Westchester County Association Officially Launches Search for New Leader

John Jordan | September 2019

Three of the members of the WCA Search Committee, from left: Aleida Frederico, vice president, commercial lending, TD Bank; Jeffrey Menkes, president & CEO, The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital; and William P. Harrington, Jr., partner, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP.

WHITE PLAINS—After negotiations ended in June on a proposed merger with the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp., the Westchester County Association has announced the official launch of a search for a new president and CEO to replace longtime leader William M. Mooney Jr.

Mooney will retire as of as of Dec. 31, 2019. The WCA has formed a seven-member Search Committee, chaired by Jeff Menkes, president & CEO of The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and a key member of WCA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Menkes said the committee will conduct a comprehensive and inclusive search in the next two to three months for the WCA’s new President and CEO.

“This is an opportune time for a big-picture visionary to take the helm as Westchester County transitions into a vibrant business hub of the biotech, healthcare, education, real estate and entertainment industries,” Menkes said. He added that the WCA Search Committee “is actively seeking resumes from highly-qualified individuals as the WCA begins a new chapter, with the goal to enhance its regional presence in the metro-New York, Hudson Valley regions.”

For almost 70 years, the WCA has proactively developed and advanced policies and initiatives to foster smart growth and economic vitality in the region.

“Our process will be thorough, thoughtful, and open-minded,” explained William P. Harrington, chairman of the WCA Board of Directors. “We intend to conduct considerable outreach to find the right person to head this powerful, strategic organization.”

WCA’s Search Committee is dominated by real estate and banking professionals, The committee consists of: Carl Austin, president, Austin Corporate Properties, Inc. William V. Cuddy, Jr. executive vice president, CBRE; Aleida Frederico, vice president, commercial lending, TD Bank; Harrington, Jr., partner, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP; Jack Kopnisky, president & CEO, Sterling National Bank; H. Guy Leibler, president, Simone Healthcare Development and Jeffrey Menkes, president & CEO, The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital.

“Bill amassed an incredible record of accomplishments, so we have big shoes to fill,” Cuddy noted of Mooney’s legacy at the Westchester County Association. “That said, the opportunity to take both the WCA and Westchester County to new heights, especially with the life sciences and tech industries booming, is tremendous. With the right strategy and implementation, we will attract talent. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.”

Mooney views Westchester County “as a remarkable place. Leading the Westchester County Association has been my life’s great honor. I am confident that Westchester’s best days are ahead,” he said.

The failed merger deal between the WCA and the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. had called for Mooney, Jr. to retire in September and stay on in a consultancy role with the new organization. Mooney was to be replaced as the head of the organization by current HVEDC President and CEO Mike Oates.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth