Teatown Hudson River EagleFest 2017

By | Press Releases, Uncategorized

CROeaglefest_econatureTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (January 3, 2017) – Teatown’s Annual EagleFest, a signature Hudson Valley winter event, will be taking flight with an expanded program at Westchester’s Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson on Saturday February 11 th from 9:00am-4:00pm. (snow date Feb.12)

Created by Teatown Lake Reservation, a leading regional environmental education center and nature preserve, EagleFest gives visitors of all ages a unique opportunity to view these magnificent birds both up close and in their natural environment. This year’s event features spectacular eagle viewing along the Hudson River and educational and informative bird shows, showcasing eagles and other raptors, plus new programs and features such as live musical performances and an inspiring, award-winning documentary film.

A highlight of EagleFest is the opportunity to see eagles and other spectacular birds of prey up close in the Eagle Theater. Perennial favorites, Bill Streeter of Delaware Valley Raptor Center and Brian Bradley of Skyhunters in Flight, return with their magnificent birds.   Joining this year’s event is Andrew Simmons, a celebrated lecturer and entertainer, who has appeared with his golden eagle and other wildlife on Good Morning America, Today, and is a regular visitor at the American Museum of Natural History. These knowledgeable and entertaining presenters provide insight and understanding into the life and realm of these truly special species.  Visitors can also attend a variety of workshops and presentations geared to all ages.

There are also opportunities to view eagles in their nearby natural habitats. Teatown educators will lead bus tours along the Hudson River to various viewing sites where eagle experts will be stationed with spotting scopes. The two-hour tours leave from Croton Point Park at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seats are on a first come, first-served basis, for an additional fee.

The newest feature of the festival will be the screening of the critically-acclaimed Sony Pictures documentary “The Eagle Huntress.”  Available to all EagleFest general admission ticket holders, the film is being shown in cooperation with Pace University’s Environmental program.  It tells the story of a young Mongolian girl who is the first female eagle hunter in the 1,000-year history of her tribe.  The film is suitable for all ages and will be shown at 1:30 and 3:30 pm at Wilcox Hall on Pace University’s Pleasantville campus.

Throughout the day in addition to bird of prey shows, there will be live music, including a performance by Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Tom Chapin.  These shows and children’s activities are all held in heated tents – a festive atmosphere on a winter’s day!  A variety of food trucks to suit everyone’s tastes will be on-site throughout the festival.

Pre-sale tickets are discounted and on sale now at www.teatown.org/events/eaglefest/  Pre-sale tickets are $17/adults (12+), $10/children (6-11) and free for children 5 and under.  Tickets sold at the venue on the day of the event are $22/adults (12+), $12/children (6-11) and free for children 5 and under. In the event of severe weather, the alternate date for EagleFest will be Sunday, February 12, 2017.

Attendees coming from Manhattan or Poughkeepsie can take Metro-North trains to Croton-Harmon Train Station. Special EagleTrain cars will depart from Grand Central at 9:47 am and 9:50 am from Poughkeepsie. During the trip, on-board naturalists will point out various Hudson Valley birds to riders.  Free shuttle buses will bring attendees to/from the Croton-Harmon Train Station to Croton Point Park. To participate in this event, guests must purchase a regular train ticket from Metro North.

Sarah Lawrence College Names 11th President

By | Press Releases

slc-187-edit_lowresJanuary 26, 2017 (Bronxville) –  The Trustees of Sarah Lawrence College have announced that Cristle Collins Judd, Senior Program Officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been named the College’s 11th president. Dr. Judd will succeed Dr. Karen R. Lawrence, who will conclude her tenure as president in July 2017.

Sarah Lawrence has thrived during Dr. Lawrence’s 10-year presidency, increasing the size and diversity of the student body, significantly increasing financial aid, setting new records for applications, joining Division III of the NCAA, and spearheading the most successful fundraising campaign in its history, with nearly $130 million raised to date toward a goal of $200 million.

“Cristle Collins Judd is the ideal person to lead Sarah Lawrence and to ensure that we build on our recent successes,” says Mark P. Goodman ’83, Chair of the College’s Presidential Search Committee and its Board of Trustees. “She is a proven leader, a dedicated teacher, a distinguished scholar, and an astute observer of the American higher education landscape. Cristle’s career has given her a broad network within and beyond the academy and a valuable, wide-aperture understanding of liberal arts colleges across the country and the opportunities and challenges they face today.”

