Let’s play a word-association game. If I threw out the word “Westchester” to you, a myriad of associations might spring to mind—deer, trees, the Tappan Zee, taxes, Mad Men—but it’s a safe bet that biotechnology would not be one of them. Yet our county is host to a quietly growing biotech sector that slowly took root years ago and has emerged as one of the lone bright spots in Westchester’s economy during the Great Recession (which may or may not have improved, depending on the news of the day). As our cover story on “Biochester” (page 42) details, Westchester is poised to become one of the next leading biotech centers in the nation.
While all of that may sound like a lovely abstraction if you’re not directly employed by one of the county’s dozen or so biotech firms, its implications are universal—reaching far beyond our own borders. As someone with two friends afflicted with multiple sclerosis, imagine my delight when I was able to introduce them to a new cutting-edge treatment (the first of its kind) recently approved by the FDA to help MS patients walk better—and developed right here in Westchester. With many more promising remedies in the development pipelines of Westchester’s biotech firms, the next transcendent “wonder drug” of the new decade could very well be developed in our own backyard. How exciting is that?
Okay, time for your next word: “green.” Beans? Envy? Kermit the Frog? Westchester Country Club? All good. But in Westchester—as across the nation—green has become synonymous with “eco-friendly,” as more and more businesses jump on the pro-enviro bandwagon. As our story on going green in Westchester shows (page 57), businesses aren’t just incorporating green technology into their operations for moral or principled reasons—they’re doing it to save themselves another kind of green.
Now, here’s your last word (okay, two words): “winter fun.” What? You think that’s an oxymoron? Or perhaps skiing comes to mind? Well, whether you’re a cold-weather person like me, or just someone climbing the walls of your office with cabin fever, we present several great outdoor activities to get you breathing in some of winter’s clean, crisp air—activities that do not involve hitting the slopes (page 86). From dog sledding to ice golfing(!), there’s a lot more to do outdoors this time of year in our region than you may realize—and even some great indoor destinations, if you still prefer to hibernate but are in desperate need of a change of scenery (and a little pampering).
As we present you the second issue of our business lifestyle magazine (and the first one of 2011), we hope you’ve developed another word association: great reporting on the county’s business community and its finest offerings with “914INC.”