Simone Says It’s Time to Repurpose Suburban Office Parks

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simone.gordonWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (June 23, 2015) – The transformation of the suburban real estate market and its economy over the next 20 years will entail repurposing office space with a smart combination of healthcare uses, residential and light retail, a leading commercial developer told an audience of more than 100 business leaders at the Business Council of Westchester’s Leadership Conversations Series.

Joseph Simone, President and CEO of Simone Development Companies, said Westchester must modernize its antiquated office parks — particularly along the I-287 corridor – and repurpose existing buildings to reflect significant shifts and consolidations in the healthcare industry; changing housing needs for young professionals that are near public transportation and advances in new technologies. “The suburbs are going to be repurposed for other, higher and better uses,” Simone said. “Things have to be done way more efficiently.”

Simone’s remarks were part of fascinating 45-minute interview between Simone and Business Council CEO Marsha Gordon. Topics discussed included Simone’s role in creating with the first “bedless” hospital with Montefiore Health Systems; his company’s plans to transform the Boyce Thompson property in Yonkers and the explosive growth of New York City’s outer boroughs that will no doubt lead to opportunities for Westchester’s urban centers, notably Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and White Plains. Referring to the urban centers, he said, “That’s where young people are going to live. But you have to provide public transportation.”groupshot

Simone knows of what he speaks. Simone Development Companies is a full-service real estate investment company that owns and manages more than 5 million square feet of property in Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, Long Island and Connecticut. Under Simone’s visionary leadership, the company has been in the forefront of partnering with major healthcare providers to create turnkey ambulatory medical facilities in the New York metropolitan area, with over 2 million square feet of new healthcare and medical office space currently built or in development.

In Westchester, Simone Development recently completed a state-of-the-art medical office building for WESTMED Medical Group at the Purchase Professional Park; it is the first new office building to be constructed on the I-287 corridor in more than 25 years. Simone Development earlier this month broke ground on an innovative project that will transform the former Boyce Thompson horticultural complex in Yonkers into a modern mixed-use development featuring professional offices, medical space, retail stores, bank and restaurants.

During the conversation, Simone cited significant changes and monumental shifts that are happening in the healthcare industry that are creating a need for more efficient systems. The great news, he added, was that these changes are going to create new jobs and opportunities, and necessitate colleges and universities train students for careers in healthcare. He said these advances will reverberate into throughout the economy.

In describing why his visionary approach to real estate development has worked so well, Simone said: “It’s about fulfilling a need. If you fulfill people’s need, you will be successful.”

 

“Joe Simone’s vision and approach are fascinating and we appreciate that he shared his insight with our members,” Gordon said. “It’s clear that he is playing a key role in transforming the New York Metropolitan real estate market now and for years to come.”

crowd1The June 22 event, which was held at 42 Restaurant and Events in White Plains, was the third in a series of Leadership Conversations held by the Business Council that are sponsored by First Niagara Bank. Previous speakers have included Dr. Steven Safyer, President and CEO of Montefiore Health System and Dr. Leonard Schleifer, founder and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Fest Returns to White Plains This September

By | News, Press Releases, Public Relations
White Plains resident and local prodigy Julius Rodriquez of Orange Julius and the Big Beat.

White Plains resident and local prodigy Julius Rodriquez of Orange Julius and the Big Beat.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (June 22, 2015) – ArtsWestchester is pleased to announce the return of the White Plains Jazz Fest, one of the county’s premier music festivals. Presented in collaboration with The City of White Plains and the White Plains BID, Jazz Fest 2015 is a four-day jazz celebration featuring seven live music concert events.

Spanning from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, the festival lineup includes Grammy awards winners, established jazz and blues musicians, emerging artists, performance poetry and a tasty array of dining options that promise a great cultural experience for everyone from jazz aficionados and enthusiasts to families and casual listeners.

The concerts are either free or affordably priced and the venues are conveniently located throughout downtown White Plains and accessible by public transportation.

“You won’t find a better or more diverse ensemble of musicians and bands in Westchester County in September,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “Whether it’s Latin, Brazilian or Contemporary jazz or even the acoustic blues, the White Plains Jazz Fest is going to be rich with live performances by outstanding musicians. We’re so pleased to be able to bring such high quality entertainment to Westchester residents and visitors this fall.”

White Plains Jazz Fest events include:

· September 24 at 8:00pm: The South American Jazz Project at ArtsWestchester. Led by Daniel Freiberg, Grammy award winning composer, arranger, pianist and producer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the South American Jazz Project explores the rhythms and melodies from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Perú from a Jazz point of view. Freiberg has collaborated in projects with Marc Anthony, Stephane Grapelli, Paquito D’Rivera, and The Wynton Marsalis Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, among many other artists. Admission is $20.

· September 25 at 12:10 pm: Downtown Music at Grace Church: Jazz Faculty of the Music Conservatory of Westchester. The Westchester Music Conservatory Jazz Faculty will perform at the Downtown Music at Grace Church. This will feature Guitarist Greg Diamond, who will perform classics and original compositions of Latin Jazz. This guitarist has been an emerging force of contemporary Latin jazz and has been a semi-finalist at the Gibson International Jazz Guitar Competition hosted by the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Admission is free.

· September 25 at 8:00 pm at ArtsWestchester: Women of the Piedmont Blues. A memorable evening that unites some of the key practitioners of the acoustic blues on the East Coast, Eleanor Ellis, Jackie Merritt, Resa Gibbs, Valerie Turner, and Poet Gold. Presented by the ArtsW Folk Arts Program in cooperation with thecountryblues.com. Admission: $20

· September 26 at 2:00 p.m. -4:00 pm at the Music Conservatory of Westchester: Latin Jazz Workshop. Learn about Latin Jazz concepts and instruments – clave, montuno, tumbao – and the music of its masters like Toto Puente, Cal Tjader and Hilton Ruiz. Free admission.

· September 26 at 3:00 pm. Slam Poetry Performance at White Plains Library. The White Plains Library Poetry Slam will host an afternoon of performance poetry featuring the Duende Project. The Duende Project is a poetry and music project created by Tony Brown, veteran performance poet; Steve Lanning-Cafaro, Chris Lawton and Chris O’Donnell. Free admission.

· September 26 at 8:00 p.m. at the White Plains Performing Arts Center- Brazil Meets Jazz. White Plains Jazz Fest presents, in association with the White Plains Performing Arts Center, a concert of Brazilian jazz featuring: Brazil Meets Jazz, with Grammy-nominated Brazilian Trio featuring Helio Alves, piano, Nilson Matta, bass and Duduka Da Fonseca, drums, with Maucha Adnet, vocals, and Mark Morganelli, flugelhorn. Admission $35/$25©CharlesSeton groupshot

· September 27 at 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm: Jazz and Food Fest. Located at the Mamaroneck Avenue Stage, there will be food and a full day of music performances. This includes Orange Julius and the Big Beat; a six piece ensemble led by 16-year-old local prodigy Julius Rodriquez, Doug Munro and Big Boss Bossa Nova with Charlie Lagond, Rocky Middleton Quintet, Sherry Winston, a master electric flutist and the John Patitucci Quartet.
Free admission.

For tickets and to learn more, visit www.artswestchester.org.

 

ArtsWestchester Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Grant

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The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded ArtsWestchester a $35,000 grant to support an exhibition that will explore notions of gender and femininity.

In winning the prestigious award, ArtsWestchester is among 1,023 organizations receiving grants that are supporting exhibitions and promoting opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

ArtsWestchester’s planned exhibition is called SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity. It will feature new and commissioned work created by Westchester and Hudson Valley artists who address ideas of gender and femininity in the 21st century. The exhibition will showcase emerging artists alongside those with established careers, including Laurel Colvin Garcia, Debbie Han, Rebecca Mushtare, Mari Ogihara, Kathy Ruttenberg, Tricia Wright, Nancy Davidson, Marcy B. Freedman and Barbara Segal.

A planned opening is set for March 2016 during Women’s History Month at ArtsWestchester’s gallery in the ArtsExchange building, 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, in White Plains.

“Femininity and gender thread all aspects of society and culture, and what better way to explore those issues than through the arts,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “We’re grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts and our federal representatives for supporting such an important and worthwhile exhibition.”

The NEA awarded a total of $74.3 million in this round of funding; it’s the second major funding announcement made by the organization in 2015.

“The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” NEA Chairman Jane Chu said. “Funding these new projects like the one from ArtsWestchester represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrision, are avid supporters of the arts and ArtsWestchester, the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“Investments in the arts help bolster creativity and showcase our community’s talent and I am glad these funds will support local artists through ArtsWestchester,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The new exhibit will showcase the works of both emerging and established artists, and I hope their talents will inspire creativity in all who visit the exhibit.”

“The arts are an important part of our regional identity,” said Rep. Lowey. “I’m pleased these federal investments will help ArtsWestchester support local artists who are telling amazing stories that enrich the Lower Hudson Valley. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to support funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit www.arts.gov. To learn more about ArtsWestchester, visit www.artswestchester.org. To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015.

The BCW Opens New Offices, Launches Re-Branding Campaign

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grandopening1 More than 250 members of the business community turned out last night for The Business Council of Westchester’s grand opening at its new address at one of Westchester’s premier office buildings.

In celebrating the move to 800 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook with its members and local dignitaries, The Business Council also unveiled its new logo, branding and strategic initiatives aimed at helping members and growing the county’s economy.

“At The Business Council of Westchester, we are committed to helping our members build their businesses and connect with likeminded leaders – all with an eye for growing the regional economy,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “Our new look and new location, coupled with enhanced programming and impressive speakers does just that. We’re incredibly pleased to be moving ahead on so many exciting fronts.”

The Business Council recently moved its headquarters from Corporate Park Drive in White Plains to 800 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook where it is leasing approximately 4,400 square feet of office space with access to an elegant cafeteria with executive dining room, conference center, board room and indoor parking.

In addition to the new space, The BCW unveiled its new logo, messaging and branding as well as an augmented programming that will include some of the region’s most innovative and provocative thought-leaders and decision makers. (Thompson & Bender created the new logos and branding.)

The new look Business Council was developed in response to a detailed survey completed by its membership in early 2015. As a result, The BCW will continue to serve members in its traditionally successful ways through its signature events such as networking, Hall of Fame, Rising Stars and the Annual Dinner, yet expand with a laser-like focus in areas that members identified as integral to businesses, including business and corporate leadership; government and advocacy; and creating a sustainable and economically strong future in Westchester County.

To help support these efforts, The Business Council will be rolling out its new website, www.thebcw.org, in the coming months.Bender.Thompson.McKinstry

“We’re building on the success of our popular Conversations and Speakers Series, and expanding into the areas of technology, advertising, media and information,” Gordon added. “When coupled with our already impressive lineup of leaders and programming, this growth will ensure that we serve members in an ever-changing business environment.”

At the grand opening, County Executive Robert P. Astorino praised The BCW and encouraged leaders to get involved with Westchester’s largest business membership organization.

“Westchester County is working hard to attract new businesses to the county, and The Business Council of Westchester is a great partner,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “The Business Council is an invaluable resource, and the new office is a testament to the strength of the organization and the dynamism of Westchester.”

 

 

 

The winners of The BCW’s 2015 Rising Stars Are …

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40under40logoRYE BROOK, N.Y. (May 2015) – Forty of Westchester County’s up-and-coming business leaders will receive the 2015 “Rising Star” Award from The Business Council of Westchester.

In unveiling the next class of winners, The Business Council is pleased to recognize individuals who work with some of Westchester County’s most vital companies, institutions and organizations. The honorees represent some of the finest young talents in the region, said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council.

“We are excited to celebrate this honor with our 2015 winners, who represent just about every industry and profession in Westchester,” said Gordon. “Our Rising Stars program shows that we have top-tier talent in the county — and this is an impressive class of winners.”

This year’s winners represent a wide-range of professionals from various backgrounds including marketing, advertising, public safety, government, media, health care, education, social work, hospitality and nonprofits, among others. The selection process was competitive and led by Maria Bronzi, Director at Altium Wealth Management. Bronzi, who is chair of the Rising Stars program, received “40 Under 40” honors in 2011.

