What’s Happening: 3rd Quarter 2023

Newsletter sponsored by: TD Bank

TD Bank

Construction, Real Estate and Development Council (CRED)

Economic Development Government Affairs (EDGA)

Green Council

HR Connexions

Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

Professional Marketing Council

Women’s Leadership Council


Construction, Real Estate and Development Council (CRED)

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

After the summer break, September’s CRED Meeting was with Town of Haverstraw Supervisor, Howard Phillips: During this informal and extremely informative meeting we took a deep dive into some of the history surrounding the town and several of its large scale development projects and discussed multiple challenges and lessons learned that can be applied for future construction real estate and development projects. Attendees got a behind-the- scenes look into the process and culture of the town of Haverstraw and we are extremely grateful to Supervisor Phillips and his team for their gracious hosting.

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

Sponsored by

Rand Commercial logo

Economic Development / Government Affairs

EDGA kicked-off its Q3 sessions with a fascinating discussion with two of our favorite visitors, Sen, Bill Weber and Assemblyman John McGowan.

Both of these gentlemen had joined us in January, before going up to Albany for their initial legislative session. At that time they discussed their thoughts, hopes and expectations as freshman legislators. They were very pragmatic and focused on issues affecting our community.

Their reflections on a contentious first budget cycle were equally compelling. There was conversation about the Budget being late, the back and forth between the leaders and the degree of transparency in the process. They were candid about how issues like housing and bail laws held up the process. But, there was also a very positive attitude evidenced in both men and a clear enthusiasm for their jobs.

Participants got a pretty good picture of two of our newest state representatives and, by all indications, it was positive.

In a September joint session with the RBA Green Council, we had a presentation on a major business community effort to educate New Yorker’s about significant unintended consequences of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, such as higher energy prices, reduced reliability of the state’s energy grid and adverse impacts on the overall economic climate that could discourage new investment and job growth.

Our presenter, Rich Bamberger, a partner in Bamberger & Vlasto, was very clear to highlight that this would not be an adversarial campaign, but, rather, an effort to help the state implement its plan in a positive manner. (Two weeks after our presentation, it was officially announced that this is a project of the Business Council of NYS and that the RBA is a participant in the effort).

EDGA is Chaired by Al Samuels, RBA President/CEO

Sponsored by:

Engineers Labor Employer Cooperative Elec 825 logo


Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

The RBA’s Hospitality & Tourism Alliance convened a significant meeting in September, focusing on the theme of leveraging the holiday season to boost sales and traffic in the hospitality and tourism sector. The panel consisted of prominent Rockland County business owners including Gena Lisante from Gena Lisa Lingerie, Hope Wade from Hope Wade Designs, and Constantine Kalandranis from the Greekish in Nyack and Harrison, NY.

During the meeting, the panel engaged in a thorough discussion of current trends and challenges in the industry, offering practical examples of how they have effectively harnessed the holiday season to drive sales. They emphasized the importance of partnerships, both with other businesses and within the local community, highlighting successful collaborations that have contributed to their holiday season success.

In addition to sharing their experiences, the panel delved into creative strategies for in-store and online marketing to engage and captivate customers during the holiday period. They addressed the critical aspects of staffing and the significance of delivering exceptional customer service, recognizing that these elements play a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience for visitors and patrons.

This group is Co-Chaired by Keri Cunningham, Director of Communications, Palisades Center and Mark Davidoff, Director, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, RCC.

Sponsored by:

Palisades Center logo


Green Council

In September the Green Council held a joint session with the Economic Development/Government Affairs Council.  Our guest speaker was Rich Bamberger, a partner in Bamberger & Vlastoon. He outlined a major business community effort to educate New Yorker’s about significant unintended consequences of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, such as higher energy prices, reduced reliability of the state’s energy grid and adverse impacts on the overall economic climate that could discourage new investment and job growth.

Green Council Chair
Tony Lisanti, CEM, CPHC
Integral Building and Design
Sponsored by:

HR Connexions is where corporate HR professionals come together to learn and discuss pertinent, timely HR and legislative issues which affect their day-to-day functions and HR operations.

This group did not meet in Quarter 3.

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.

Co-Chairs

Liz O’Halloran & Lena Bodin

Lena:  lena@4prs.com

Liz:  ohalloranl@coned.com


The Professional Marketing Council seeks to provide insight, information and education to help business owners, managers, marketing execs, and non-profit leaders stay on top of the latest trends to expand their organizations’ visibility.

This group did not meet in the 3rd Quarter. Please join us at our next meeting.

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

The Professional Marketing Council is co-chaired by:
Risa Hoag, GMG Public Relations and Jeff Lewis, WRCR Radio.

Women’s Leadership Council

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

The RBA Women’s Leadership Council hosted an interesting zoom Merging Intelligently: Survival and Growth with Guest Speakers: Echo Shumaker-Pruitt, Senior VP of Innovation Mental Health Association of Westchester and Deb Rizzi.

Deb Rizzi, who recently retired from Veolia, is experienced in a variety of corporate communications and marketing disciplines. She has been involved in mergers & acquisitions in the private sector for publicly traded national and international companies, as well as, for smaller not-for-profit organizations.

Echo Shumaker-Pruitt is responsible for spearheading innovative projects of strategic importance to MHA Westchester. The discussion covered the many layers, challenges and processes that are involved in considering and implementing mergers. The group learned about benefits of mergers in the current business environment and organizational considerations that should be considered. A dynamic Q&A followed that yielded additional information on this emerging trend.

The Women’s Leadership Council is C0-Chaired by

Stephanie Madison, President/CEO, Mental Health Association of Rockland

madisons@mharockland.org

Julie Sadowski, Executive Director, Rockland Community Foundation

julie@rocklandgives.org