Dr. Judd is Senior Program Officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities at the  Mellon Foundation where she has led  initiatives in support of liberal arts colleges, graduate education, arts on campus, digital humanities, and advanced scholarship. She has worked with college and university presidents and provosts from around the country to address the most pressing issues facing higher education today, including diversity and inclusive excellence, the value of the liberal arts, the role of the arts and humanities in civil society, and the cost of higher education.

“Cristle is a noted scholar, an experienced administrator, and an accomplished leader,” says Earl Lewis, president of the Mellon Foundation. “During her time here, she has developed a great range of grants and initiatives that have richly enhanced the foundation’s work. She has the full complement of skills needed to successfully lead an elite liberal arts college in this period of heightened diversity and complexity.”

Says Dr. Judd: “I have long known about the special qualities of Sarah Lawrence students—their creativity, their intellectual passion, their desire to dig deep, their aspiration to change the world—and the way these qualities are cultivated in one-on-one work with a superb faculty and dedicated staff, preparing students for meaningful lives that make a difference, as so clearly evidenced by the College’s alumni. At this moment in history, when our greatest need is for people who can think creatively across a variety of disciplines to imagine bold solutions for complex problems, a Sarah Lawrence education is more important than ever.

“Higher education today faces daunting challenges including cost, value, outcomes, and diversity and inclusion, and Sarah Lawrence is not immune to these,” Judd continues. “But as I have seen in my work at the Mellon Foundation, there are creative ways to address these issues. Sarah Lawrence’s history of experimentation, of nimbleness and flexibility, of innovation in both undergraduate and graduate education, coupled with its foundational commitment to the arts and liberal arts, positions the College to help lead the way. I am excited to join the Sarah Lawrence community as together we look to—and shape—the College’s future prominence and success.”

Before joining the Mellon Foundation, Dr. Judd served for nine years as dean for academic affairs and professor of music at Bowdoin College, where she was instrumental in fostering a culture of engaged intellectual inquiry among students through curricular innovation and renewal, a focus on academic and co-curricular advising, and enhanced support for student fellowships and research. Together with faculty and staff, she created nationally recognized programs for faculty development, championed efforts for diversity and inclusion, and supported new policies addressing work–life balance and workplace equity. Prior to serving at Bowdoin, Dr. Judd was an award-winning professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania, where she served on the faculty for 13 years.

“Cristle’s accomplishments and wide-ranging contributions while at Bowdoin were extraordinary,” says Barry Mills, Bowdoin’s president from 2001 to 2015. “She guided Bowdoin’s academic program with vision, creativity, and a clear focus on excellence, and there is no question that her legacy will endure for a very long time.”

Dr. Judd earned her BM and MM in music performance and musicology from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and her MM and PhD in music theory from King’s College, University of London. Her research is widely published, and she has served on the boards of the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society, as well as on the editorial boards of various journals.

Upon taking office, Dr. Judd plans to reside in the President’s House with her husband, Robert Judd, the executive director of the American Musicological Society. The Judds have three daughters: Katie (27), Hannah (22), and Sarah (20).

BCW and Steiner Sports Host Program with Yankees Sports Legend Derek Jeter

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Jeter talks with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap about his career on day Yankees announce retiring his No. 2

TARRYTOWN, NY – (December 6, 2016) –  In a candid, at times humorous, at times moving presentation to the Business Council of Westchester on December 6, Yankees legend Derek Jeter spoke about his stellar baseball career  and  his current career as an entrepreneur and founder of business ventures such as The Player’s Tribune, an online sports media platform.   In an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, he told the audience of more than 300 people at the Marriott in Tarrytown that the path to becoming a leader is not always about winning. The program, in partnership with Steiner Sports Management, focused on Jeter’s success as a leader on and off the playing field, and came on the same day as the Yankees announcement that Jeter’s No. 2 would be retired and he would be honored with a plaque on May 14.

Left to right: Anthony Justic, Chajeterirman of the Board of the Business Council of Westchester; John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester;  Derek Jeter, Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester; Sara James, Vice President of Membership and Programs and Amanda DePalma, Director of Special Events.


NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital Announces Emilie Berner as New Chef, Coordinator at Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen

By | News, Press Releases

Berner Brings Expertise in Food, Education and Wellness to Hospital’s Teaching Kitchen that Caters to the Community

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (October 25, 2016) – NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital has announced Emilie Berner as the new chef and coordinator for its Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen, a community program that encourages healthy eating habits.

Berner brings experience in food, education and wellness to the hospital’s teaching kitchen, which is located at the hospital’s campus in Cortlandt Manor. As chef and coordinator, she will manage the kitchen, teach cooking classes that focus on various health topics, lead a Young Chefs program, run the hospital’s Organic Healing Garden and manage the hospital’s Farmer’s Market.

Berner received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, culinary arts training at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health Supportive & Culinary Arts, and a master’s degree from New York University. After graduation, she moved to Paris to study French cuisine.

“NewYork-Presbyterian is devoted to its patients and to the community. I am excited to join the team and help local residents appreciate food that is full of flavor and celebrates nature’s bounty in the Hudson Valley,” Berner said.

Prior to her position at NewYork-Presbyterian, Berner was the Community Manager at Further Food, where she regularly wrote content about healthy eating. She was also Lead Chef and Instructor at Bhagavat Life where she planned Ayurvedic vegetarian menus for clients. Prior to that position, she was a baker at Ellary’s Greens, which provides vegan and gluten-free baked goods. She also spent time as a Program Coordinator at Haven’s Kitchen where she organized field trips with children to local farms, restaurants and specialty food distributors, and taught cooking classes for children at Edible Schoolyard NYC and The Sylvia Center.

As chef and coordinator at the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen, Berner hopes to broaden the programming for those who utilize the hospital’s various services such as the Cancer Center and Maternity Center. She is also interested in educating the community on her passion for Ayurvedic cooking, which focuses on the science of healing through herbs and natural means.

For more information about NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital’s Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen, call (914) 734-3780.



NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Division and Chief Operating Officer Earns Planetree Honor for Patient-Centered Care

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NYP/Westchester the first and only behavioral health site to receive Planetree distinction

White Plains, NY (November 4, 2016) – NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester has received the 2016 Planetree Distinction Award for Leadership and Innovation in Patient-Centered Care and its Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Philip J. Wilner, has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Planetree for his leadership. The Distinction Award is the highest level of recognition conferred by Planetree and honors healthcare organizations that continually advance the practice of patient-centered care through outreach, research, scholarship and innovation.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester is the first and only behavioral health site in the United States to receive the award and is one of only 10 total facilities to receive the Planetree Distinction Award, and one of only 30 facilities in the United States to be named a Planetree Designated Patient-Centered Hospital.

Dr. Wilner has a long, rich history at the Westchester campus, dating back to 1983. Today, he oversees Behavioral Health services across all NYP campuses. Dr. Wilner is also executive vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, serves on numerous Hospital and Medical College Boards and Committees and is chairman of the Board of Gracie Square Hospital.

“As a national leader in behavioral health, we put patients at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Philip J. Wilner, senior vice president and chief operating officer at NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division. Delivering world-class care requires not only medical excellence but providing a warm, empathetic environment for patients and families. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by Planetree for providing world-class patient-centered care.”

Recipients of the award participate in national conferences and webinars, engage in research that ties specific outcomes to patient-centered care, submit articles for publication in national peer-reviewed journals and participate in public policy initiatives to expand the practice of patient-centered care.

Dr. Wilner accepted both awards on behalf of himself and NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division at the Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care, held this week in Chicago, IL. The Distinction Award honors hospitals for complementing its ongoing work to meet the needs of its community and staff of professional caregivers with more broad-based efforts to build awareness and continue to innovate in patient-centered care.


NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital’s new $65M Cancer Center and Surgical Suite Elevates Care

By | News, Press Releases, Uncategorized

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (November 22, 2016) – A new era of community-based healthcare was ushered in with the ribbon-cutting of a state-of-the-art surgical and oncology pavilion at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. Top hospital administrators, medical staff, and community and government leaders toured the new 36,000-square-foot space to learn about services offered at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence. The cancer center, is a collaboration between Columbia University Medical Center, our academic partner, and NYP Lawrence Hospital, and provides a comprehensive menu of services from prevention to diagnosis to advanced treatments and survivorship. New operating rooms will serve all of the inpatient surgical needs of the hospital. Radiation oncology, a new program for the hospital, includes a PET (positron emission tomography)/CT (computerized tomography) Scan and a LINAC (linear accelerator) machine. The LINAC offers the most advanced linear accelerator available. A satellite laboratory and pharmacy are situated adjacent to the infusion therapy suite for an efficient flow.

Patients now have access to disease-specific management teams focused on areas such as breast, lung, and gynecologic cancer. The physician teams include cancer specialists who are members of the highly regarded NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester and ColumbiaDoctors faculty practices. Many of these physicians are members of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center / at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center— one of only three National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in New York State. These physician teams, new technology, access to clinical trials, and disease-specific management teams elevate the level of care provided. Navigators assist patients through their treatment journeys, ensuring that they understand what is happening during each step of treatment and schedule follow-up appointments. Additional programs include enhanced support and survivorship programs, genetics counseling, nutrition care, pain management, and palliative care.

Being a part of the NewYork-Presbyterian system has major benefits. The NYP Lawrence Cancer Center offers patients access to the most advanced treatment and clinical trials at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. There is a true collaboration among the teams and through advances such as video conferencing, patients can discuss treatment options and physicians can consult with colleagues without having to travel to the city.

“This center is a major expansion for NYP Lawrence Hospital and allows us to provide all the services our patients need under one roof in their community,” said NYP Lawrence Hospital president Michael J. Fosina.  “More importantly, patients can receive those services from a top-notch team of physicians from NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester, ColumbiaDoctors, community physicians, and staff members collaborating and focused on their individual plans of care.”

The center was designed with the patient’s overall comfort and experience in mind. The lower level houses all radiation therapy for advanced medical imaging through a linear accelerator, a system for image-guided radiotherapy that combines the functional and physical views, and a PET/CT scanner. The first floor includes a bright and open infusion center (with community, semi-private, private treatment areas), pharmacy, lab, medical offices and exam rooms. The second floor contains new operating rooms with state-of-the-art equipment including a video integration system for use with robotic and laparoscopic surgeries. This suite will serve the hospital for all surgical needs and replace the current operating rooms. A tranquil rooftop garden completes the building, accessible to both patients and visitors.

“Coupled with our nationally recognized Carol H. Taylor Breast Health Center, this new cancer center will continue to build upon and expand our services to provide outstanding care to our patients close to where they need it – home,” said Maureen Killackey, M.D., FACS, FACOG, clinical director for of the NYP Lawrence cancer services and Professor, Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Columbia University Medical Center.

To learn more about cancer services at NYP Lawrence or to schedule an appointment, visit www.nyp.org/lawrencecancer.





Friends of Westchester County Parks Changes Name to The Westchester Parks Foundation

By | News, Press Releases

Westchester Parks Foundation, formerly known as Friends of Westchester County Parks, has unveiled its new website that reflects a rebranding imitative announced earlier last month. The rebranded website can be found by visiting www.theWPF.org.

According to Joe Stout, Executive Director, the Westchester Parks Foundation name better reflects the not-for-profit organization’s mission. More people value their local parks then they have in the past and studies continue to show that regional parks contribute to the economic impact of their communities.  These were major factors as Friends of Westchester County Parks’ considered changing its name to Westchester Parks Foundation.

Before making the change in May, the nearly 40-year old organization looked at research by the National Recreation and Park Association, which recently released a study comparing park goers habits and attitudes in 1992 and 2015. The organization says that in order to support the county parks, they needed to be able to appeal to the widest possible base, and to do that, they needed to understand how public perception has changed since we started this organization back in 1977. They found that while parks were more relevant than ever to people’s lives, public perception and use has changed.

Attitudes also changed. While there was a 10 percent drop (from 47% in 1992 to 37% in 2015) in the number of people who said they benefited from the parks somewhat, that was nearly made up for by the number who said they benefitted greatly (+9 %).  Despite this, public support for the parks remained high with 92 percent of people surveyed saying that parks benefitted the entire community.

