The Business Council of Westchester is starting the new year with a slate of new board members that bring a diverse range of experience and talents to the county’s largest business organization.
Elected to three-year terms at its annual meeting on Dec. 6, were eight new board members: Joe Apicella, Managing Director of Development, The MacQuesten Companies; Michael E. Geisler, Ph.D., President Manhattanville College; Millie Hernandez-Becker, Founder and President of Skyqueen Enterprises; April Horton, Director, External Affairs & Government Affairs at Verizon; Robert Kestenbaum, CEO York International Agency, LLC; Joseph F. Markey, President, Hudson Valley/Metro NY Market KeyBank N.A.; Joe McCoy, Senior VP, Region Manager Commercial Lending for People’s United Bank and Sal Rajput, Principal at Walison Corporation.
“The quality of an organization is often demonstrated by the quality of its board members,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “We are extremely fortunate to have so many talented and capable new board members to help us shape important initiatives in the year ahead.’’
Elected to the board were:
Joseph Apicella is a senior real estate executive responsible for the acquisition, approvals, financing and construction of more than $2 billion of development in the tri-state area. He joined MacQuesten in 2015 as the Managing Director of Development and is involved in the development of Van Sinderen Plaza in Brooklyn, 22 S West in Mount Vernon, a key Transit Oriented Development, and Mount Vernon West Train Station Development.
Michael E. Geisler, Ph.D., was appointed President of Manhattanville College on July 1, 2016. Before coming to Manhattanville, Dr. Geisler served as Vice President for Risk and Compliance, professor of German, and former vice president for the Language Schools and Schools Abroad at Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. During his more than 20-year career at Middlebury, he held leadership roles devoted to strengthening, integrating, and expanding Middlebury’s brand, programs and enrollment here and abroad.
Millie Hernandez-Becker is the Founder and President of Skyqueen Enterprises, a private aviation company specializing in airport development, aviation fuel, private jet charter and aircraft sales. Her career spans 25 years and represents steady success for her and her clients, which include Goldman Sachs, Hess, Flexjet and Million Air and Houlihan Lawrence. She served as past president of the 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester and is former chair of the Bedford Special Education PTA.
April Horton leads all government affairs and legislative activity for Verizon in the NY Midstate region, The Bronx and Manhattan. She is responsible for advancing short-ter, objectives and long-term legislative goals by communicating with key internal and external stakeholders. She is also responsible for philanthropic strategy, grant-making and initiatives in the Foundation’s issues areas of education, healthcare, and sustainability. She is actively involved with the BCW’s Government Action Committee.
Robert Kestenbaum brings 37 years of experience to his position as CEO at York International. He joined York International Agency in 1997. Prior to York, he was employed with Alexander and Alexander (AON) for 15 years as the head of their Connecticut, New Jersey and Long Island Offices, and was a Managing Director. In 2015, he received the Business Council of Westchester’s Hall of Fame Award.
Joseph Markey leads the KeyBank’s regional economic and community development efforts, and oversees the delivery of the full range of KeyBank’s commercial banking and capital markets solutions to companies with revenues of $30 million to $1 billion. Markey and serves as the external face and voice of KeyBank throughout the Hudson Valley and Metropolitan New York areas.
Joe McCoy is the Senior Vice President, Region Manager Commercial Lending for People’s United Bank based in White Plains, NY. He has been serving mid-sized commercial businesses throughout the Hudson Valley in that role since starting the group over 5 years ago. Currently, McCoy gives his time to three charities in Westchester: Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), Junior Achievement and the Children’s Village.
Sal Rajput is a Principal at Walison Corporation, a real estate development and construction firm with a focus on developing and constructing quality new affordable housing in New York City, and the surrounding areas. He is also the Founder and Principal of Empire State Development Fund (R), a federally-designated immigrant-investor regional center dedicated to job creation and economic growth through foreign investment in the NY-NJ-CT-PA region.
In addition to the new board members, Anthony Justic, Partner of Maier Markey & Justic, was re-elected Chairman. James Schutzer, Vice President of JD Moschitto & Associates, was elected Treasurer, and Glenn Pacchiana, President and CEO of Thalle Industries, was elected Secretary.