Tara Rosenblum of News12 Westchester is returning as the event’s emcee. The anchor/reporter has more than 150 major industry awards, including 8 Emmy awards and 44 Emmy nominations. In 2014, she was the most nominated reporter in the state and broke an Emmy record for garnering the most individual craft reporter categories in award history. Rosenblum earned “40 Under 40” honors in 2007.
The winners will receive their Rising Star award during a ceremony on June 11 at 800 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook. The program is modeled after the national business recognition program “Forty under Forty” and Rising Stars is specifically designed to recognize individuals under the age of 40 who exemplify leadership, foresight and a vision for the future of Westchester County. Winners were selected based on professional and/or entrepreneurial accomplishments, demonstrated leadership qualities and professional and/or business affiliations.

The 2015 Rising Stars are as follows:
• Jessica Antonette, CEO/Owner, JTonezMusic Corp.
• Jennifer Bannan, Director of Advertising & Marketing, Thompson & Bender
• Vincenzo Battaglia, Police Sergeant, White Plains Department of Public Safety
• David Buchwald, New York State Assemblyman
• Donvil Collins, Founder & President, VeeKast
• Andrea Contreras, Manager, Client Services, Altium Wealth Management
• Anthony D’Arpino, Founder & Owner, Harrison Wine Vault
• Andrew Edge, AVP – Business Banking & Commercial Lender, Sterling National Bank
• April Fatato Grundman, Onsite Owner and Educational Director, The Goddard School Yorktown
• Bonnie Fogarty, Executive Director, Community YMCA
• Megan Gann, Business Development Manager, Westchester Hills Golf Club
• Anna Geller, Director, Business Analysis & Acquisitions, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
• Richard Giacovas, Producer/on air talent, News 12
• Jeffrey Hogan, Energy & Sustainability Manager, Montefiore Hospital
• Kelvin Joseph, Chief Operating Officer, Steiner Sports
• Nikhil Kumar, Vice President, Undergraduate Enrollment Management, Manhattanville College
• Ashley Ley, Technical Director, AKRF, Inc
• Anthony Luisi, Associate, Cuddy & Feder LLP
• Kimberly Mallard, Senior Vice President, Executive Operations, Tommie Copper
• Anna Linda Marciano Romanella, Assistant General Counsel, Heineken USA, Incorporated
• Ryan McAuliffe, Vice President, M&T Bank
• Jaime McGill, Executive Director, Yonkers Industrial Development Agency
• Alan Murray, Chief Executive Officer, North Shore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc.
• Erin Nesbitt, Director, Program Management, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
• Jessica Oliva, CEO, Fit Mama 4 Life
• Jill Ortiz, VP Finance & Accounting, Diamond Properties
• Linda Parry, CEO, Product Launchers
• Christopher Phillips Senior Vice President, Product Platform and Technology, Mindspark Interactive.
• Regina Poniros-Simonetti, Controller, Robert Martin Company LLC
• David Putrino, Director, Telemedicine and Virtual Rehabilitation, Burke Medical Research Institute
• Amit Rajani, CEO, General Dentist, Yonkers Avenue Dental
• John Rubbo, Founder and “Brew-EO,” Yonkers Brewing Company
• Eliza Scheibel, Associate, Wilson Elser
• Timothy Schlauraff, Department Manager, Consolidated Edison of NY
• Jamell Scott, Dean of Scholars and Families/Athletic Director Amani Public Charter School
• Diana Seo, Owner, B Spa & Salon
• Nicholas Singer, Managing Member, Purchase Capital
• Loren Ward, Vice President, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
• John White III, Firefighter, City of Yonkers Fire Department
• Eleni Zimmerman, Social Work Advanced Clinician, New York Presbyterian Hospital – Eating Disorders Unit

ArtsWestchester Features 25 Chefs To Kick-Off ARTSBASH Weekend: Friday, May 15

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ArtsbashbestWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (May 2015) – Twenty five chefs from some of Westchester County’s best restaurants will exhibit their edible artistry as part of ArtsWestchester’s fun-filled ARTSBASH weekend on Friday, May 15th.

ARTSBASH will kick-off at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 15 at the ArtsExchange building — 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains — featuring cocktails and a tasting menu created by leading chefs from 42, The Restaurant, Benjamin Steakhouse, Café of Love, Empire City Casino, Crabtree’s Kittle House, Sofrito, and many other dining destinations from throughout the county.

