What’s Happening: 4th Quarter 2023
Newsletter sponsored by: TD Bank
CRED supports and empowers RBA members who are in real estate, development, and construction through networking, resource sharing, education and advocacy.
This quarter we held a joint meeting with the Green Council. Paul Adler of Rand Commercial provided an overview of past and current challenges in the Commercial Real Estate market, including the effects of remote work on Class A & B office space, the need for affordable housing, revitalization of downtown areas such as in Nyack and Haverstraw, repurposing of large retail and commercial spaces to residential and mixed use. Tony Lisanti provided some insight into the electrification efforts and consequences of the grid updates not keeping pace with fossil fuel to all electric conversions.
Please contact us for any ideas on topics of interest:
Chair: Michael Chang- firstname.lastname@example.org
The group’s November meeting was a month after the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians and coincided with a series of mass shootings in the U.S. Much of the meeting was devoted to concerns about terrorism, the rise of antisemitism and security issues on our college campuses and elsewhere.
There also was discussion about the stock market having the worst October in five years and the Siena College Research Institute’s report on the increasing economic pessimism being expressed by consumers. Over 70% of consumers were indicating they were worse off financially than they were a year ago.
In December, we took note of the range of issues being watched by the State Business Council. These included: non-compete legislation; LLC transparency; congestion pricing; unemployment insurance tax relief; enhanced R&D credit; green energy and child care investment credit; any attempt to raise personal income taxes and the 21st Century Anti-Trust Act.
Al attended the BCNYS Government Affairs Council meeting, in Albany, a few days before our meeting and shared some of his take-aways. He noted that State Budget Director Blake Washington told the Council that NY was facing “manageable, but sizeable” budget gaps of $4.3B, $9.5B and $7.7B, respectively in the next three budget cycles. Also, Mr. Washington very candidly shared some financial pressures facing New Yorkers. These included a 24% increase in food and beverage prices between 2019 and 2023, a 14.4% increase in child costs and a 7.3% increase in rental expenses.
EDGA is Chaired by Al Samuels, RBA President/CEO
The Hospitality and Tourism Alliance’s fourth quarter meetings showcased collaboration, fostered in-depth discussions, and cultivated new ideas to elevate the hospitality and tourism sectors in Rockland County.
In October, Lucy Redzeposki, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, outlined Rockland County’s ambitious plans for tourism in 2024.
November spotlighted Robert Yonskie, the Owner and Founder of Yes Tours NYC, as a guest speaker. He shared his background experiences with American Cruise Lines, discussed successful partnership examples, and shared his vision for bringing tours to Rockland County.
December’s meeting offered a comprehensive recap of Rockland County’s significant events and future plans. Speakers including Roger Cohen from the Nyack Chamber of Commerce, Tristan Dunnigan from ACADA, Hope Wade of Hope Wade Designs / Rockland Fashion Week, and Jerry Tuchband, President of the Greater Nanuet Chamber of Commerce gathered to share results, achievements, successes, and lessons learned from some of Rockland County’s most significant events. They also unveiled exciting plans for 2024.
This group is Co-Chaired by Keri Cunningham, Director of Communications, Palisades Center and Mark Davidoff, Director, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, RCC.
In October the Green Council hosted a roundtable discussion of topics relevant to the Rockland Business Community.
December’s Green Council meeting was combined with CRED. Paul Adler of Rand Commercial provided an overview of past and current challenges in the Commercial Real Estate market, including the effects of remote work on Class A & B office space, the need for affordable housing, revitalization of downtown areas such as in Nyack and Haverstraw, repurposing of large retail and commercial spaces to residential and mixed use. Tony Lisanti provided some insight into the electrification efforts and consequences of the grid updates not keeping pace with fossil fuel to all electric conversions.
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.
In October, the Marketing Council had an in-depth presentation by Evan Fishkin, VP of Operations for Logic Inbound on SEO (search engine optimization). With more than a decade of startup to enterprise experience at companies such as Microsoft and Digitas, Evan is a thought leader in the world of digital and search marketing. During his 45-minute presentation, Evan covered SEO basics, the importance of organic traffic to a website, key SEO terminology, customer behavior and online search, understanding on-page SEO including keywords, meta descriptions, content quality and internal linking, backlinks and local SEO and Google business profiles as well as mobile-friendliness, secure and accessible websites and how to measure success through Google analytics, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), as well as free and paid tools.
We ask anyone interested in attending future meetings to complete this Google form and make any suggestions you may have for future events.
“The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of AI”
We are excited to share a brief recap of the insightful “Technology Initiative” meeting that took place on November 16th, focusing on the theme of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace. The meeting was presented by Justin Schwartz from Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office and Brian T Campbell from Rockland Pros. Both speakers delved into the world of AI and demonstrated various tools that can significantly enhance efficiency and value for businesses.
Key highlights of the meeting:
1. **AI Tools for Business Users:**
Justin and Brian showcased a range of AI tools tailored for business applications. These tools are designed to empower users to streamline processes, boost efficiency, and ultimately provide more value to customers and clients.
2. **Live Demonstrations:**
Attendees were treated to live demonstrations of cutting-edge AI tools, including but not limited to:
– **ChatGPT:** An advanced language model that can be utilized for a wide array of applications, from customer service to content creation.
– **Perplexity:** A tool designed to measure the uncertainty or surprise of a language model, aiding in refining and optimizing AI applications.
– **InVideo AI:** An innovative platform for video content creation, leveraging AI to enhance the overall quality and engagement of videos.
3. **Practical Applications:**
Justin and Brian shared practical insights into how these AI tools can be seamlessly integrated into daily business operations. The emphasis was on leveraging AI to drive efficiency, improve customer interactions, and stay ahead in an increasingly digital landscape.
The meeting concluded with an engaging Q&A session, allowing attendees to seek clarification, share their thoughts, and explore potential applications of AI in their specific business contexts.
As we move forward, we encourage all Members to explore these AI tools and consider their potential impact on your respective endeavors. The Technology Initiative remains committed to keeping our Members informed about the latest advancements in technology and their practical applications in the business world.
Fuel your business aspirations with the help of Women’s Leadership Council
The Women’s Leadership Council had a dynamic presentation from Elizabeth Santiago in October. Elizabeth, the CEO of Center for Safety & Change, educated participants on domestic violence, including national data, root causes, gender dynamics, legal implications, and supports available in the Rockland community. As October is Domestic Violence Awareness month each year, the presentation was timely, informative, and received well by all.
The Council used the last two months of the year to connect with colleagues and reflect on our accomplishments. We also engaged in planning for 2024, including some changes to our structure. The Women’s Leadership Council will now meet 6 times per year, every other month, beginning in January and concluding in November. This modified calendar is designed to streamline events and maximize participation while continuing to offer the best speakers and engaging topics the professional community has to offer.
The Women’s Leadership Council is C0-Chaired by