What’s Happening: Councils & Forums – 2nd Quarter 2018

Late Summer 2018

Construction, Real Estate and Development Council (CRED)

The CRED council 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.

CRED wrapped up the last quarter with a Boat Tour of the Tappan Zee Bridge Construction.

CRED regularly draws about 20 attendees and holds its events at the JCC in West Nyack.

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

Halfway through our 10th year, the RBA’s Green Council has delivered some fascinating programs.

SUEZ, our subsidiary group sponsor, has launched a robust Water Conservation Plan and created incentives for water conservation as well as free water use audits.  There is even an app you can download to get instant rebates for water conserving fixtures at Lowe’s.

Orange and Rockland Utilities visited our council in May describing their robust energy conservation program for businesses large and small.

Laura Ramsey, Brian Campbell, Lynn Roe, Doreen Briglia, Peter Sagui, Keith Swanson

Laura Ramsey, Brian Campbell, Lynn Roe, Doreen Briglia, Peter Sagui, Keith Swanson

We celebrated our 10th Anniversary while saying goodbye to the Tappan Zee Bridge on May 31st.  A light rain some, described by some as “tears from heaven,” didn’t dampen Council members’ spirits as we saw the last remnants of the Tappan Zee being removed and floating away on barges.

This year we will be creating a video retrospective of our work and our successes over the last decade.  Highlighting our over 30 organizations that have won Green Awards and have taken those first steps towards a more sustainable future.

The RBA Green Council is proud of a decade of delivering educational programs, sustainable building tours, a green toolkit and an always anticipated annual Green Awards Program.

Since 2008, the Green Council has helped educate, promote and advocate to the business community the benefits of adopting Green principles.

Get your applications in early for our 9th Annual Green Awards.

Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

  • Al Samuels reported on pending legislation to change the formula of Homestead vs. Non-Homestead property tax. This legislation would shift the property tax burden towards the commercial tax payers and is being vigorously fought by the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association.
  • Jodi Bergin, Levity Live, highlighted the parent company’s latest initiatives including renovating, doing more community events and collaborating with the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival in 2019.
  • Lucy Redzeposki, RC Director of Economic Development and Tourism, has been participating in travel shows and visited Ireland to attract visitors arriving on Norwegian Airlines at Stewart Airport. The tourism website has been revamped and has won several awards which includes a Chinese microsite. Filming in Rockland has been strong and the Governor’s Office of Motion Pictures recognized Rockland for its efforts.
  • Visit Nyack’s “Capture Your Hearts” campaign on Metro North trains and social media has helped to increase downtown Nyack’s retail activity. A full schedule of summertime music programs is planned.  Nyack’s Mayor has been educating the public on how tourism effects the economy and the importance of visiting bikers, the need for weekend bus service and increased parking.
  • Jennifer Patton, Hopper House Executive Director, reported that eighty percent of visitors are from outside Rockland and forty percent from outside the country. The outdoor area has been renovated to accommodate 250 people for music events.  Hopper House is to become a fully accredited Museum, which will increase its visitation.
  • David Kimmel reported that renovation of the new RCC Nyack Culinary Arts facility in Nyack has begun and has a Fall opening planned.

HR Connexions Group

The HR Connexions Group is an invitation only group of HR practitioners from RBA member companies and the group meets every other month. This decision was made by the member companies HR practitioners and has remained that way since inception.



Our April 18, 2018 meeting was a hit. The topic was ‘Bridging the Gap’. Our presenters, Lynda Wolf and Fran Monteleone kept the meeting in high gear as we broke into teams and played games.

Our June 13, 2018 meeting, following tradition, was our Legal Update with Michael Hekle, Partner, Jackson Lewis. As always, this was a well-attended meeting at the JCC and even though we set the time one-half longer than normal meetings, we still ran over with questions, and had to leave the room since another group was waiting to come in. Needless to say, the conversation continued outside for another good twenty minutes.

We are off for the summer months, returning on September 12, 2018 with our last meeting of the year on November 14, 2018.

We encourage member companies to let your HR department know about the HR Connexions group and have them reach out to Doreen Briglia at the RBA to have their name added to the mailing list.

To the HR Connexions Group – Enjoy your summer and see you in the fall!

Professional Marketing Council

Does Your Marketing Suck?

The June breakfast event at the Pearl River Hilton was well attended thanks to guest speaker Mark Stevens.  Mark is a popular media commentator and best-selling author of “Your Marketing Sucks” and “Everything You Ever Learned About Selling Is A Lie”.  During the presentation, Mark shared valuable marketing insights and entertaining anecdotes from his many years in the business.

After Mark’s presentation, a lively Q&A filled the room followed by round table discussions moderated by marketing council members.

We hope everyone is enjoying the summer and look forward to seeing you at our September meeting on 9/25.

Technology Initiative

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

How ready are companies for the upheaval in technology?

Data Breaches and Ransomware

  • In a recent survey 78% of executives said that Cybersecurity keeps them up at night, anxiety levels remain high.

Digital Marketing

  • The digital marketing domain is not new but I want to include this as this domain will be increasing in the coming years and have the potential to employ and impact the major part of the human civilization.
  • Digital marketing is the use of internet tools and platforms to interact with prospective customers and pursue them to buy product and services.

Autonomous Driving / Flying (Robot Cars/Drones)

  • The only name comes to the mind when you listen autonomous driving is Tesla and if you don’t know about the Tesla then you are living in some deserted place.
  • Tesla made the electric car more stylish and more performance driven than the traditional gasoline cars. Electric cars are now more advanced than traditional gasoline cars in every feature.

SAVE THE DATE:   October 25, 2018 ‘Women in Tech’ – a special program presented with the RBA Technology Initiative and Women’s Leadership Council.

Women’s Leadership Council

  • In May, we heard from Lena Bodin, Principal at People Resource Strategies and Adjunct Professor at Long Island University about how to navigate difficult relationships and conversations in business and at home.
  • Last month, we held our Annual Fashion Show and Dinner featuring a multi-course small plate tasting menu with wine pairings. We showcased the latest fashions that work for professional women and working moms modeled by WLC members. It was a really fun evening, sponsored by Avon and Lord & Taylor.  You don’t want to miss it next year!
  • You will also not want to miss our July 26th session, “What is your body language saying about you?” You’ll learn how to leverage your personal presence to fuel your success.

WLC kicks off again in September with Women In Tech.  And we are truly excited to announce a collaborative program in October between WLC and the RBA Technology Initiative: Women in Tech!

With workplace automation on the rise, you will hear from women in technology who are paving the way for the integration of robotics and artificial intelligence in the office.