What’s Happening: 4th Quarter 2019

Newsletter sponsored by:
TD Bank logo

 

Construction, Real Estate and Development Council (CRED)

Green Council

Hospitality & Tourism Alliance

HR Connexions

Professional Marketing Council

Technology Initiative

Women’s Leadership Council

 

 


 

Construction, Real Estate and Development Council (CRED)

and Green Council

The Construction Real Estate and Development Council (CRED) continues to support the RBA’s effort to foster development and tax relief in Rockland County. CRED is co-chaired by Michael Shilale, Architect, MSA, and Judith Bachman, Esq., The Bachman Law Firm PLLC.

The Green Council vision is to educate, promote and advocate to the business community the benefits of adopting Green principles. Green Council is chaired by Michael Shilale, Architect, MSA.

In September, the RBA Construction, Real Estate and Development Council and the Green Council held a joint meeting. 

Anthony Lisanti, Robert Fischman, Sarah Smiley and Michael Shilale

Anthony Lisanti, Robert Fischman, Sarah Smiley and Michael Shilale

We introduced PACE financing for green construction projects in ROCKLAND County. The Green Council has been working since 2015 to bring this important tool to ROCKLAND. The legislation signed this summer, stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and permits special financing for energy-saving projects. It solves several problems with financing energy-saving projects. The longer terms available, and better rates help these projects have no out of pocket costs. They also allow landlords and tenants to implement projects and properly share the risks and benefits.

View the presentation by Sarah Smiley and Robert Fischman from Energize NY

Energize NY

The Councils are grateful to the Legislature and to County Executive Ed Day in signing this Legislation.

The RBA Green Council just delivered our 10th Annual Green Awards Program. A very successful program, where four amazing companies were honored for their sustainability efforts. We have many companies doing great work to save energy, conserve water, reduce waste and improve their transportation impacts.

We are grateful to our Green Awards lunch sponsor Orange and Rockland Utilities and to SUEZ NY – our Subsidiary Group Sponsor.

 


 

Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

“HTA visits some of Rockland’s latest Tourism Destinations”

The July HTA meeting drew a big turnout for a site tour of the Valley Rock Inn (VRI) in Sloatsburg. VRI is a transformative destination project for the Hudson Valley. Much of it is up and running although several new additions are under construction. Led by owner/creator Michael Bruno, the HTA group took a tour of the grounds including many new enhancements. Amongst the newest facilities, all very unique, are a catering/conference building, an outdoor swimming pool, an art gallery, renovation of the bike shop and retail store, a one-of-a-kind state of the art workout facility and a new multi-purpose meeting facility.

Michael Bruno gives a tour of Valley Rock Inn

Michael Bruno gives a tour of Valley Rock Inn

 

Under the watchful eye of Michael Bruno these latest enhancements, like the rest of the project, are meticulously created spaces that are unique and will be a major tourism attraction. Bruno has re-created this Hudson Valley Gateway in a forward-thinking creative way attracting tourists to come to Rockland via trains, visit the parks and stay overnight. The Village of Sloatsburg is enjoying a destination renaissance because of this project.

 

Pool Pic at Valley Rock

Outdoor swimming pool at Valley Rock Inn

 

Attendees gathered in the open-air restaurant for the HTA meeting

Attendees gathered in the open-air restaurant for the HTA meeting

 

In September the HTA meeting was held in the newly renovated UP Lounge in Nyack. Beautifully restored by owner/manager Rachel Karwaski and her husband Mike, this unique 3-level open floor venue is a music destination, restaurant and lounge. Nyack remains one of Rockland’s best-known destinations and the Up Lounge will add to its appeal.

 

 

With several years of experience in the industry, the Up Lounge is the realization of Rachel’s dream to operate her own restaurant/entertainment venue.
 
Rachel Karwaski, owner of UP Lounge

Rachel Karwaski, owner of UP Lounge

She has also created a green facility, as all beer comes from the tap and no paper is used throughout the restaurant (all checks are electronic). Many village government and chamber people attended the meeting to show their support of the project.
Jeremy Schulman, Rockland County director of Economic Development and Tourism updated the HTA on his activities in marketing the County to attract tourism. Many in attendance shared their latest tourism related business activities, with a generally good report as to hotel usage over the summer.

 


 

HR Connexions Group

Keeping abreast of what’s happening in the HR world…

HR Connexions is an invitation-only group of HR practitioners from RBA member companies and looks towards the future of HR while bringing programs and speakers who can speak to the impending changes.

Guest Speaker Dr. Lisa Brooks Greaux …

After a summer hiatus the HR Connexions met in September with a presentation from Dr. Lisa Brooks Greaux on Diversity & Inclusion

Dr. Lisa Brooks Greaux on Diversity & Inclusion

Dr. Lisa Brooks Greaux on Diversity & Inclusion

 

We learned about the importance of not just talking Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in companies, but how it strategically makes sense to invest resources in programs that address cultural, ethnic, gender and generational diversity as well as diversity in individuals with differing abilities or gender orientations, and accommodates our changing workforce. Our customer base is also changing where there is ever-increasing diversity in individuals with buying power, such as women and minority groups.

