Westchester IDA Names New Executive Director; Stark Office Suites Expands into Fairfield; Pepsi Stays in Somers—for Now


White Plains- and UK-based MSM DesignZ, whose services include web development, hosting and maintenance in addition to graphic design, has added both Ashlee O’Donnell and Daniel Petrone. Westchester County born and raised O’Donnell has joined the company’s newly formed Interactive Media division, the focus of which is marketing, new media, and social media strategies. Within that division, social media management and text message marketing will be offered as well as standard new media practices. O’Donnell, who just completed an internship at Wild Frog Studios, a Tarrytown-based design and marketing firm, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Quinnipiac University School of Business

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Petrone, who will head MSM DesignZ’s New Business Development Division, graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and earned three degrees: Fine Arts, Advertising and Graphic Design. Petrone always had a knack for marketing and sales and has experience in product development. Head of his own Rye Brook based design firm, Flux7, Petrone is also a veteran of J Walter Thompson, Gear Magazine, and Vista Communications.

President Richard Greenwald of the Concorde Staffing Group in White Plains, a temporary and permanent placement and staffing company for accounting, human resource, banking, legal firms and more in Fairfield and Westchester counties, has been elected to the Board of Directors at Westchester Human Resource Management Association. A member of various associations, including the Workforce Investment Board and Westchester County Association’s CONNECTIONS Advisory Board and Economic Development Task Force, Greenwald is also involved with the Food Bank for Westchester and the March of Dimes, and resides with his wife and children in Armonk.  

Attorney Eileen Mildenberger has been named as the new executive director of Westchester County’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Appointed by the IDA’s board, Mildenberger replaces retiring executive director Theresa Waivada, who has agreed to remain as a consultant to ensure a smooth transition. “This is a key position when it comes to the county’s efforts to retain and attract business,” says County Executive Rob Astorino. “Eileen has a track record of experience that Westchester can now draw on to spur economic growth.” Mildenberger comes to the IDA from the Empire State Development Corporation, where she served as its chief operating officer.

New businesses, relocations & operations

Stark Office Suites, the leading independent provider of premium turn-key office space and high-end amenities for professionals and entrepreneurs in the suburban New York market, is expanding into Fairfield County in late spring. Stark, which currently has offices in Scarsdale, White Plains, Mt. Kisco and Harrison, in addition to New York City, will open its new location atop the Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa, 243 Tresser Blvrd, Stamford, Connecticut.

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“We’re very excited about our new location,” says President Adam J. Stark. “It’s a great addition to our portfolio of locations in Westchester and New York City.  

Three-year-old Contrafect Corp., a Manhattan-based biotech firm which develops drugs to treat infectious diseases, is moving to Yonkers. The company has signed a 15-year lease at i. park Hudson, the 1.1-million-square-foot former site of Otis Elevator. According to Robert Nowinski, the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of Contrafect, the company will spend about $4 million to outfit 15,000 square feet of office and lab space. It has plans to hire up to 17 new employees in the short-term. The 10-employee firm’s long-range plans include hiring up to 200 additional workers. 

Could you hear the cheers and applause that must have taken place in White Plains the other week when it was learned that PepsiCo will not be moving its bottling division—heavens no!—to Connecticut? Come on, Pepsi—how could you even think of it?  It took a bit of real effort by Senator Charles Schumer and other New York State officials (read: deals, deals, deals), but Pepsi Beverages Company won’t be heading east to Danbury, Connecticut—at least, not for five years. The 540,000-square-foot facility in Somers is the workspace for approximately 1,200 men and women.

“We’re excited to share this news,” said Eric J. Foss, CEO of Pepsi Beverages Company. “The Pepsi enterprise has had a long and successful history in New York.” Foss went on to say that the company is proud and eager to continue to play a “positive role in the communities in and around Westchester County.” And Dave DeCecco, spokesman for Pepsi Beverages Company, declared: “We’re thrilled to be staying in Westchester County. It’s a wonderful place to do business and we’ve had a long and successful history here.” He went on to note that Pepsi has been a part of the Somers community for more than 25 years, and our that parent company PepsiCo has been in Purchase for more than 40 years. “We’re proud to be able to keep hundreds of jobs in the area,” DeCecco said.

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So what convinced Pepsi to stay? We don’t know for sure, but we suspect that the $4 million grant the Empire State Development agreed to give the company to invest in the Somers facility must have helped. And, the Westchester County Industrial Development Association’s approved exemptions from sales and use tax on the purchase of fixtures, furniture and equipment could not have hurt. But we do know that we’re glad to keep ‘em as neighbors.

