[PRESS RELEASE] Governor launches new economic plan for Westchester, Hudson Valley





 Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C –GoldensBridge) joined Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy yesterday and other local officials, business leaders, and community members to launch the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council at SUNY New Paltz.


The Council, originally proposed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and adopted in the 2011 Executive Budget passed by the legislature, will redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide, according to the Governor.


“This is an important step in revitalizingNew York,” Castelli said. “Under the leadership of the Governor, we stopped the ship of State from sinking this year. We are on the upward swing, and this will be an important shot in the arm to continue that by virtue of spurring our economic development. We want to be once again known as theEmpireState, where people wish to come and do business.”


The Mid-Hudson Regional Council will be led by Dennis Murray, President of Marist College, and Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, President & CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who will both serve as Regional Co-Chairs. The Regional Council will coordinate the economic development of Dutchess,Orange, Putnam,Rockland,Sullivan,UlsterandWestchestercounties. A complete list of members of the Mid-Hudson Regional Council is included below.


“By using a regional approach to economic development, businesses and communities in theHudsonValleywill have the ability to deal with the specific economic challenges they face,” Governor Cuomo said. “For too long, economic development efforts have not met the individual needs ofNew York’s diverse regions and today we have chartered a new path to create jobs and revitalize this state’s economy. This announcement demonstrates that the Mid-Hudson region and all ofNew Yorkis once again open for business.”


According to the Governor, the Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the State’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.


Currently,New YorkState’s economic development efforts are managed through dozens of separate State and local agencies. The Regional Councils will now bring together stakeholders in every region of the state to serve as a coordinated point of contact for economic development. Each Regional Council will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and will be led by two Regional Co-Chairs from the business and academic community. Additional membership is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.


Each Regional Council will develop a plan for the development of their region. The State will work with the Regional Councils to align state resources and policies, eliminate unnecessary barriers to growth and prosperity, and streamline the delivery of government services and programs to help the Regional Councils carry out their plans for development.


Governor Cuomo has already made historic changes to the State’s economic development grant application process to support the Regional Councils. Through a new Consolidated Funding Application that combines resources from dozens of existing programs, the Regional Councils can now apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects they determine to be part of their regional strategy.


Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said, “These councils are a groundbreaking economic development strategy that represent a major step toward new job creation and business investment inNew York. The Regional Councils take a local approach to economic growth and put our state on the path to future prosperity. Governor Cuomo has said many times that his top priority is jobs, jobs, jobs, and today’s launch of the Mid-Hudson’s Regional Council shows that New York is indeed open for business.”


Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “The days whenNew Yorkis known for the worst business climate in the nation are coming to a rapid end. These Regional Councils will create a more efficient business model that empowers individual regions to determine what is best for their own communities and incentivizes new economic development through competition. I look forward to working with every region to maximize their potential and bring investment and jobs toNew YorkState.”


Dennis Murray, President of Marist College and Co-Chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Council, said, “The Regional Councils will finally enable efficient communication and collaboration between the business and government leaders of New York State. I thank Governor Cuomo for developing this groundbreaking approach to development. This strategy will allow for our local expertise within the Mid-Hudson region to build a powerful economic force of pooled knowledge, experience, and assets to rebuild our local economy from the bottom up. Furthermore, by identifying and overcoming the barriers that hurt local businesses, we can finally bring new jobs toNew Yorkand make the most of what this great state has to offer.”


Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD, President & CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Co-Chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Council, said, “The cooperative effort that will be led by our Regional Council will enable the public and private sectors to help foster economic growth in the Mid-Hudson region and will make full use of all that we have to offer to facilitate local business development. Through our Regional Council, we can ensure that our local economic potential translates into jobs and opportunities now and into the future. I thank Governor Cuomo for the opportunity to contribute to the economic health of my community and that of the entire state”


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L-R: On July 27th at SUNY New Paltz, State Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli speaks to Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, 89th Assembly District resident and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, who will co-chair the newly created Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.


Governor Cuomo created the Regional Councils through Executive Order. The ten Regional Councils cover the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York.


To learn more about the Regional Councils, please visit www.nyopenforbusiness.com.


Mid-Hudson Regional Council Members


Regional Co-Chairs

Dennis Murray, President ofMaristCollege

Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD, President & CEO, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


General Members

Teri Ward, President & CEO,SullivanCountyChamber of Commerce

Carol Fitzgerald, President & CEO, Life Medical Technologies Inc.

Ned Sullivan, President, Scenic Hudson, Inc.

James Bernardo, President & CEO, Candela Systems Corporation

Payal Malhotra, Vice President of Marketing, Café Spice GCT, Inc.

Mary Rodrigues, Owner, A.J. Rodrigues Group Inc.

Tom Endres, President &COO, Continental Organics

Wiley C. Harrison, Founder & President of Business of Your Business, LLC

Paul Ryan, President, Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body

Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President,SUNYRocklandCommunity College

Jonathan Drapkin, President and CEO,HudsonValleyPattern for Progress

Aleida Frederico, Chair of the Board, Commerce Bank

James Taylor,III, CEO, Taylor BioMass, LLC

Ken Kleinpeter, Director of Farm and Facilities, Glynwood Farm

Robin L. Douglas, President & CEO, African American Chamber of CommerceWestchester&

Rockland Counties

Vincent Cozzolino, President & CEO, The Solar Energy Consortium

Marsha Gordon, President & CEO,WestchesterBusiness Council

Al Samuels, President & CEO,RocklandBusiness Association

Maureen Halahan, President & CEO,OrangeCountyPartnership


Elected Officials







Chairman ofSullivanCountyLegislature

Mayor of the City ofYonkers

Town ofRamapo Supervisor

Town ofMonroeSupervisor


Elected officials will serve in an ex-officio basis and will participate in discussions and the planning process.

Bazzo 07/29/11

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