Qué está pasando: 4to trimestre de 2021

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

HR Connexions

Consejo de marketing profesional

Rockland Emerging Business Owners & Professionals (REBOP)

Iniciativa Tecnológica

Women’s Leadership Council




Consejo de Construcción, Bienes Raíces y Desarrollo (CRED)

For the October meeting, CRED was privileged to have Raj Amar, President, Portables Unlimited, address the group on the transformative project he was advancing for Stony Point. Raj and his partners, all local folks, were offering to purchase the Patriot Hills Golf Course and the Letchworth acreage Stony Point had acquired from the state.
The project would have revitalized the golf course and the Clubhouse, addressed the brownfield aspects of the property, provided new facilities for seniors and others in the town and would have placed the property on the tax roles. Eventually, there were plans for a hotel and conference center, housing consistent with town codes and other amenities. It was to make a statement for the town and all of North Rockland.
CRED was fully supportive of this project. Unfortunately, this was a matter that was put to referendum and was defeated by just over 100 votes.
In November, we held a joint meeting with CRED wherein  Kevin Lanahan, VP of External Affairs & Corporate Communications for the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), assisted by Linda Planz, and Joanne Colosi, presented an overview of NYS’s generation and transmission system and the impact on moving to a fossil fuel-free, carbon-neutral ready electric grid. He provided data that raised concerns that the grid may not have adequate renewable energy sources to meet the State’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.

CRED supports and empowers RBA members who are in real estate, development, and construction through networking, resource sharing, education and advocacy.  Exclusively for members in real estate, development, construction and allied fields including current and prospective commercial property owners; architects/engineers; project managers/general contractors; sub-contractors (HVAC, electricians, etc.); commercial real estate brokers; lenders; title companies; insurance providers; municipalities/regulatory agencies.

The Construction, Real Estate, and Development Council is sponsored by Rand Commercial and co-chaired by Judith Bachman, Esq. and Michael Shilale, Architect

Economic Development / Government Affairs

Our Economic Development/Government Affairs subsidiary was very active in the 4th Quarter of 2021. Our October meeting featured an important presentation by Steve Porath, Executive Director of the County’s Industrial Development Agency. Steve shared that his office had 17 active applications in various stages of consideration. This was more activity than was seen even before the Covid outbreak. And, he noted. there was great diversity in the types of businesses looking for IDA assistance, to include very substantive companies from outside the region. Very uplifting news.

We also had a wonderful session on the County’s workforce development programs with presenters Stephanie Campasso from Rockland Works, Jean Leandre from Rockland Community College and Debra Thomas and Deborah Studnitzer from the County’s Workforce Development Board.  Their topic, “Workforce Development Meets Economic Development” was truly refreshing as it targeted a true understanding of how the two areas are so intertwined.

As we approached year-end and the start of a new legislative session, ED/GA engaged in serious conversation about a range of issues important to Rockland. These included the misguided campaign to municipalize Rockland’s water supply, a move that would cost upwards of $1.25 billion and saddle the county with an annual debt service of $32-$44 million a year; the impending Congestion Pricing program that unfairly targets Rockland and our neighbor, Orange County; the loss of Home Rule control of zoning issues regarding accessory apartments and the pros and cons of “pot” shops in our local communities.

Alianza de Hotelería y Turismo

Our Hospitality & Tourism Alliance enjoyed presentations on new events to help the industry in Rockland. Jerry Kleiman brought us information on the Philippine-American Cultural Foundation’s plans for a three-day event to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Bataan/ Corregidor. It is planned for the weekend of April 8-10 with much of the activity to be held on the campus of Dominican College. In addition to a parade featuring troops from the 31st Infantry Regiment, there will be exhibits and a symposium.  Jerry shared that in 2017 there was a much smaller event that drew over 1,000 people to Rockland.

HTA also heard from the folks at Rockland Works about a job fair to help companies in hospitality and tourism find much needed workforce. Labeled the Hospitality & Tourism Winter Festival, it was scheduled for January 12, 2022 as a live event at the Palisades Center. Unfortunately, state restrictions on in-person activities forced the event to be held virtually.  The RBA wholeheartedly endorsed this initiative and congratulates the organizers for being able to pivot to a virtual format.  Working with Rockland Works was Rockland County Tourism the Workforce Development Board and the American Jobs Center.



Consejo Verde

The Green Council
In October, the Green Council invited O&R Utilities and SUEZ Water to update us on their respective initiatives toward environmental sustainability. Patricia Moss, O&R’s Program Administrator, Customer Energy Services discussed the educational materials, energy audits, retrofit opportunities, energy-saving items that are available to its customers. Shari Gold, SUEZ’s Conservation Program Manager, outlinedthe company’s award-winning customer conservation program. Available in both Rockland and Westchester counties, the program has encouraged customers to reduce their water usage by replacing outdated fixtures including showerheads, toilets, and smart irrigation controllers with new high-performance models that save water and energy. Customers have redeemed more than 8,000 rebates since the program’s launch in 2017. Both utility companies are dedicated to a greener, more environmentally sustainable Rockland County, as well as customer-reduction in energy and water consumption.
In November, we held a joint meeting with CRED wherein  Kevin Lanahan, VP of External Affairs & Corporate Communications for the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), assisted by Linda Planz, and Joanne Colosi, presented an overview of NYS’s generation and transmission system and the impact on moving to a fossil fuel-free, carbon-neutral ready electric grid. He provided data that raised concerns that the grid may not have adequate renewable energy sources to meet the State’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
In December, Pearl River architect Seth Wiley, principal of Pretty Things Architecture P.C., discussed how we can flip the most significant threat to health and safety – greenhouse gas emission – into a waste management opportunity as part of a broader picture in managing the natural carbon cycle. He used concrete, a common building element, as an example.
We thank Bill Madden, Director NYS Communications/Government Affairs at SUEZ Water for their sponsorship of this program, and for their unwavering dedication to the Rockland County community.
Respectfully submitted,
Tony Lisanti, CEM, CPHC
Integral Building and Design
Jan Degenshein, AIA, FAICP, LEED AP
Degenshein Architects
Green Council Co-Chairs

Recognizing the stress that HR is under while being pulled in many directions and having to figure out how to interpret the COVID related regulations and mandates, we wanted to cover topics that can help HR relieve some of that day-to-day stress. The November meeting topic was “Assisting HR Professional Navigate the Ever-Changing Workplace,” a timely topic covering managing staff burnout; encouraging employee wellness and self-care; an organization-wide response efforts to changing workplace challenges. Our presenters were our very own Liz O’Halloran, MBA, MSW, from Orange & Rockland (now ConEd) and Susan Mazarella, LCSW, CEAP, SAP, EAP Administrator from Montefiore Nyack Hospital.

Our next meeting is scheduled for February and will focus on leadership skills for HR professionals.

We meet every other month, 5x a year, so our meetings are in February, April, June, September, and November being cognizant of the fact that December and January are probably the busiest months for our HR members.

If you are responsible for the HR function at your company or have an HR staff member – this group is for you! We have been around since 2013 and would love to see the group continue to grow… Since this is an invitation only group please reach out to Doreen, Lena or Liz to be added to our invitation list.


Liz O’Halloran & Lena Bodin


Doreen:  db@rocklandbusiness.org

Lena:  lena@4prs.com

Liz:  ohalloranl@coned.com

Off to a great start!
The 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 their second meeting of the 2021/2022 season in October. The meeting featured a presentation from A4 Advertising’s Russ DelCore and William Chambers who explained the move away from tracking codes and cookies and how it would impact the future of internet marketing.
November’s meeting focused on the common marketing mistakes small businesses make. Most of the attendees on the Zoom meeting were small businesses, and each learned others have made the same mistakes they had. But we learn from each other! Some of the mistakes we discussed are summarized in this Forbes.com news article. Which of these have you made? Have you made others? Let’s discuss in future meetings how to avoid making those mistakes again!
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 the form at the link below to shed light on potential topics and future discussions for 2022: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScb_CBTZHMTxK7MME1YOX8YmIRD5fQdAbOe36wg9ejMgm69Qw/viewform?usp=sf_link


Rockland Emerging Business Owners & Professionals

We want to cultivate ambition and passion and create a comfortable, educational environment to help guide younger business professionals get acquainted with reality, and onto the proper path to success.

Chaired by David Palma, Payed Processing, Jason Horowitz, Triforce Commercial Real Estate LLC, and Michael Khekoian, Computuners

REBOP has held monthly Zoom calls to network and connect with our peers.  

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



Iniciativa Tecnológica

Discussion of growing concern is the cyber threat to critical infrastructure, which is increasingly subject to sophisticated cyber intrusions that pose new risks.
Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risks stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy, or threaten the delivery of essential services.
Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure due to a number of factors: the ability of malicious actors to operate from anywhere in the world, the linkages between cyberspace and physical systems, and the difficulty of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks.
Security specialists monitor and analyze activity on networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, websites, and other systems, looking for anomalous activity that could be indicative of a security incident or compromise. They are responsible for ensuring that potential security incidents are correctly identified, analyzed, defended, investigated, and reported.
Are you managing your documents or are they managing you?
Organizations today are drowning in paper-based information; mission critical, time sensitive and confidential information that needs to be available to the right people at the right time. In December, we heard from Patti Kanner, Document Management Specialist, Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office, who spoke about how an effective document management strategy will allow you to merge your paper and digital information into productive workflows that allow knowledge workers to make informed decisions faster.



Women’s Leadership Council

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

Women’s Leadership Council was excited to welcome two women on the Executive Leadership Team of The Mental Health Association of Rockland at its October 28, 2021 program.  Velvet Reda and Sonia Wagner engaged our members with a terrific presentation and discussion on Heels in Motion: Bringing Passion to Work and Finding Work/Life Balance. The program and robust conversation that followed provided ideas and insight into life/work balance.  When our personal and work lives are balanced, we find that passion for our professional goals naturally follows.

On November 30th, in the face of rising covid-19 rates, our annual networking event was held virtually once again. This year’s program, Cocktails, Cooking and Conversation with Hudson’s Mill’s new Chef and Entrepreneur, Nikki Hanna, was incredibly engaging.  Nikki, a former Hell’s Kitchen contestant, not only demonstrated how-to make a mouthwatering cassoulet, but discussed her women’s chef line of apparel, touching on themes we present on in our leadership programs, including the importance of mentorship, implementing and growing in others the leadership skills you’ve learned, and using your connections to help develop, grow and market your business.  We plan on bringing RBA members a similar program in -person in 2022!

Please be sure to Save the Date of January 27th, 2022 for our first Women’s Leadership Council program of the new year, when we enthusiastically welcome back our colleague and friend Patricia Stark for what is sure to be an inspiring conversation about her new book Calmfidence: How to Trust Yourself, Tame your Inner Critic and Shine in any Spotlight.  Please register for this exciting presentation! 


Marian Rokeach, mrokeach@fountainview.org

Robin Rosenberg, robin@garnervillearts.com

Stephanie Madison, madisons@mharockland.org