Qué está pasando: segundo trimestre de 2023

Newsletter sponsored by: Banco TD
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Consejo de Construcción, Bienes Raíces y Desarrollo (CRED)

Economic Development Government Affairs (EDGA)

Consejo Verde

HR Connexions

Alianza de Hotelería y Turismo

Consejo de marketing profesional

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.

In April the Cred meeting had the pleasure of meeting at the Hudson Valley iCampus for a Market Update from Jaime Schwartz, President Hudson Valley iCampus. Guests enjoyed dinner and after the presentation a tour of the facility.



We met at the Town of Ramapo Town Hall in May with Supervisor Specht who gave us a market update and a discussion on the challenges and potential solutions for housing in Ramapo.

In June we met jointly with the Green Council at the Town of Clarkstown Town Hall for a discussion and update with Supervisor Hoehmann on several Green initiatives and TOD projects.

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 second quarter of this year was a busy one for our Economic Development/Government Affairs group. In addition to the numerous issues being debated in the state legislature, there were many “business as usual” activities in which we were involved. One of the most important was the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Day in Albany. This was discussed at our April meeting.

Small Business Day provides association executives and small business leaders with the opportunity to meet, as a group, with legislative leaders and discuss issues affecting our communities. This year we met with Small Business Committee Chairs Senator Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Al Stirpe. Also, we met with Senator Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Will Barclay.

This year, NFIB was particularly helpful to the RBA and Rockland County because of their strong opposition to the proposed MTA payroll mobility tax increase. And, we were able to share this with the legislators with whom we met. Other items of discussion included the All-Electric Buildings proposal, Minimum Wage bills and the state’s unemployment insurance shortfall.

Also, in April, we had a discussion about the findings of Siena College’s 16th Annual Upstate Business Leader Survey. This was the first year that Rockland was included in the study. It was noted that Upstate CEO confidence had plummeted compared with a year ago, with 54% saying the economy had worsened and only 19% expecting improvement in 2023. 75% of respondents noted they had difficulty filling open positions and they opposed increasing the Minimum Wage to $15 by a margin of 59-31%.

In May, we had a presentation from Empire State Development’s Global New York Division regarding the many programs and services available to those interested in learning about export opportunities. Noted were loans, grants and operational assistance to trade missions and shows.

June’s meeting featured a wide-ranging discussion about the MTA’s Congestion Pricing Program and took a look at the many grant programs the state has in place for this year’s economic development effort. There was particular interest in the new $150 million Mid-Hudson Momentum Fund, which addresses mixed-use housing, transit oriented development and infrastructure needs in these areas.

Alianza de Hotelería y Turismo

The Rockland Business Association Hospitality and Tourism meetings in April, May, and June 2023 explored the benefits of collaborating with local hotels, colleges, and AI.

The April meeting focused on how to collaborate with local hotels to drive traffic and tourism to businesses in Rockland County. The panelists shared their experiences in establishing mutually beneficial partnerships, and they provided attendees with action steps they could take to start driving hotel guests to their businesses.

The May meeting focused on the ways in which local colleges can help businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries. The presenters shared examples of successful partnerships and they provided attendees with tips on how to collaborate with colleges to reach new customers and grow their businesses.

The June meeting explored the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the hospitality and tourism industries. The speaker, Michael Adams, shared his insights on how AI is being used to improve customer service, streamline operations, and personalize experiences. He also discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with AI, and he provided attendees with tips on how to get started with AI in their businesses.

These meetings provided valuable insights for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries in Rockland County. They highlighted the importance of collaboration, innovation, and technology in the ever-changing landscape of the industry.


Consejo Verde

In April, the Green Council hosted members of NY GEO, a not-for-profit trade association, representing the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry in New York State dedicated to the promotion of geothermal heating and cooling systems. The meeting included Christine Hoffer, Executive Director, John Rath, Director of Operations, Zack Fink, Secretary and lead designer for ZBF Geothermal. Their presentation included an overview of advocacy efforts within NYS, State and Federal Incentives for GEO system installations and a presentation by Zach on various large scale installation practices through the State.