This is good news because it shows that parks are near and dear to people. The new name, the Westchester Parks Foundation, appeals to a wider population of potential donors who recognize that a thriving parks system adds to the quality of life in Westchester, whether they use the parks every day or just once a year.

Thompson & Bender was recently honored at the Power of Parks! Annual Gala for the rebranding and public relations work.

The Business Council of Westchester Names New Director of Special Events

By | News, Press Releases, Public Relations

RYE BROOK, NY (August 2015) – Amanda DePalma, who has years of event planning and management experience in Westchester County, was named Director of Special Events for The Business Council of Westchester, the organization recently announced.
Amanda.DiPalmaIn this role, DePalma will plan more than 80 of The BCW’s highly successful events each year, notably its signature series, awards dinners and ongoing functions that attract hundreds of people including its Annual Dinner, Hall of Fame Awards, Leadership Conversations Series and Rising Stars Awards, among many other networking and professional development meetings that help members connect and enables their businesses to grow. DePalma will also oversee outreach and manage the Rising Stars Alumni Council, which consists of over 400 members.

“We’re truly fortunate to have Amanda join our staff,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “Events are the cornerstone of what we do for our members and their businesses, so it’s imperative that we have a leader who can deliver. Amanda brings extensive experience to her role at The BCW and her expertise in managing a diverse roster of events will help us drive our mission of helping our members.”

Most recently, DePalma was a private event sales manager for the Castle Hotel and Spa in Tarrytown. Prior to that, she served as the catering sales manager for The Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center. She has also worked for Berkeley College in White Plains and The Garrison Resort in Putnam County. DePalma earned a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Manhattanville College. She lives in Sleepy Hollow.

About The Business Council of Westchester
The county’s largest and most influential business membership organization, The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate and grow. In addition, The Business Council of Westchester is actively involved in reviewing federal, state and county legislation and regulations in order to assess the potential impact on the business community and to influence the outcomes through advocacy when the business community’s interests may be affected. It also acts as an information resource for the business community and government leaders at all levels.

‘Game Change’ Author to Offer Insights at BCW Annual Dinner

By | News, Press Releases, Public Relations

RYE BROOK, NY (August 2015) – Mark Halperin, today’s preeminent presidential historian and political analyst whose best-selling book Game Change became an award-winning HBO Film, will be the featured speaker at The Business Council of Westchester’s 2015 Annual Dinner to be held October 27 at the Hilton Rye Town.

“The Business Council is honored to have renowned political analyst and commentator Mark Halperin as this year’s featured speaker. This is a unique opportunity for the business community to get an exclusive insider look at the presidential race from the most prominent presidential campaign reporter in the country. We look forward to hearing his keen insights on what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable presidential campaigns in recent memory,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “The Annual Dinner is one of several major events The BCW is planning this fall that will focus on the national and state political scene,” she added.

Halperin, who serves as managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and host of Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect, has covered every American election since 1988. He is also a regular contributor to MSNBC’s Morning Joe and the most frequent guest in the history of Charlie Rose.

He is the co-author of New York Times best sellers Double Down: Game Change 2012 and Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime; author of The Undecided Voter’s Guide to the Next President; and co-author of The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008.

Game Change received wide acclaim and HBO Films adapted the book for a movie which debuted in March 2012 to an impressive 2.1 million viewers, making it one of HBO’s most watched original movies ever. The film won five “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes”, including outstanding TV movie or miniseries.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2014, Halperin served as editor-at-large and senior political analyst for TIME, covering politics, elections and government for the magazine and TIME.com. Prior to joining TIME, Halperin worked at ABC News for nearly 20 years, where he covered five presidential elections and served as political director from November 1997 to April 2007. He also appeared regularly on ABC News TV and radio as a correspondent and analyst, contributing commentary and reporting during election night coverage, presidential inaugurations and State of the Union speeches. At ABC, Halperin reported on every major American political story, including working as a full-time reporter covering the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992 and the Clinton White House. He also covered major non-political stores, such as the O.J. Simpson criminal trial and the Oklahoma City bombing.

For more information about the Annual Dinner and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.thebcw.org

About The Business Council of Westchester

The county’s largest and most influential business membership organization, The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate and grow. In addition, The Business Council of Westchester is actively involved in reviewing federal, state and county legislation and regulations in order to assess the potential impact on the business community and to influence the outcomes through advocacy when the business community’s interests may be affected. It also acts as an information resource for the business community and government leaders at all levels.