Following the Friday fundraiser, there will be a free Family ARTSBASH day on Saturday, May 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., featuring children’s arts workshops, art exhibitions and open artist’s studios. The workshops cover a variety of interests from Kaleidoscope to Clay Creations to LEGO Animation and Model Making.

The latest exhibition, 50 for 50: New Works, which showcases works by ArtsWestchester’s “50 for 50” awardees, will also be on display in the gallery.

“ARTSBASH weekend has something for everyone. Fourteen years in the making, we’re pleased to tease the palettes of our guests with spoonfuls of caviar, Oysters on the half shell, meatballs & ricotta, Eggplant Marino, USDA Prime, Dry-Aged porterhouse bites, assorted sushi rolls, salads and sweets. Also featured on the menu are Retro treats from Lulu Cake Boutique, Dark Chocolate fondue from Chocolations and mini biscotti from Cathy’s Biscotti,” said Janet T. Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “The pairing of exceptional cuisine with original art throughout our historic downtown building makes this one event not to miss.”

The event is part of ArtsWestchester 50th anniversary celebration, which is a year-long celebration of the arts in Westchester County.

ArtsBash.Caviar

Caviar Served on a Spoon

Adults interested in the Friday evening fun will enjoy a wonderful array of food, such crispy pork belly tacos with corn tortillas, dry-aged porterhouse bits, local baby Kale salad with sustainable Scottish salmon and Churrasco skewers as well as retro-style desserts, Ben & Jerry’s New Jimmy Fallon flavor, Raspberry Greek Frozen Yogurt and more.

“Without the arts, there is no source of creativity,” said Leslie Lampert, owner of Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco. “Whether you’re in finance, hospitality, the medical industry or education, inspiration is derived, wittingly and unwittingly, from Fine Arts and the visual interpretations of our cultures. I’m so pleased to be part of this event in support of the arts.”

These cupcakes are just one of many delicious retro-style treats that will be served at ARTSBASH.

These cupcakes are just one of many delicious retro-style treats that will be served at ARTSBASH.

“This is our second year participating in ARTSBASH. We completely fell in love with it last year,” said Thiphakhoun “Tipi” Vyrasith, Director of Food & Beverage at Empire City Casino. “Supporting the arts community is important. We believe it is the perfect marriage to showcase the best of art and the best of food! Our chefs are so excited to participate.”

To learn more, visit www.artswestchester.org.

 

 

The College of New Rochelle Graduate School Hosts Summer Childhood Education Program

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY, March 9, 2015- The College of New Rochelle Graduate School provides summer programs at Ward Elementary School in New Rochelle for children between the ages of 3-8 years old. The program runs from July 6 through July 31, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“These programs will create space where children can develop their skills intellectually and socially through stimulating activities within an inclusive learning environment. Mentor teachers and CNR graduate students, who are currently completing their Master’s degrees, work as a collaborative team,” explained Dr. Candace Barriteau Phaire, Chair of the Graduate School Education Division. The program features developmentally appropriate curriculum based on the goals of the Common Core.

Children ages 3 to 5 years old will participate in group activities involving literacy and math, creative arts, dramatic play, music and movement, block building and outdoor play.  Children ages 6 to 8 years old will engage in group activities including social studies, science, nature, outdoor play, creative arts, music and movement, and technology. Small group and individualized instruction is integrated in the daily program to ensure the progress of each child.

The camp is located at the Ward Elementary School in New Rochelle. Tuition is $1,250, with limited scholarships available.

For further information regarding this opportunity, please contact: Dr. Candace Barriteau Phaire at csp@cnr.edu.

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The first Catholic college for women in New York State, The College of New Rochelle was founded in 1904 by the Ursuline Order. Today, it comprises the all-women School of Arts & Sciences, and three schools which admit women and men: the School of New Resources (for adult learners), the School of Nursing and the Graduate School. The main campus of the College is located in lower Westchester County, 16 miles north of New York City. The College maintains five other campus locations in New York City for the School of New Resources in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. Visit the College’s website at www.cnr.edu.

