Westchester County Business Buzz (2/9)

This week’s business news update for Westchester County.

ArtsWestchester Celebrates 50 Businesses That Support The Arts

Executives from some of the region’s top companies joined Americans for the Arts and ArtsWestchester on January 29 at a breakfast honoring businesses that are steadfast supporters of the arts. The event, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains, is part of ArtsWestchester’s initiative to create 50 new business partnerships in celebration of its 50th anniversary this year. During the breakfast, ArtsWestchester recognized business leaders who then spoke of why they support the arts and how their businesses benefit from such a partnership. Many said supporting the arts was simply a good business decision. Robert Weisz, president of RPW Group, said Westchester’s real estate market is greatly strengthened by its cultural offerings.

“Families want to live here and that is because of the quality of life,” Weisz said. “ArtsWestchester does an outstanding job to improve the quality of life in the county. The cultural environment is a key factor.”

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Jean Marie Connolly of BNY Mellon Wealth Management echoed those sentiments, and added, “The arts foster creative thinking and entrepreneurship, which therefore make it a great investment.”

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From left: New York State Legislator Ben Boykin, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, Burke Chairman Donald Foley, Raj Ratan, MD, White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, Burke CEO Mary Beth Walsh

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Kicks Off 2015 Centennial Celebration

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Burke Rehabilitation Center, the only acute rehabilitation hospital in White Plains, officially kicked off a year-long celebration to commemorate 100 years of pioneering rehabilitation with a ribbon-cutting at its Burke Centennial Lobby Exhibit on January 22. The lobby exhibit’s “then and now” theme features numerous vignettes highlighting Burke’s past, present, and future. The exhibit, which is in Burke’s Wood Pavilion is open to the public through the end of the year. Visitors can view cherished artifacts and relics dating back to Burke’s inception 100 years ago, such as a hand-printed original blueprint of Burke’s Billings Building by renowned architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, and a turn-of-the-century pocket watch owned by John Masterson Burke, the hospital’s founder. The exhibit also highlights new innovations in rehabilitation technology, including a prosthetic arm produced by a 3D printer, interactive demos with a photon microscope, and a Vital Health Connect digital patch that monitors and wirelessly transmits patients’ vital signs to health care providers.

Chapter 11 For Radio Shack

Last Thursday, Radio Shack, a long-time icon of consumer electronics retailing, filed for bankruptcy protection after striking a deal to sell up to 2,400 of its stores to the wireless service provider Sprint and the hedge fund that is its biggest shareholder. The Texas-based company, founded in 1921, has 16 stores in Westchester—a small part of its 4,400 stores across the US and Mexico—including locations in Bedford Hills, Briarcliff Manor, Hartsdale, Somers, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Peekskill, Port Chester, Thornwood, White Plains, Yonkers, and Yorktown Heights. The 27,000-employee firm has been struggling for years, and has not turned a profit since 2011.

Westchester Hospital Is First to Get “Green Business” Certification

NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division is the first hospital to earn green business certification through Westchester Green Business-Certified (WGB-Certified), a program launched by Westchester County and The Business Council of Westchester in 2014. The hospital accepted the award at a ceremony last month. In recent years, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester has unveiled several initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental footprint: the hospital has reduced energy and water consumption by installing LED-lighting by roadways and sidewalks and low-water-usage fixtures. The hospital also provides staff with greener transportation options, in part through an extensive shuttle service program. Finally, the hospital has pursued and received recognition awards from organizations such as Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading healthcare environmental stewardship organization.

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PepsiCo Pays Quarterly Dividend

Purchase-based beverage giant PepsiCo recently declared a quarterly dividend of $0.655 per share of PepsiCo common stock— a 15-percent increase versus the comparable year-earlier period. The dividend is payable on March 31, 2015, to shareholders of record as of March 6, 2015. PepsiCo has paid consecutive quarterly cash dividends since 1965, and 2014 marked the company’s 42nd consecutive annual dividend increase. Over the past 10 years, PepsiCo has returned approximately $60 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

Two Local Organizations Join Nonprofit Westchester

Nonprofit Westchester (NPW), an organization that provides the local nonprofit sector (which, by the way, is the largest industry the in county) with a single unified voice, has welcomed two new members: The Picture House Regional Film Center in Pelham, and the STEM Leadership Center, based in Rye.

“We are pleased to welcome these two resourceful nonprofits to our organization,” said Joanna Straub, NPW executive director. “The Picture House has been a Westchester gem for years and provides wonderful film programs to our county. The STEM Leadership Center is playing a key role in the future of education. Both will bring additional perspectives to our cause.”

The Picture House Regional Film Center, opened in 1921, is the oldest, continuously running movie theater in Westchester County. The STEM Leadership Center, founded by award-winning science educators, specializes in providing STEM programming, higher education, and effective integration of instructional technology, which includes helping to launch technology initiatives, train staff in classroom deployment and helping to build STEM programs with a commitment to powerful classroom technology.

Pelham-Based Burbio.com Expands Functionality

Burbio.com, a free online service that lets families sync their calendars to those of local community groups and schools, has launched a new carpool scheduling feature that will allow busy parents to easily organize that part of their lives. Burbio currently hosts more than 1,000 schools, sports, and community calendars from across Westchester County, and allows users to sync to their Apple and Google calendars, as well as follow calendars for updates. The new carpool feature allows users to create their own carpool schedules, where all carpool drivers can easily edit the schedule, and all members of the carpool will be notified when things change.

“We created Burbio.com to make it easier to organize groups and events, and as we continue our growth we are excited to add an easy carpool creation feature,” said Julie Roche, Burbio.com co-founder.

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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