Qué está pasando: 1er trimestre de 2023

Newsletter sponsored by: Banco TD
TD Bank logo

Consejo de Construcción, Bienes Raíces y Desarrollo (CRED)

Economic Development Government Affairs (EDGA)

Consejo Verde

Alianza de Hotelería y Turismo

Consejo de marketing profesional

Rockland Emerging Business Owners & Professionals (REBOP)

Iniciativa Tecnológica

Women’s Leadership Council




Consejo de Construcción, Bienes Raíces y Desarrollo (CRED)

CRED supports and empowers RBA members who are in real estate, development, and construction through networking, resource sharing, education and advocacy.

This Quarter was short but productive for the CRED Council:

On January 31st, 2023, the GREEN and CRED Councils met at Dominican University to learn more about the University’s facilities and ongoing and future developments from Anthony Pelliccio, Business Development Manager. Tony Lisanti, Managing Director of Integral Building & Design, Inc., also presented on The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – What’s in it for Builders/Developers? Touchpoints: Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Construction, Solar, and Residential Upgrades. Afterward, there was time for networking and a mini tour of the Dominican University’s facilities.



The February meeting was postponed due to weather and rescheduled for March 28th, 2023. We gathered at Emeline Park in Haverstraw to talk about the Chair Factory. Haverstraw’s Mayor Mike Kohut and Ryan Porter of Mpact Collective, the developer of the Chair Factory site, gave an impeccable presentation on the future vision of:

· Revitalization of Emeline Park

· Possible relocating Hudson Valley Children’s Museum

· Cultural/Recreation Center

· Creating additional parking for the business district

· Expanding the Brick Museum to be built with 3D bricks.

· Walking paths

· Public recreation pier

· Possible proposed ferry

· Market-rate and affordable housing

· Mixed-use Buildings

· Relocation Village DPW facility

· Revitalization of Main Street, New Main Street, and Broadway

· Sidewalk repairs

· Landscape beautification

We had about 30 attendees at this event. All felt the energy; it was such a cool, crisp, beautiful day.

Co-Chairs Michael Chang and Tivona Cunningham of Rand Realty are excited to see attendance increase at each event. Please forward any questions or topics to them for future events.


Please contact us for any ideas on topics of interest:
Michael Chang- michael.chang@randcommercial.com

Tivona Cunningham- tivonacunningham@gmail.com

Economic Development / Government Affairs

The first quarter of every year usually generates a lot of conversation about the “goings-on” in Albany; and, this year was no different.

In January, CRED had the pleasure of meeting two of Rockland’s new state legislators, Senator Bill Weber (38th Senatorial District) and Assemblyman John McGowan (97th Assembly District). Both gentlemen shared insights as to why they pursued these positions and what they were hoping to accomplish in their new roles. Neither had any illusions about limits they might face as “freshman” legislators, but neither evidenced any indication that would inhibit their efforts on behalf of the people of Rockland.  This was a very informative session that gave participants an opportunity to get to know two of the folks who will be fighting for us in the State Capitol.

In February, we took a deep dive into one of the more dramatic issues in this year’s budget — the Governor’s Housing Compact and its ramifications for Rockland.  Our presenters were County Executive Ed Day and Matt Rand, Managing Partner, Howard Hanna Rand Realty and a member of the RBA Board.  The conversation addressed such issues as high density housing around train stations, percentages of annual housing growth dictated by the plan and the intent to establish a new state agency that could override Home Rule decisions at the local level.  Despite the fact that there were differences of opinion, this was a truly civil discussion worthy of emulation by the folks in Albany who determine the outcomes of such matters.

In March, we took a deep dive into the onerous plan to increase the MTA Payroll Mobility Tax in a community like ours.  Brian Campbell, Managing Partner, Rockland Professional Services and a member of the RBA Board and Al Samuels, RBA President/CEO, talked about the wide range of differences in service between Rockland and the rest of the MTA service area. Paramount in this listing was the fact that Rockland suffers a $40 million a year value gap with the MTA. This issue, alone, makes consideration of an increase in the MTA taxes paid by our businesses unconscionable.  Campbell and Samuels also addressed such items as the “transit desert” in Rockland compared with the one-seat, dual-track train service provided to the communities on the west side of the Hudson and to the residents of Long Island.

(At the time of this writing the Housing Compact has been removed from the budget discussions and it appears that the businesses in the suburban counties will not see an increase in their MTA tax).

