BCW’s Economic Recovery Task Force Looks To Create Action Plan to Help Re-open Economy

Real Estate In-Depth | May 2020

Business Council of Westchester President and CEO Marsha Gordon

RYE BROOK—As New York State prepares to begin reopening its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the newly formed Business Council of Westchester’s Economic Recovery Task Force is forging ahead with developing a comprehensive plan to provide specific recovery measures and recommendations keyed to assisting Westchester’s diverse business and not-for-profit sectors.

The Task Force, comprised of more than 40 leaders from a broad spectrum of economic sectors across Westchester, met on May 5 to begin development of a strategic plan for providing coordinated assistance to businesses as the county’s economy reemerges from the unprecedented pandemic. An important initial step will be the convening of a virtual Town Hall meeting for all BCW members to solicit their ideas and gain direct input, the Business Council of Westchester stated.

HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty

The real estate industry is well represented on the task force and includes Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty, Joseph Apicella of Macquesten Development, Bill Balter of Wilder Balter Partners, Greg Berger of Robert Martin Company, Peter Chavkin of Lighthouse Landing Communities, Neil DeLuca of Fareri Associates, John Fareri of Fareri Associates, Tim Foley of the Builders Institute of Westchester, David Garten of RXR, Martin Ginsburg of Ginsburg Development, Larry Gottlieb of Robert Martin Company, Tim Jones of Robert Martin Company, Jeff Nelson of RXR, Kevin Plunkett of Simone Development Companies, Joseph Simone of Simone Development Companies, Jim Surdoval of Ginsburg Development and Budd Wiesenberg of CBRE.

“As we emerge from this crisis it is critically important that we have the strategies and plans in place that will let us hit the ground running,’’ said BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon. “We will work in cooperation and coordination with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Westchester County Executive George Latimer to provide them with specific recommendations based on the suggestions that emerge from our key business sectors.”

She added: “We are confident that the impressive group of leaders we have brought together can and will provide the wisdom, insight and creative thinking to enable the creation of constructive and practical plans for moving forward. Clearly, a measured and thoughtful reopening of our economy is crucial to every resident of our county and state and the Business Council of Westchester is fully committed to helping make this happen.”

At the state level, Governor Cuomo has formed the New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board which includes members of the BCW as the state pursues a phased plan to re-open New York on a regional basis. County Executive Latimer is leading the county government’s response, and Westchester Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons is a member of the BCW Task Force.

The BCW’s Task Force emerged from its Coalition for Smart Growth in Westchester, which includes the leading real estate development companies working in the county. The Task Force began with a core group of members from that group that has quickly been augmented with representatives from key economic sectors including retail, hospitality, healthcare, biotech, technology, higher education, arts & entertainment, professional services, recreation, finance, insurance, title insurance, transportation, not-for-profit and government.

BCW Westchester Economic Development Task Force Members

Joseph Apicella, Macquesten Development – Real Estate*

Luiz Aragon, City of New Rochelle – Government

Bill Balter, Wilder Balter Partners – Real Estate*

Greg Berger, Robert Martin Company – Real Estate*

Liz Bracken-Thompson, Thompson & Bender – Marketing/ Communications

Peter Chavkin, Lighthouse Landing Communities – Real Estate*

Robert Cioffi, Progressive Computing – Technology

Tom DeCaro, Benchmark Title Agency – Professional Services/Title Insurance*

Neil DeLuca, Fareri Associates – Real Estate*

Heidi Davidson, Galvanize Worldwide – BCW Board Chairman/Marketing/Communications

Taryn Duffy, Empire City by MGM Resorts – Gaming/Entertainment

John Fareri, Fareri Associates – Real Estate*

Tim Foley, Builders Institute of Westchester – Construction/Real Estate*

Michael Fosina, NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital – Healthcare

Susan Fox, Westchester Institute for Human Development – Not-for-Profit

Ken Fuirst, Levitt-Fuirst Associates – Professional Services/Insurance

David Garten, RXR – Real Estate*

Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County – Government

Martin Ginsburg, Ginsburg Development – Real Estate *

Larry Gottlieb, Robert Martin Company – Real Estate*

Richard Haggerty, Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors – Real Estate

Jeffrey Haydon, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts – Arts

Peter Herrero, NY Hospitality Group – Hospitality

April Horton, Verizon – Technology

Tim Jones, Robert Martin Company – Real Estate*

Anthony Justic, Maier Markey & Justic – Professional Services/Accounting

Marvin Krislov, Pace University – Higher Education

Joseph McCoy, People’s United Bank – Finance

Sean Meade, Cambria Hotels/Westchester Hotel Association – Hospitality

Jeff Nelson, RXR – Real Estate*

Kevin Plunkett, Simone Development Companies – Real Estate*

Liz Pollack, Cross County Shopping Center – Retail

George Poth, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals – Biotech

Joseph Saccomano, Jackson Lewis – Professional Services/Law

Michael Shiffer, MTA Metro-North Railroad – Transportation

Joseph Simone, Simone Development Companies– Real Estate*

Howard Stein, Small Business Development Center- Small Business

Edward Stoppelmann, Red Oak Transportation -Transportation

Joseph Stout, Westchester Parks Foundation – Recreation

Jim Surdoval, Ginsburg Development – Real Estate*

Geoff Thompson, Thompson & Bender – Marketing/Communications

Mark Weingarten, DelBello Donnellan & Weingarten – Professional Services/Law*

Budd Wiesenberg, CBRE – Real Estate

Roger Woolsey, Million Air – Transportation

*Member BCW Coalition for Smart Growth in Westchester