If you’re like me, you probably find yourself increasingly consumed by the demands of social media in a (perhaps) futile effort to keep up with all of your burgeoning professional contacts. But, as convenient as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter might seem, there’s still no substitute for a good, old-fashioned handshake and a few minutes of (gasp!) face time—and Westchester’s business community is living proof of that.
Nearly every week, in one corner of the county or another, there is a business-related group convening over coffee and bagels, wine and hors d’œuvres, or some other enticing refreshments at an inviting venue, in order to place faces with names, trade business cards, and simply commune and connect. On page 18, we give you a rundown of these myriad networking associations—what they are, what they offer, and how to join. Their number and sheer diversity (did you know Westchester has an African American chamber of commerce, a Hispanic chamber of commerce, and a networking group for out LGBT professionals?) is a testament to the vitality of our business community.
Another such testament to our vitality can be found on page 68, where we are pleased to present 914INC.’s second annual “Westchester’s Wunderkinds.” This year, we showcase 22 of the county’s sharpest, highest-achieving, and most-promising business professionals and entrepreneurs under age 30. From the youngest-ever finance director of the county’s medical school (26!) and the 28-year-old senior HR manager of Westchester’s biggest biotech firm, to the 24-year-old banquet manager of one of Westchester’s busiest hotels and the 25-year-old editor-in-chief of one of the county’s newspapers, there is an awful lot of inspiring talent coming up the ranks around here.
Like you, these young up-and-comers will undoubtedly learn a thing or two from the people they hope to succeed one day—our top CEOs profiled in this issue’s cover story. On page 57, you can learn the secrets to their success (well, some of them, anyway). The rest you may have to pry out of them over a few cocktails at one of the area’s best business bars (page 84). Not only do you stand a better chance of getting them to spill the beans in person than online, but, the last time I checked, you can’t enjoy a Singapore Sling or a scorpion bowl on LinkedIn.