Three of the members of the WCA Search Committee pictured (l-r):
Aleida Frederico, Vice President, Commercial Lending, TD Bank; Jeffrey Menkes, President & CEO, The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital; William P. Harrington, Jr., Partner, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP.
The search has begun for a new President/CEO of the Westchester County Association, Westchester County’s leading economic development and business advocacy organization, with the formation of a 7-member Search Committee, chaired by Jeff Menkes, President & CEO of The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and a key member of WCA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Menkes announced today that the committee will conduct a comprehensive and inclusive search in the next 2-3 months for the WCA’s new President and CEO to replace longtime popular incumbent William M. Mooney, Jr., a giant in the regional business and banking communities. Mooney will retire as of December 31, 2019.
Seeking a Big-Picture Visionary
“This is an opportune time for a big-picture visionary to take the helm as Westchester County transitions into a vibrant business hub of the biotech, healthcare, education, real estate and entertainment industries,” Menkes said. He added that the WCA Search Committee “is actively seeking resumes from highly-qualified individuals as the WCA begins a new chapter, with the goal to enhance its regional presence in the metro-New York, Hudson Valley regions.”
For nearly 70 years, the WCA has proactively developed and advanced policies and initiatives to foster smart growth and economic vitality in the region. The association’s next leader will be expected to continue on this path by inspiring, overseeing, and implementing new strategies to meet the extraordinary opportunities afforded by a changing and dynamic business climate.
“Our process will be thorough, thoughtful, and open-minded,” explained William P. Harrington, Chairman of the WCA Board of Directors. “We intend to conduct considerable outreach to find the right person to head this powerful, strategic organization.” He said the Search Committee encourages all interested individuals to contact John Ritacco at the WCA as soon as possible. “We want to make our selection from a solid, capable, diverse pool of highly-qualified individuals.”
Diversity matters, too. According to Search Committee member Aleida Frederico: “We believe that one of the ways to achieve our mission is by choosing the kind of leadership that understands, reflects, and respects the diversity of our businesses and the communities we serve. This opportunity to consider a slate of talented individuals to continue and expand WCA’s strategic objectives is truly exciting.”
Attributes of Success
Menkes said that among the attributes of the successful candidate will be: a proven ability to fund raise; an understanding of the marketplace as well as the regional and national mega trends; strong contacts within the Westchester business community; robust management skills; sound judgment; prior experience working with boards, committees, and complementary organizations; and a willingness to make a 5-year commitment to the position.
The following individuals comprise WCA’s Search Committee: Carl Austin, President, Austin Corporate Properties, Inc. William V. Cuddy, Jr. Executive Vice President, CBRE; Aleida Frederico, Vice President, Commercial Lending, TD Bank; William P. Harrington, Jr., Partner, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP; Jack Kopnisky, President & CEO, Sterling National Bank; H. Guy Leibler, President, Simone Healthcare Development; Jeffrey Menkes, President & CEO, The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital.
An Amazing Legacy
Mooney will step down from his position following a planned succession. He recently shepherded the WCA’s years-long transition from a business membership network to a formidable driver of economic development in Westchester. The Blueprint for Westchester, developed in 2011, was a comprehensive advocacy campaign that resulted in the repurposing, reactivation, and redevelopment of millions of square feet of under- and unutilized space. The WCA also won passage of several market conduct legislation in New York State, leading to cost-effective efficiencies in the healthcare industry; and it managed the largest workforce development initiative in Westchester County’s history, the result of a $9.8 million federally funded grant that resulted in job placement in the healthcare industry for hundreds of Westchester and Hudson Valley residents.
“Bill amassed an incredible record of accomplishments, so we have big shoes to fill,” notes Cuddy. “That said, the opportunity to take both the WCA and Westchester County to new heights, especially with the life sciences and tech industries booming, is tremendous. With the right strategy and implementation, we will attract talent. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.”
Mooney views Westchester County “as a remarkable place. Leading the Westchester County Association has been my life’s great honor. I am confident that Westchester’s best days are ahead.”
The Westchester County Association represents the county’s foremost companies as well as municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education, supporting their objectives through direct advocacy and original programming. It is focused on promoting Westchester County as the region’s best place to live, work, and play: offering a high quality of life; access to good jobs, world-class schools, cultural institutions, dining, and recreational opportunities, all within close proximity to New York City and the rest of the Hudson Valley.