We had an active discussion about unconscious biases that affect all of us – no matter how conscientious we are in the workplace.

The biggest takeaway was that the millennial group, born between 1981 and 1999, will comprise approximately 50% of the workforce in 2020, and will be 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Millennials have very different expectations from their work experiences compared to earlier generations and companies will need to be able to adjust their employee engagement to attract and retain this group of talent who grew up with technology as part of their daily life.

Our next and last meeting for 2019 will be in November and the topic is on Performance Management and Managing Employee Expectations and Engagement.

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 Lena Bodin or Doreen Briglia to be added to our invitation list.

Email Doreen  or  Email Lena

Liz O’Halloran & Lena Bodin
Co-Chairs

 


 

Professional Marketing Council

Strategies, Social Media and Advertising, Oh My!

The term marketing encompasses so many different topics and the Professional Marketing Council is no different. Our members have backgrounds in traditional advertising, public relations, communications, and social media and so it’s no wonder that during our first meeting in September, we came up with a wide range of topics to present each month. Our list of topics will meet the needs of many of our members and provide detailed insight into a variety of ways to increase marketing efforts to businesses and nonprofits.

 

Professional Marketing Council

 

On Tuesday, October 22, Greg Smith, PMC member and head of GBS Communications spoke about Content Marketing. He gave tips and strategies on how to engage, nurture and win customers. Our members were grateful for the tips and ideas he shared and we can’t wait to implement them. 

Our next meeting will be held on November 19 and we are pleased to announce that Bill Madden from Suez will present on Advertising in Rockland County and how to best reach our customers.

 


 

Technology Initiative

Educational and interactive discussions addressing the ever-changing business needs – for those with a technology background, and those without.

On Thursday, September 19th the Technology Initiative met with RBA Members at the Rockland BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Piermont to address the question – What is your IT Challenge?

P-TECH is a four to six-year program (grades 9-14) focused on engaging students in hands-on, project-based learning to be successful in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  Students who successfully complete the program earn a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree at no cost from Rockland Community College (RCC). Graduates are first in line for a job with industry partners in the growing STEM career fields.

Members in attendance ranged from several small businesses to a large organization, and a government-sponsored agency.  Industries included marketing, travel, professional services, information technology, education, and the public sector.

In response to the question, What is your IT Challenge?… The Council collaborated among the attendees, each contributing their respective IT challenges. At the end of the meeting, the Council met with representatives from the P-TECH school in order to identify potential projects for the students to undertake on behalf of RBA Members.

Kate Coffey, EDU Trips, tells of her IT challenges

Kate Coffey, EDU Trips, tells of her IT challenges

 

Technology Initiative meeting at Rockland BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)

Technology Initiative meeting at Rockland BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)

These semester-long projects are referred to as, “The Industry Challenge”.  Each Industry Challenge is comprised of students and a volunteer Business Partner from the community, who work together toward solving a real-life problem.

Two potential projects stemming from our Council meeting include…

  • White Papers:  As part of this project, the students would conduct research and prepare a report (or series of reports), commonly known as a “White Paper” in the Consulting industry.  These White Papers provide RBA Members with facts about specific technologies (e.g., MailChimp vs. Constant Contact, Gmail vs. G Suite), enabling Members to make intelligent decisions regarding potential solutions that could solve common IT challenges.
  • Integrated Systems:  As part of this project, the students would evaluate the integration of commonly used applications and/or platforms in an effort to identify (or create) data connections, enabling seamless integrations on behalf of RBA Members. This may include the integration of a website (Godaddy, Wix, Weebly, WordPress) with a sales/marketing application (Salesforce.com, MailChimp, Constant Contact), with an accounting platform (QuickBooks), with a merchant service provider (Square, Stripe, PayPal, Braintree), etc.

 


 

Women’s Leadership Council

Enhance your business and career!

Networking, inspiration, and resources designed for female business owners and professional women.

Women’s Leadership Council is designed to provide networking, inspiration and resources for female business owners and professional women. Meetings are held monthly on Thursday mornings. Presentations are made on personal and professional development topics.

In September we presented “There is no “I” in Team is BS”, a Disrupt HR Talk by Suzanne Copeland, Copeland Collaborative.  Managing the natural tension between individualism and teamwork is a perennial leadership challenge.  Small group discussions of specific work-related issues followed the video presentation.

There is no I in Team is BS Pic

There is no I in Team is BS Pic

In October, expert motivational speaker Michele Phillips will present “The Impostor Syndrome – Unmask Your Authentic Brilliance”.  

And on December 11th join us at Hudson’s Mill for our annual after-work networking event.