Kids X-Press, Inc. Announces Dream Big Honorees for Annual

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(WHITE PLAINS, NY) August 2015 – Kids X-Press, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes learning, literacy and leadership to children of all backgrounds and abilities, today announced the Dream Big honorees for its annual Touch the Sky Reception.

The honorees come from a variety of fields and embody the very lessons that Kids X-Press espouses to its students: that success can be achieved through hard work, determination and dreaming big. The award recipients, who will be honored on Wednesday, October 28 at C.V. Rich Mansion in White Plains, NY include: Kenneth R. Theobalds, vice president of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Entergy, Peter Herrero Jr., founder and general manager of the New York Hospitality Group; Tom Kallish, founder of Tommie Copper; and Steve Jones, managing partner of Jones Morrison, LLP.

A special Founder’s Award will be given to Nivia Viera, founder of Kids X-Press and long-time publisher of its magazine, who retired in May after 14 years with the organization.

“We are incredibly pleased to be honoring these individuals who are such great role models for the children who participate with Kids X-Press,” said Marsha Tom, executive director. “Events like Touch the Sky enable us to enrich, support and develop young talent from throughout our communities and further.”

Founded in 2001, Kids X-Press, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting literacy. Through its magazine and program, Kids X-Press, Inc. encourages children of all abilities and all ethnic, social and economic backgrounds to express themselves by providing them with a forum through which they can communicate. Written by children and for children, the award-winning Kids X-Press magazine is printed quarterly with an annual readership of over 170,000. Its contributors range in age from 5 to 18 and are generally enrolled in a variety of after-school activities and enrichment programs with community based organizations, schools and other partnering non-profits. In addition, the highlights come from independent submitters who excitedly wait for each subscription to arrive.

About the honorees:

Kenneth Theobalds is vice president of Government & Regulatory Affairs for Entergy Nuclear. He joined Entergy as director of governmental affairs in 2002 and was promoted to vice president in 2005. He has direct responsibility for Entergy’s state and local government relations in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Michigan. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is one of the largest nuclear power plant operators in the U.S.

As a passionate supporter of helping children thrive, Ken Theobalds believed in the mission of Kids X-Press and has been instrumental in giving children the platform to express themselves through the many creative publications sponsored by Entergy.

Theobalds is a former congressional staffer and assistant secretary to New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo. He serves as a director and member of the Executive Committee of the Westchester County Association and The Business Council of Westchester and as director of The Business Council of New York State. He is past chairman of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Inc., and is chairman of the board of the New York State Insurance Fund.
He has been recognized for achievement and outstanding corporate citizenship by numerous organizations including; U.S. Congress, New York Urban League, American Red Cross, New York NAACP, Westchester County Executive’s Office, Westchester County Board of Legislators, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Westchester, City of Mount Vernon, Westchester County Clerk and the Henry Allen Education & Learning Foundation.
Theobalds’ professional associations include: the New York Building Congress, the League of Conservation Voters and the Partnership for New York City.
Theobalds earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Entergy Executive Program.

Peter Herrero began his career as a dishwasher when he was 15 years old. His love for every aspect of the restaurant business inspired him to learn everything he could from the art of waiting on tables to the intricacies of business management. At the age of 19, he was already managing Grandma’s Restaurant in Yorktown Heights and at 21, he became the youngest maître d’ in Westchester County. By age 24, Herrero realized his dream and became a restaurateur when he purchased what is now known as Sam’s of Gedney Way in White Plains. In 1986, he founded the New York Hospitality Group, consisting of four subsidiaries and a staff of 15. Today, the White Plains-based firm employs a staff of 51 full-time and 150 part-time employees. The four businesses under the company’s umbrella include: Sam’s of Gedney Way, The Great American BBQ Co., Caperberry Events, and C.V. Rich Mansion.