In May, we had a joint meeting and roundtable with the Construction, Real Estate, and Development Council.

In June Green Council and CRED held a joint meeting at Clarkstown Town Hall hosted by Supervisor George Hoehmann and The Town Planner Joe Simoes. Mr. Hoehmann provided an overview of various past and future projects within the town including the Solar field and the Clarkstown landfill and future plans to expand, purchasing of the street lights and retrofitting to LED, future addition of roof tope renewable energy systems on Town Hall and Community Choice Aggregation Program for purchasing renewable energy for town Residents. Mr. Simoes provided a detailed overview of the Transit Oriented Design (TOD) overlay zones in and around Middletown Road and the Shops of Nanuet as well as multifamily zoning changes along the business corridor in down town New City.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Our 10th Annual Legal Update with Jackson Lewis PC was a great success! It was held on June 22, 2023 from 9:00 am to 10:30 via ZOOM. It was open to all membership and we had many non-HR folks join the meeting.

We have held this event annually to cover what has happened in Washington and Albany and bring us up to date on all happenings in relation to employment law.

Our speakers Thomas Petriccione, Esq. and Philip Cai, Esq. are with the Jackson Lewis PC firm in White Plains, NY.

Topics adressed included:

 NYS Legal Updates to include Sexual Harassment in the Workplace; Pay Transparency; Protected Leave Laws; Nursing Mothers Workplace Act; NYS WARN Act; to name a few of the topics covered.

 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) implications on NDAs and Non-Compete Agreements

 COVID Update

 A.I. and its Impact on the workplace

Reminder: We will be posting our meetings on the RBA calendar so that you can keep abreast of when we are having our meeting since we don’t meet every month.

Please reach out to one of us to be added to the HR Connexions’ invitation list. Meetings are open to all who are either in the HR profession or are involved with the HR role at their company or owners of their company and from time to time we make these meetings open to all RBA members.

Liz O’Halloran & Lena Bodin


Doreen:  db@rocklandbusiness.org

Lena:  lena@4prs.com

Liz:  ohalloranl@coned.com


On Tuesday, April 18 Aviva Fustochenko, President of AVF Solutions, Inc. presented Social Media – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! Aviva discussed the various platforms available for social media promotion and reviewed creating a content calendar as well as what to post, how to post, and when to post. She also provided tips on increasing engagement with your social posts.

In June, Risa Hoag provided instructions on how to use Microsoft Word to send merged emails to a group of people so that each one is sent individually and customized using first names, company names, etc. Jeff and Risa also answered questions from the group on various marketing issues including how to maximize referrals, how to increase engagement on Facebook and how to determine a marketing budget.

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.


Women’s Leadership Council

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

The Women’s Leadership Council spent the spring months networking, sharing expertise and resources, and empowering its membership. Our April forum was devoted to increasing the corporate visibility of our businesses, deepening our relationships among council members, and sharing inspirational stories of our professional successes. It was time well spent with friends, both old and new, to connect and reaffirm our passions during this busy time.

Our June forum featured Jane Paterson, speaking and communications coach and owner of One Perfect Speech. Jane’s stimulating presentation, entitled “It’s Time to Speak Up,” was designed to empower women to find their voices and ensure they are heard, both personally and professionally. The education-based workshop was jam packed with tips and strategies for verbal and nonverbal communication for in person and virtual experiences. The presentation was extremely well received by participants with an engaging question and answer discussion at the conclusion.

The WLC will be taking a two month summer break to plan more helpful and engaging forums for the remainder of the calendar year. We wish you a wonderful summer filled with relaxation, joy, and memory making with colleagues, friends, and loved ones.


Stephanie Madison, madisons@mharockland.org;

Julie Sadowski, julie@rocklandgives.org