What’s Happening: 2nd Quarter 2019

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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)

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.

CRED hosted a joint meeting in February with the Technology Council on the subject of “Technology Threats to Real Estate Businesses and Blockchain in Commercial Real Estate.”  Speakers Brian Campbell of Rockland Pros and Justin Schwartz of Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office described how even real estate is being touched by the digital world.

In March, Joseph Rand of Rand Realty shared his brilliant and entertaining insights into the “Changing Role of the Real Estate Broker.”  Joe demonstrated how businesses like Netflix, Disney and others have endured and triumphed over change and urged all of us to be likewise responsive in the real estate industry.

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



Green Council

This year the Green Council has had some fascinating programs.

Green Council Members

Last month, Liese Boese of The Daylight Savings Company gave a very informative presentation to the RBA Green Council on the newest commercial energy program from NYSERDA.

Recently, Rand Manasse and Doug Hertz of Sunrise Solar presented the latest and greatest in green energy to our Council.   The Green Council was hosted at PTECH, a partnership between local businesses and high school students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

SUEZ, our subsidiary group sponsor, has launched a robust Water Conservation Plan and is planning an event with Orange and Rockland Utilities to communicate to businesses the benefits and incentives available.  We expect many large and small businesses will take advantage of these money saving ways to reduce energy use and conserve water.

We celebrated our 10th Anniversary last year and this year will be out 10th Annual Green Awards Program.




Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

The January HTA meeting took place at the Palisades Center. Celebrating its 20th year Anniversary, the Center reported on the economic impact that it has, and continues to have on the County.  The original vision of the Palisades Center as a shop/play destination has proven to be a successful formula growing in momentum over the years. While brick and mortar retailers have been closing at an alarming rate the Palisades Center concept is showing no sign of slowing down.

  • The Palisades Center is Rockland’s leading Tourism attraction, providing thousands of jobs, and generating significant Sales and Property Tax revenue.  In addition, it has opened its doors to the non-profit community, donating space for various Fund-raising events and opportunities.  Currently, Palisades Center is seeking to expand by opening up under-utilized space on its 4th Floor.  The presentation was well received by the HTA members.
  • The group also discussed the economic impact being created by Airbnb.  Realizing that Airbnb is probably here to stay, the RBA has taken a position to call for regulating Airbnb holding them to the same health and safety standards and collecting sales and room tax like the rest of the industry.

With three great presenters on the docket, February’s meeting had a large turn-out.  Angela McDonnell, newly appointed Department Chair, Hospitality Management, St Thomas Aquinas College, made a presentation of their program and the potential job opportunities it offers to its graduates. Evadne Giannini, a nationally recognized leader for change in the industry,  President of Hospitality Green, gave an inspired presentation on how to find and develop great employees in the Hospitality industry.  The meeting ended with Tourism Director Lucy Redzeposki reviewing Rockland County’s Tourism initiatives.

Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

A good turnout at St. Thomas Aquinas College for a presentation on their Hospitality Management Program

March was another record turnout for the HTA.  Members shared their current and future programs and events that will attract tourism to the County.  The new publisher of Rivertown Magazine, Angeline Sheridan, was on hand and will publicize the group’s activities in the April 2019 edition. Those in attendance were happy to meet Angeline and appreciate her being proactive in promoting their efforts in the many activities that Rockland has to offer.




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.

The group meets five (5) times a year: February – April – June – September – November.  In April our meeting covered the American with Disabilities Act, presented by Michele Green, District Coordinator for Workforce Development & Business Relations, ACCES-VR – topics covered were recent changes to the ADA and the anticipated changes for the near future as HR professionals prepare and navigate workplace practices.

Since we meet 5 times a year we are very selective in choosing the most relevant topics with input from our participants. As is tradition, our June meeting will cover Legal Updates – both state and federal –presented by Jackson Lewis. This meeting brings participants up to date on the ever-so-changing landscape of employment law and legislation. So, don’t miss this very informative meeting!

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… Please reach out to the RBA or Lena Bodin to be added to our invitation list.

Email Doreen  or  Mail Lena

Liz O’Halloran & Lena Bodin



Professional Marketing Council

Our marketing council members always bring their vast experience to the table during our interactive brainstorming meetings. In March we discussed “Keeping Your Site ADA Compliant” and in April our topic was “Is Print Dead”.

On May 21st there will be a special presentation OPEN TO ALL “Digital/Social Marketing Defined”.

Hospitality and Tourism AllianceRegister for event

Everyone knows digital/social media has exploded! Come learn the How, What, and Why, as our panelists share tactics and channels they use to achieve and exceed their marketing objectives. This informative presentation will be led by Robin Colner, an acclaimed digital/social marketing strategist.



Technology Initiative

Discussing the technology trends that offer the greatest potential impact in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Top 3 IT challenges facing today’s small and medium-sized businesses

Our discussions and meetings with our members of small and medium-sized organizations has helped us identify the most common and time-consuming IT challenges facing these organizations. Clearly, there are numerous IT challenges facing today’s small and medium-sized businesses, but we’ve boiled them down to the top 3 as follows:

  1. When the number of IT options continues to grow, it becomes increasingly more difficult to have the range and depth of expertise needed to select, maintain and optimize the right IT solutions.
  2. The “end of life” issue for hardware and software can introduce a series of costs, compliance and security risks to an organization.
  3. Integration with an increasing number of applications and technologies is complicated and time-consuming.

The RBA Tech Committee has become mentors of Hudson Valley P-TECH and it’s successful STEM program.

Hudson Valley P-TECH includes college-level, credit-bearing coursework from freshman year and allows students to choose their own “pathways” to middle-level skilled jobs, including Computer Information Technology, Engineering and Green Building Technology and Management.

Our next meeting on May 9th will be about the new IT Security Threat facing our homes and workplace.  Join us!

Register for event



Women’s Leadership Council

Enhance your business and career!

Women’s Leadership Council meetings are the place to be and be seen!  Designed for female business owners and professional women, WLC provides networking, inspiration and resources.  Join the event each month for information and discussion about topics that impact women in business.

This quarter, ‘Art of Negotiation’, ‘Financial Strategies for Professional Women’ and ‘Power of Grit, achieving your goals with Passion and Perseverance’ were the hot topics.  All in attendance learned new information and techniques.

April’s topic ‘Learn to Communicate with Calmfidence’ with speaker Patricia Stark was a ‘Bring your Daughter’s to work day’ special meeting. Learn to communicate with ‘Calmfidence’, trust your skills and instincts and overcome obstacles of doubt and fear.

Women's Leadership Council

WLC Co-Chairs join the April Speaker, Patricia Stark, after a terrific presentation to the members and to the daughters who joined us on this “Bring Your Daughters to Work Day” From left: Suzanne Copeland, Doreen Briglia, Patricia Stark, Marian Rokeach and Robin Rosenberg.

Watch for more details about WLC’s June special event at Paramount Country Club.  Delicious food, wine tasting and much more!

Meeting dates: The last Thursday of each month from 8:30 to 10:00 am.  Locations to be announced.