Alianza de Hotelería y Turismo

HTA met twice in 1st Qtr ’23. In January, the group welcomed a new sponsor, the Palisades Center and provided a most informative session on planned tourism activities in the County.

Keri Cunningham, Marketing Director at Palisades Center, discussed activities and events planned for Rockland’s top tourist attraction and Lucy Redzeposki, Rockland’s Director of Economic Development, Tourism & Film, provided insights into what her department is working on for this year.  The group also heard from Rich Gore, Business Coordinator for Rockland Works, about a series of invitation-only, two-hour events that would include a Hospitality & Tourism Roundtable. The series was being labeled, “Meeting The Moment.”

Rich also addressed the March meeting, discussing innovative solutions for staffing in hospitality and tourism.  Mark Davidoff, Director of the RCC Culinary Arts Center and Foodservice, gave a presentation on the Nyack Feasts event and the way it brought different segments of the community together. Mark Davidoff and Keri Cunningham also were introduced as the new Co-Chairs of the HTA group.


Consejo Verde

In January Green Council hosted a meeting in tandem with the CRED Council at Dominican University.  Anthony Pellicio, Business Development Manager hosted the RBA CRED & Green Council at the Badami Room within the Granito Center and showcased the University’s various flex spaces which can be used for event housing, meetings, conferences & special events.  The facilities include Athletic fields, Classrooms and lecture halls with parking and availability for film production.

A second presentation by Anthony Lisanti, of Integral Building + Design and Co-Chair of the Green Council highlighted the Energy Efficiency Programs and tax incentives under the Inflation Reduction act of 2022.  This included tax credits for energy efficient building, retro fits, electrification including renewable energy and storage technologies.

Green Council hosted a presentation by Lou Young at the February meeting.  Lou is an Emmy award winning television news broadcaster who hosts a local radio show on Rockland’s WRCR on Saturdays at 1PM  “Tough Times with Lou Young”.  Lou provided an overview of his show which discuss climate change, sustainability and energy efficiency topics while steering away from political discourse.  He also services as a Trustee I the Village of Mamaroneck and shared some challenges that his municipality faces with severe storms and resulting flooding.

In March Green Council hosted a presentation by Rachel Carpitella of Sustainable Westchester where she directs the Building Decarbonization Program to electrify commercial properties and bolster the development of Thermal Energy Networks across the county.  With the Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development, she currently serves as a lead in the Clean Energy Accelerator: Careers Working Group, and provided an overview of some of the practical steps and solutions and weatherization strategies, thermal energy networks, demand-response for commercial properties, and building industry toward a climate-friendly future.

Rachel’s presentation was followed by David Klatt, Chief Operations Officer of Logical Buildings, a smart building software and solutions company providing a platform for multifamily and commercial real estate managers to reduce energy and operating costs, achieve sustainability goals and improve tenant comfort.  Presented their GridRewards Program which is an energy demand response program, allowing commercial users to earn monetary credits, enhance building health, reduce carbon footprint, and achieve ESG goals all from within user-friendly, award-winning mobile apps.

Respectfully submitted,

Tony Lisanti, CEM, CPHC
Integral Building and Design
Jan Degenshein, AIA, FAICP, LEED AP
Degenshein Architects
Green Council Co-Chairs


The RBA’s Professional Marketing Council, co-chaired by Risa Hoag, President of GMG Public Relations, and Jeff Lewis, co-host and news anchor for “The Morning Show” on WRCR Radio, held three meetings in the first quarter of 2023.

January’s meeting featured guest speaker Donvil Collins, the Founder of Veekast, who discussed tips for hosting virtual in-person event. He focused on event marketing mistakes, strategies to maximize attendance and attract deeper-pocket attendees, and ways to maximize the post-event value and impact.

In February we literally took the council to school! We heard from Rockland college professors from St. Thomas Aquinas College, Rockland Community College and Dominican University and learned all about what the future marketers are learning and the tools they prefer. We discussed:

  • What they learning
  • What they already know
  • How COVID affect them
  • What we teach them and what they can teach us

Guest speakers included Matt Schiering, Associate Professor, Dominican University’s Business Division; Dr. Deirdre-Noel Engels, Associate Professor, Marketing, St. Thomas Aquinas College; and Catherine M. Roche, Professor of Business COIL Coordinator, School of Business and Professional Studies, RCC.