AWARD WINNING BRYNWOOD GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB ANNOUNCES ITS 2015 MEMBERSHIP OFFERING

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Armonk, NY. (March 13, 2015) – Brynwood Golf & Country Club is pleased to announce its 2015 Membership Program featuring the following:
 
•           $0 Initiation Fees
•           Sports Memberships priced at $700 per month. The Sports Membership includes tennis, pool, gym and all clubhouse and social activities.
•           Young Executive Membership priced at $962 per month. This is a full family golf membership and one spouse needs to be under 40 years of age upon joining to qualify.
•           Classic Membership priced at $1,050 per month. This is a full family golf membership and one spouse needs to be over 70 years of age upon joining to qualify.
•           Single Membership priced at $1,050 per month. This is a golf membership where one spouse plays golf and the rest of the family can enjoy all of the club’s facilities other than the golf course.
•           Family Membership priced at $1,225 per month. This is a full family membership where all family members can enjoy all of the club’s facilities. Children up to the age of 25 are included at no additional cost.
 
“We have a dynamic membership that demands the highest quality country club experience in a sophisticated, yet approachable environment,” says Josh Lowney, General Manager. “We feature a great golf course that is meticulously maintained, the best food I’ve seen at any country club thanks to our culinary team from Cipriani in New York City, and a social calendar that includes live music, dance parties and exclusive wine tasting dinners.”
 
Brynwood Golf & Country Club is an innovative, full service country club defined by its gracious hospitality and casual elegance. The club is managed by Troon Golf, the world’s leading golf Management Company. Brynwood’s members are automatically enrolled in the Troon Prive’ program that allows them to play hundreds of Troon golf courses around the world. Conveniently located just minutes off I-684 on Route 22 in Armonk, Brynwood Golf & Country Club currently features an 18-hole, championship golf course; 7 Har-Tru tennis courts; an outdoor swimming pool, and a spectacular 65,000-square-foot clubhouse. There is also a sports lounge, a fully equipped fitness center, a business center and a children’s playroom with a movie theatre and video games. Brynwood’s culinary program is run by a team hired from the world famous Cipriani Restaurant Group. The outdoor cocktail and dining area overlooks the pool, golf course, surrounding hills and features spectacular sunsets.
 
For more information about Brynwood Golf & Country Club visit www.BrynwoodClub.com, call 914-273-9300 or email us at BRYN-Membership@TroonGolf.com.

 

 

 
Contact Information:            Josh Lowney, PGA
General Manager
Brynwood Golf & Country Club
914-273-9300
JLowney@TroonGolf.com
 
Brynwood Golf & Country Club
568 Bedford Road
Armonk, NY 10504
www.BrynwoodClub.com

Developer Plans Living Memorial to Those Who Perished in 2014 East-Harlem Gas Explosion

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Memorial Expected to be Completed This June

 

NEW YORK CITY (March 11, 2015) – A year after an explosion caused by a gas leak in East Harlem killed eight people and injured dozens, developer Rella Fogliano of MacQuesten Development wants to keep alive the memory of those who perished in the tragedy.

 

Fogliano announced plans today to create a memorial on the wall of an apartment building she owns which directly abutted the Park Avenue buildings that were destroyed in the explosion. The memorial would be a green wall of plantings.

 

“This will be a living memorial that will continue growing to keep alive the memory of those who were lost in the tragedy,” said Fogliano, a leading developer of middle-income and affordable housing. “I did everything I could to help the tenants of my building, but I knew that I also wanted to create something that will live on so that we never forget those from the destroyed buildings who are no longer with us.”

 

The memorial, which would be created on a wall of the Olga Mendez Apartments, is expected to be completed in June of this year.

 

Fogliano was deeply affected by the tragic explosion which occurred March 12, 2014. While the Olga Mendez Apartments were not structurally impaired by the explosion, they did suffer damages and tenants were forced to leave temporarily.

 

Fogliano devoted herself to helping the tenants in her buildings endure the ordeal as best as possible. She made $1.5 million in initial repairs even before insurance claims were settled, to enable tenants to move back in within three weeks.

 

She also gave displaced families American Express gift cards to help them with expenses.  Fogliano thenused the proceeds fromthe insurance reimbursement to upgrade the units from carpeting to new sustainable wood flooring and to make other building system and utility upgrades despite the option of simply replacing and repairing with “like kind” materials and  systems.