914INC.’s commercial real estate showcase

Property: 21 Abendroth Ave. Port Chester, NY

Owned by:
New York Commercial Realty Group
500 Mamaroneck Ave, Harrison

Asking lease price is $12 psf gross, and the building is available for use as a restaurant, manufacturing site, or office building.

Selling points:
This 13,000-square-foot single story property consists of 20,000 square feet of parking space, 12’ ceilings, 2 loading docks. Not only is this space within walking distance of Greenwich, it’s just blocks away from Tarry Lodge restaurant, the Loew’s Cineplex, Costco, Super Stop & Shop, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Marshalls. Lots and lots of shopping and entertainment opportunities.

Michael Rao
(914) 287-6410 x2 (914) 287-6410 x1
frao@nycrgroup.com mrao@nycrgroup.com

Upcoming Business Events

MONDAY, 4/11/11
Westport resident and social media expert Allan Hoving (www.ahoving.com) will be the guest speaker at the next in a series of on-going business workshops. Held at Morton’s The Steakhouse from 6 pm – 8 pm. Hoving will answer questions and surf the social networks live on Morton’s nine foot projection screen.

Registration for the event is $25 and advance registration is required; contact Kim O’Donnell at (914) 683-6101 or via email at cm.mwp@mortons.com.

TUESDAY, 4/12/11
The Business Council of Westchester will present a Business Breakfast Dialogue from 7:30 am to 9:15 am. Registration is open until April 8, and the cost per member is $27. The event will be held at Antun’s of Westchester in Elmsford.

THURSDAY, 4/14/11
The Business Council of Westchester will hold its Business Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 9 pm. at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.
Tickets are $250 for both members and non-members, and registration is open until April 11. RSVP at http://www.westchesterny.org.

The World Trade Council and Connections Advisory Committee will present a special Lunch & Learn program titled “Cyber Fraud on the Rise: Threats Near & Far” with special keynote speaker, FBI Coordinating Supervisory Special Agent Christopher Stangl. Moderator will be World Trade Council President Erica Martinson. Organized by the Westchester County Association committees (World Trade Council and Young Professionals). Held at the DoubleTree Tarrytown, cost is $40/member; $50/ future member.

FRIDAY, 4/15/11
“Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout,” A Conversation with Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore, will be presented by the Westchester County Association on Friday, April 15 at 8 am. The event will be held at 1133 Westchester Avenue in White Plains and is free for members, $25 for future or non-members.

WEDNESDAY, 4/27/11
Westchester’s Young Professionals will hold a networking event at Mount Kisco’s Grand Prix New York on April 27 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm. Admission is $35 for members, $45 for future members, and includes open bar and hors d’oeuvres and an optional complimentary arrive and drive pass. Organized by the Westchester County Association committees (World Trade Council and Young Professionals).

Westchester Networking for Professionals will host a networking scavenger hunt mixer from 5:30 pm – 8 pm. Held at The City Lounge of New Rochelle’s Radisson Hotel, the evening will feature appetizers, drinks specials, prizes and raffles. Tickets are only $10 beforehand, or $15 at the door. For advance ticket purchases visit www.wnfp.org

THURSDAY, 5/12/11
The Oasis of Hope Annual Cocktail Reception to benefit the White Plains Grace Church Community Center will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester from 6 – 9 pm. GCCC’s services help transition homeless men and women off the streets of White Plains and into safe productive and necessary programs. Honorary Event Chair is Rick Ammirato. For more information contact Chris Schwartz at (914) 949-3098, ext.135 or CSchwartz@gracecommunity.org.

MONDAY, 5/16/11
A moderated panel discussion with Congressional Representatives Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, and Nan Hayworth will be presented by the Westchester County Association on Monday, May 16 from 8 to 10 am. Held at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, “Annual Report from Washington” will focus on healthcare reform and job creation. Member fee is $75, non-member $90. Advanced reservations are required, and there is a $10 walk-in fee.

SUNDAY, 6/5/11
The Annual Tarrytown Street Fair, which features 120 vendors selling food, clothing, watches and more, will be held on Main Street in Tarrytown from 10 am – 5 pm. The event attracts thousands of visitors from Westchester County and Connecticut. For more information, contact info@sleepyhollowchamber.com, or call (914) 631-1705.

THURSDAY, 6/16/11
The African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties will host Westchester’s most spectacular Juneteeth event, “10 Influential Black In Business In Westchester & Rockland Counties” at a spot and time to be determined. People of African ancestry who wish to be considered for the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc.’s Influential Blacks in Business Award may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. The awards are open to people of African ancestry who are business owners, or senior executives in the public, private or non-profit sectors. Call (914) 699-4749 for more information.

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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