In March we took a more serious turn, as our event discussed marketing scams. We learned how to avoid becoming victims ourselves and what the best ways are to differentiate ourselves as professional, upstanding, and trustworthy marketers from the bad guys. Featured guest speakers included:

  • Detective Lieutenant KerriLynne Paullin, Rockland County Special Victims Center, Rockland County District Attorney’s Office
  • Mark Colon, Rockland County Sheriff’s Department Investigator, Rockland County Intelligence Center
  • Robert Cioffi, CTO and Co-Founder of Progressive Computing

The Professional Marketing Council seeks to provide a forum to share ideas, learn best practices, and grow your sales and marketing efforts.

We ask anyone interested in attending future meetings to complete this Google form and make any suggestions you may have for future events.


Rockland Emerging Business Owners & Professionals

REBOP is a networking group focusing on the growth and development of young professionals in Rockland County. It’s designed to help members build their careers/businesses and learn from each other in an encouraging, supportive environment. We utilized the first quarter of 2023 to plan out events and goals for REBOP while connecting with like-minded individuals in different fields and receiving guidance and advice from experienced industry professionals.

We solidified a permanent location at Rockland Community College and will be doing new workshops for both college students interested in internships and local businesses that want to learn more about how to take on interns from local colleges and to recruit locally.

On June 7th, REBOP will host its next event: an informative and engaging networking and professional development evening. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet other professionals in the area, learn more about local job opportunities, and gain insights on career advancement. They will also get to hear from experienced professionals who can offer their advice and guidance.

If you’re a young professional looking to take your career or business to the next level, REBOP is here for you.

Co-Chaired by David Palma, Payed Processing, Jason Horowitz, Triforce Commercial Real Estate LLC

To learn more about REBOP visit our Facebook page facebook.com/reboprba

The January meeting of the Technology Initiative addressed the question “Are Robots Taking Over?”  In reality, many of us already have a robot vacuum in the house and hardly even think about it. But robots can do a whole lot more than that, and it’s obvious we’ll have more around us soon. Robots are really just computers that can go more places and do more things. They’ll change how we mow our lawns, how we shovel snow and how we get from place to place by land, air, sea or rocket.

To get a glimpse at what’s coming, look at where robots already are. You expect to see drones outside inspecting things like wind turbines, power lines and bridges. But, they’re coming inside, too. Companies like Verity are using indoor drones to autonomously scan barcodes for inventory management. Companies like Lowes and Pizza Hut are looking at the Fed Ex Same day Bot for its potential to make autonomous deliveries.

The three aforementioned industries — medical, human resources and legal — can greatly benefit from this human-in-the-loop AI approach. While machines are undoubtedly transforming the medical industry, it’s important to note that they are a complementary technology designed to enhance, not replace, medical professionals

Artificial Intelligence are developing machines ‘that not only improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients but also create cost and time efficiencies to upgrade the overall experience.

Technology Initiative Co-Chairs:
Justin Schwartz, Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office; Brian Campbell, Rockland Pros; Barbara Shapiro, TD Bank 


Women’s Leadership Council

Fuel your business aspirations with the help of Women’s Leadership Council

The Women’s Leadership Council kicked off the New Year with a dynamic presentation by Tatyana Yelizarova, PhD on “Mindfulness as a Tool for Wellness and Success.” The presentation introduced mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and improve everyday performance in people’s personal and professional lives. Participants appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the neurobiology of mindfulness, as well as develop mindfulness skills.

The February forum was both enlightening and inspiring as Dana Star Kiwacz presented “Ignite Your Vision.”  Dana used her experience and expertise in neuroscience, linguistics, sales and leadership development to empower participants to gain clarity on optimizing their strengths. In doing so, individuals can combine their passion with mental stamina and accountability to create extraordinary results in their lives and businesses. The presentation was enthusiastically embraced by all.

March was Women’s History Month and the RBA’s Women’s Leadership Circle helped keep the celebration going.  SuffrageForward Chair Paulette Ross (SF is a unique component fund of the Rockland Community Foundation)  shared a plethora of information that spanned the creation of the project to historical facts about the Women’s Suffrage movement which celebrated 100 years in 2020.  The work of this project as well as the fore-mothers who were behind the suffrage movement are a perfect example of women’s leadership!


Stephanie Madison, madisons@mharockland.org;

Julie Sadowski, julie@rocklandgives.org