• WCA Launches the 'Year of Innovation' with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-21

  • OCTOBER 21, 2014

  • Special Programs Include Twitter Chat, Women in Tech Awards Luncheon, Startup Pitch Contest, and Signature Annual Leadership Dinner

  • The Westchester County Association today released the details of the “Year of Innovation” in Westchester, a series of exciting programs, designed by the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, to celebrate the innovators, job creators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who are moving Westchester forward. 

    The series kicks off this November with events planned for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a worldwide celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation that the WCA is bringing to Westchester, for the first time: Twitter Chat, Women in Tech Awards luncheon, a pitch contest for entrepreneurs, and the WCA’s signature Leadership Dinner.

    “The WCA’s ‘Year of Innovation’ celebrates the brightest minds and strategic thinkers in Westchester County,” says Marissa Brett, president, Westchester County Association. “Our special programs address critical business issues, provide support to emerging companies, and feature the expertise of leaders who are accelerating growth in Westchester’s Innovation Economy and spurring economic development in the region.”


    Twitter Chat: Mining Data for Better Business Decisions
    Tuesday, Nov. 18, 12:30 p.m. #WCAData

    Led by John Lucker, Deloitte’s Global Advanced Analytics & Modeling Market Leader, the virtual Q&A will give businesses in Westchester and beyond a leg up on how to best use data to inform a company’s next steps and strategic plans. Lucker has developed numerous advanced analytic business solutions, is a frequent speaker in the industry on this topic. Attendees may submit questions prior to and during the 45-minute chat using the hash tag, #WCAData, to participate. The event is free and pre-registration is not necessary.

    WCA’s $10K Pitch Night, moderated by
    Christina Bechhold, Empire Angels
    Tuesday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m., 360 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains

    Emceed by Christina Bechhold, co-founder and managing director of the New York City-based angel investment group, Empire Angels, the evening is designed to help entrepreneurs take their ideas to the next level. Emerging companies will have the opportunity to hear from Bechhold, a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal startup blog, The Accelerators, and to present their business plan to a panel of judges. The winner receives a $10K cash grant and acceptance into Westchester’s BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network. To apply, click here. Westchester.org. Applications are due November 7. Tickets are $20 per person. The event is sponsored by Silver Sponsors, Greater Hudson Bank and Tompkins Mahopac Bank.

    Women in Tech Awards Luncheon
    Wednesday, November 19, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.,
    Tappan Hill Mansion, Tarrytown

    Guests at the WCA’s inaugural “Women in Tech” awards luncheon will have the chance to hear from the women pioneering some of the world’s most importance science. The honorees are responsible for engineering the CDC’s flu vaccine; researching new breast cancer treatments; discovering breakthroughs in cerebral palsy therapies; tackling drug-resistant viruses; and advancing DNA sequencing. They are: Doris Bucher, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College; Chau Dang, M.D., chief, West Harrison Medical Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Kathleen Friel, Ph.D., director, Clinical Laboratory for Early Brain Injury Recovery, Burke-Cornell Medical Research Institute; Julia P. Gregory, chief executive officer, ContraFect; Soo Young Yang, Ph.D., founder, Chairman, Histogenetics. Tickets are $110 for WCA members; and $130 for future members. The event is sponsored by Gold Sponsor, Sterling National Bank, and Silver Sponsor, Tompkins Mahopac Bank.

    WCA Annual Leadership Dinner

    Thursday, November 20, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Westchester Marriott
    At this year’s Fall Leadership Dinner, four individuals will be honored for their exceptional achievements in their respective industries, and for having a positive impact on the Westchester business community, and the regional economy. The keynote speaker will offer his five principals of competing successfully in a global economy.

    The honorees are: William Cuddy, executive vice president, CBRE, for his leadership in the Westchester real state community and for his vision as chairman of the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, the WCA’s aggressive campaign to revitalize Westchester’s economy; Laura Forese, M.D., M.P.H. president, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, for her role in expanding the innovative health system’s outstanding healthcare delivery network into Westchester County; Robert Glazer, chief executive officer, ENT and Allergy Associates, for his leadership in healthcare administration and the strategic growth of ENT and Allergy Associates over the last 17 years; and Steven Safyer, M.D. President and CEO, Montefiore Health System, for his foresight and leadership in guiding Montefiore to become a nationally-recognized center of clinical excellence; training the next generation of healthcare leaders; delivering science-driven, patient-centered care to the region; and for expanding his medical center’s footprint in Westchester County.

    This year’s leadership dinner keynote speaker is John D. Bassett, III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company and subject of the New York Times bestseller, “Factory Man,” written by Beth Macy. Bassett is credited with leading the charge to “save hundreds of jobs by taking on China and demonstrating the greatness of American business,” Ms. Macy writes. Bassett has appeared on CSPAN2's “Booknotes” program, “PBS NewsHour,” and “The Colbert Report,” and has been interviewed by other leading national media outlets. Under his leadership, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. sales have increased from $38 million in 1983 when Bassett joined the company, to more than $90 million today. He will share his “Five Principles You Need To Compete in the Global Marketplace," illuminating them with entertaining and eye-opening anecdotes, guaranteed to make business leaders think long and hard about improving their position on the world’s stage.

    Tickets for the dinner are $275 for WCA members and $325 for future members. The evening includes a silent auction. For a full list of sponsors, or for more information on The Year of Innovation or Global Entrepreneurship Week, please visit Westchester.org.

    The Year of Innovation showcases the innovation culture that has taken root in Westchester County—which has emerged as the health tech hub of the northeast—and features experts in big data, biotechnology, healthcare, real estate, scientific research, funding, and entrepreneurship, who will share their experiences and insights, enabling attendees to learn, network, and be inspired.