• WCA to Present Blockbuster Conference on April 29 to Help Turbo-Charge Smart Growth in Westchester County


  • Speakers Coming From America's Top Innovation Hubs – Silicon Valley, Raleigh, New York City, Austin, and Chattanooga, to Give Us the Inside Scoop About How They Created Successful Eco-Systems

  • Also on the agenda: The Key to Creating Successful Public Private Partnerships; a Rapid Transit System That’s Based on Magnetic Levitation; and a Keynote Speech by an ‘Economic Futurist’

    With Westchester County emerging as a national biotech/health tech hub, the Westchester County Association is now bringing in business leaders from some of the most successful hubs in the United States to share their wisdom as Westchester determines how best to achieve “Smart Growth” in its growing innovation eco-system. The WCA has...

    WCOT Photo
    organized “Westchester: County of Tomorrow” – a half-day conference that will feature speakers from Silicon Valley, New York City, Austin, Chattanooga, and Raleigh, who will give us the inside scoop about how their hubs developed: the original vision, challenges, and successes.

    The conference, to be held on Friday, April 29, from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in West Harrison, also will present a panel of experts on Creating Successful Public Private Partnerships, and a presentation by a Silicon Valley company on a Rapid Transit System, based on magnetic levitation. The keynote address will be given by an “Economic Development Futurist.”

    “This will be a terrific opportunity to learn from others as we assess how far we’ve come and how best to move forward,” says Bill Mooney, President & CEO of the WCA, which created the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, an aggressive initiative to spur economic growth in Westchester County. Since its inception in 2011, the BLUEPRINT has led to smart, sustainable growth in Westchester’s cities, improvement in the SEQRA process, collaboration between the academic, healthcare and business sectors, new construction throughout the county, and programs to prepare Westchester’s talent pipeline.


    “While Westchester has made definite progress,” Mooney continues. “As an emerging hub, we are on the cusp of greatness. That said, we still need better mobility from east to west, more livable communities for millennials and others in the workforce, workforce training for emerging jobs in hot sectors, funding for improving our infrastructure, modernizing our office space, and attracting and retaining business.”


    Hence, this blockbuster conference.


    The Details
    A keynote address, “Seeing Around Corners: The Unseen Trends Shaping Our Future,” given by Dean Whittaker, will kick off the proceedings. Whittaker, an Economic Development Futurist, is the CEO of Whittaker Associates and former Managing Director of Industrial Development for the State of Illinois. He is a strong proponent of using predictive analytics to help retain and attract business to a region. During his 30 years of experience in economic development and industrial/commercial real estate, he has worked with over 120 economic development agencies in 35 states. Earlier this year, he addressed the IEDC Leadership Summit in New Orleans.

    Panel I: How We Did It: What It Took to Build an Innovation Hub
    Even as WCA’s BLUEPRINT continues to transform our region’s economy, speakers from successful innovation hubs will share their stories – the vision, the challenges, the victories, and the surprises.

    New York City: Seth Pinsky, former President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation under Mayor Michael Bloomberg;

    Raleigh: Jason Widen, Co-founder, Innovate Raleigh, HQ Raleigh/Charlotte;

    Chattanooga: Mayor Andy Berke, who oversees the city’s smart-grid Internet and an economy that has been revolutionized;

    Austin: Susan Dawson, Executive Director, E3 Alliance, former head of the Austin, Texas Chamber of Commerce.

    Special Presentation:
    A bold new take on how to transport people via an efficient, streamlined, economical mass transportation system, based on magnetic levitation.
    Silicon Valley: Jerry Sanders, CEO, SkyTran, a revolutionary, high-speed, elevated, energy-efficient Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system.

    Panel II: P3 for Smart Growth
    Big dreams, big plans. But how do we pay for it all? Experts share their best advice about leveraging public-private-partnerships (P3s).

    Andrew Peskoe, Partner, Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP; Member, Advisory Board, Israeli Cleantech Ventures LP; private investor; represents private and public emerging growth companies and venture capital funds;

    Mary Scott Nabers, President & CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.; recognized expert on P3s; author of Collaboration Nation – How Public-Private Ventures are Revolutionizing the Business of Government; participated in the Clinton Global Initiative;

    Mark Strauss, Senior Partner, FXFOWLE, urban design firm with offices in New York, Washington DC, and Dubai; currently consultant to “Imagine Philadelphia” and Metro-North Railroad;

    Christopher Fisher, Partner, Cuddy & Feder; specialty areas: wireless carriers, tower companies, DAS (distributed antenna services) providers, residential and commercial developers;

    Maureen McAvey, Urban Land Institute.

    Sponsors: (list in formation) Entergy, Sterling National Bank, Westfair Communications, and the Urban Land Institute.

    “This is an unbelievable opportunity to hear first hand how America’s thriving economies built their innovation eco-systems, and what it can mean for Westchester and the region,” Mooney says.

    “Westchester: County of Tomorrow” will take place on Friday, April 29, from 7:30 am. to 1:00 pm at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel, 80 West Red Oak Lane, West Harrison, New York.

    Tickets may be purchased online at www.westchester.org and are priced as follows:
    $175 per WCA member
    $225 per future member
    $75 per municipal official

    Register here! Sponsorship packages are available. For more information, please contact Julia Emrick at 914-948-6444 or visit westchester.org.

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