/18/12

Commercial Properties – the Nuts and Bolts of Buying, Selling, and Leasing

Hudson Valley Bank, 21 Scarsdale Rd, Yonkers; 6 – 8pm.  Jon A. Dorf, Esq., and Laura G. Alcott, Esq., of Dorf & Nelson LLP will be guest presenters, along with Jody Fay, Esq. of The Kelsey Company. A light supper will be served. The presentation will cover contract negotiations, due diligence phases, financing issues, title issues, and post-closing issues. Geared towards real estate practitioners, the event is sponsored by The Kelsey Company & Hudson Valley Bank. This CLE program is free for WCBA Members and costs $70 for non-Members. To learn more, contact: Donna Drumm at


WEDNESDAY, 10/24/2012

914INC.’s Power Breakfast Series: Social Media Panel

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Tarrytown; 7:30 – 9 am. 914INC. hosts a social media breakfast panel as part of its ongoing Power Breakfast Series. Network with fellow business professionals and entrepreneurs over breakfast, then learn best practices, trips and tricks, and dos and don’ts from a panel of local social media experts. Attendance is free, but prior registration is required. To register, please email


THURSDAY, 11/29/2012

914INC.’s Second Annual Women in Business Luncheon

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Tarryown; 11:30 am – 2 pm. Join the editors of 914INC. as they honor the most influential women in Westchester, as featured in the cover story of the magazine’s Q4 issue. Single tickets are $85, and tables of 10 are $800. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit



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 September 23, to be considered for the October 2 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.

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!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.