Herrero has served as speaker and panelist for Catersource, an annual trade conference; as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and was elected to the Board of Directors of The Business Council of Westchester in 2004. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Westchester Community College Foundation. Herrero has contributed time and resources to many community-based institutions, including: The Food Bank for Westchester, White Plains Beautification Foundation, Scarsdale-Edgemont Family Services, Sharing Our Strength, the Grace Church/Open Arms Shelter, the Make a Wish Foundation, Westchester ARC and the Friendly Gathering, among others. Herrero is a member of the National and NYS Restaurant Association, The Business Council of Westchester, The Westchester County Association and the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Tom Kallish is the founder and owner of Tommie Copper, a Mount Kisco-based company that was founded in 2010 with a simple goal of helping people feel better; the company’s designs have helped over 1 million people get back to exercise and doing what they love. Kallish entered the textile field as a salesman at the age of 20, and two years later purchased the company and resold it the following year. He then formed Cole Port Fabrics, a New York based Textile Company that he ran successfully for 10 years. In 2004, Kallish co-founded, Cocona, a fabric technology company. In late 2010, after a debilitating accident, Kallish started his latest company, Tommie Copper, Inc., while looking for a way to assuage his everyday pain as a result of the accident. The company employs over 100 people. The company also includes The Tommie Cares Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that builds community, possibility, compassion, and understanding through inclusive, real-life adventures for those with special needs.
Stephen J. Jones serves as managing partner of Jones Morrison, LLP, a Westchester based law firm. After serving as of counsel at a prominent Westchester law firm, Jones went on to form his present partnership where he is currently responsible for corporate matters, commercial transactions, real estate, estate planning, not-for-profit, business corporations and all phases of litigation and trial practice including complex divorce cases. He regularly tries cases on behalf of the firm.

Jones has been chairman of The Board of Directors, and served as an executive committee member for The Business Council of Westchester; director of United Way of Westchester and Putnam; director and executive committee member of Westchester-Putnam Council of The Boy Scouts of America; board member of Westchester County Industrial Development Agency; trustee with Westchester County Medical Foundation; past director of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, as well as a past justice of Justice Court for the Village of Tarrytown, New York State Unified Court System. Jones was also past president of Westchester-Putnam Fordham Law Alumni and a member of the Board of Governors of The Williams Club of New York. Jones was a coach for Youth Lacrosse and Little League Baseball.

Nivia Viera, founder of Kids X-Press, Inc., a White Plains, New York based non-profit organization, developed Kids X-Press magazine as a vehicle for children to express themselves, both as writers and illustrators. The quarterly publication today has an annual circulation of 250,000 copies and has reached over 2 million readers. However, the journey to get to that point began decades ago with Viera’s early introduction to the importance of literacy and self-expression.

“I was born the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants,” said Viera. “I grew up in the Bronx, NY and English was not my first language. My parents spoke Spanish at home and I learned English at school and became the family translator at a very young age. That had tremendous importance in my life and my family’s as well.” Even though it would be many years before the idea of publishing a children’s magazine that gave kids their own voice, the literacy seed was planted.

Generating funding for Kids X-Press was another area where Viera put much of her time and energy. “I met with business leaders, politicians, community oriented groups, to advocate for what I believed was so important for kids,” she explained. “There wasn’t another magazine like it out there, and I saw great potential and appeal of a publication by kids, for kids.” Fortunately, her constituents agreed and the financial support structure and distribution model Viera was hoping for began to emerge. Building on a solid base, Kid X-Press is now thriving since she started the magazine many years ago.
Kids X-Press is so grateful to Nivia Viera and paid tribute to her relentless contributions at her retirement party on May 20, 2015. Her dedication to helping children succeed will always be a testament to her commitment to children regardless of their abilities, race, creed or culture.

“We are grateful to all of our honorees for their incredible contributions to the community,” said Yuval Marcus, chairman of the Kids X-Press Board of Directors. “Each individual, in their own way, provides a wonderful example to our children showing them that they, too, can achieve greatness by dreaming big.”

The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. on October 28. Tickets cost $175 per person and sponsorship packages are available. For more information about the Touch the Sky Reception, email jessica@thompson-bender.com or visit www.kidsxpress.net.

About Kids X-Press, Inc.
Kids X-Press, Inc. provides a literacy enrichment platform, for all youth through publishing and facilitates outstanding educational programs. They provide a unique forum for children of all backgrounds and abilities to express themselves through writing, art and photography. For more information, visit Kids X-Press, Inc. at www.kidsxpress.net.