 

In addition, while residents waited for gas service to be restored, Fogliano gave them electric stove tops to use. She hired 24-hour security to guard the lobby areas while the intercoms were repaired. “At MacQuesten, we did everything we could to lessen the burden of this horrible accident that affected so many lives,” she said.

 

For more information about MacQuesten Development, visit www.macquesten.com

 

 

 

 

 

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“Eat Healthy NY Day” Makes Nutrition Fun To Teach Children About Making Healthy Food Choices

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Rapper, Author, “Healthy Eating Oath” Part of Interactive Program for Westchester Schools

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 12, 2015) – The author of the book “Is Your Hair Made of Donuts?” and a rapper who sings the praises of fresh food were part of an in-school nutrition education campaign brought to the region by the Food Bank for Westchester—the county’s largest agency leading the charge against hunger — during the second annual Eat Healthy NY Day, held in three Westchester schools.

With seminars, the whimsical book, fitness activities and a “Healthy Eating Oath,” children were given fun and engaging tools and guidance to help them make wise choices when eating, favoring vegetables and fruit over junk food.

The program travelled from the Columbus Elementary School in New Rochelle to the Richard J. Bailey School in the Greenburgh district and finally to the Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School in White Plains.

At each school, Joy Feldman, author of “Is Your Hair Made of Donuts?” led students in taking the oath, which begins: “I promise to eat well each day and each night, I know it’s the key to growing up right!”

“Getting nutritious foods to people in need is one of our key initiatives at the Food Bank for Westchester,” said Ellen Lynch, its President and CEO. “One of the best ways we can ensure that families – and particularly children – choose healthy options is through education in conjunction with like-minded partners, like Joy Feldman and Dannon. Eat Healthy NY is a campaign that really helps get kids excited about nutritious food.”

Last year, the Food Bank for Westchester launched a partnership with Feldman to bring her Eat Healthy Rhode Island initiative to New York. “We felt that this program would be a great addition to our efforts,” said Lynch. “With the cooperation of Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and several area schools, we were able to connect in a meaningful way with hundreds of 5th graders.”

At the event, The Food Bank’s Kraft Mobile Food Pantry brought fresh fruit to each school and Dannon donated healthy, nutritious yogurt snacks. In addition, James McBride, who focuses on positive messages and goes by the name Mr. Deep Positivity, rapped about fresh food.

The Food Bank’s program is aimed at countering nutrition-related health issues in low income communities where low-cost, less healthy food options are ubiquitous. By exposing families to healthier food choices, the Food Bank hopes to stem the tide of nutrition-related ailments like heart disease and diabetes, and reduce the incidence of childhood obesity, which has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Obesity has become a national epidemic, spurring a host of illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and strokes,” said Feldman, who started the Eat Healthy Rhode Island program three years ago. “Our children must learn that ‘they are what they eat.’ Educational interventions help to encourage people to improve their diet and their well-being.”

Through the program, students were given advice on how to make smart food choices and how to handle teasing from other students for eating right. Teachers were also given an Eat Healthy NY Teachers’ Tool Kit to help them integrate lessons into their curriculum to support the message beyond Eat Healthy NY Day.  

Feldman praised the Food Bank for Westchester for taking on the program.

“I was so excited when Ellen and the Food Bank came on board because now we have another state involved,” Feldman said. “My vision is to make this a national program, where the whole nation comes on board on same day to focus on children’s health.”

Eat Healthy NY Day is part of a portfolio of programs offered by the Food Bank for Westchester to support healthy lifestyles for children, families and seniors, which also includes its Kraft Mobile Food Pantry, Green Thumb produce program, Food Growing program, Kids Café’s and Backpack programs in schools and educational outreach to groups and member agencies.

 

About the Food Bank for Westchester:

Incorporated in 1988, The Food Bank for Westchester is one of eight food banks in New York State. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than 7 million pounds of food annually to 230 frontline hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs serving the nearly 200,000 Westchester residents who are hungry or at risk of being hungry. Based in Elmsford, NY, the Food Bank is located in a 36,000sf warehouse and is home to Westchester’s largest refrigerator and freezer.