Skip to Content
Author: The BCW

Leave a Comment

Business Council of Westchester Announces Winners of Business Hall of Fame Awards

Six to be Honored at Awards Dinner on April 19


WHITE PLAINS, NY (February 3, 2016) – The Business Council of Westchester today announced the winners of its prestigious Business Hall of Fame Awards.


The winners will be honored at the 2016 Business Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Tuesday, April 19 at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. The winners in their respective categories are:


Corporate Citizenship: Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Michael Israel, President and CEO, to accept the award.


Entrepreneurial Success: Steiner Sports in New Rochelle. Brandon Steiner, Founder and CEO, to accept the award.


Small Business Success: The Westchester Bank in White Plains. John Tolomer, President and CEO, to accept the award.


Women in Business Success: Wendy Wollner, Founder & President, Balancing Life’s Issues, Inc.


Family Owned Business: The College of Westchester in White Plains. Mary Beth Del Balzo, President, to accept the award.


Chairman’s Recognition Award: N. Dain’s Sons Co., Inc. in Peekskill. Jeffrey Dain, President, to accept the award.


“We are delighted to have such a distinguished and diverse roster of honorees for this year’s Business Hall of Fame. Selecting the winners for this prestigious award is never easy and this year was no different. The quality of this year’s nominees was truly outstanding,” said BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon. “The Business Hall of Fame is a celebration business success as well as the vitality and dynamism of Westchester’s economy,” she added.


Profiles of the Winners


Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla

When Michael Israel and his management team took the leadership reins at Westchester Medical Center in 2005, the Valhalla hospital was in critical condition. The facility had experienced several years of financial losses and many were concerned about the organization’s future. But under the skillful care of the management team and board, Westchester Medical Center has not only survived but thrived, growing from a $500 million organization to the nearly $1.2 billion Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) – a 1,400-bed healthcare system spanning several campuses and locations in the Hudson Valley. Now, Westchester Medical Center reports 10 straight years of profitable operations and credit rating improvement, from junk to investment grade with a stable outlook. Today, WMCHealth employs more than 10,000 people, with nearly 3,000 attending physicians. WMCHealth supports numerous local organizations, educates the region’s medical community, contributes $3 billion to the regional economy and provides care to tens of thousands of adults and children a year regardless of the ability to pay.


Steiner Sports, New Rochelle

Founded by Brandon Steiner, Steiner Sports specializes in helping companies use the power of sports to grow their business. It has spent over 25 years building relationships with more than 2,000 athletes, national relationships with the major sports leagues, and partnerships with the best teams in sports. These relationships are the foundation for the athlete appearances, turnkey events and digital content Steiner Sports provides. Steiner Sports is also the leading producer of authentic hand-signed memorabilia, which is perfect for loyalty programs, customer activation, and corporate gifts. The core of Steiner Sports’ value proposition is leverage. When Steiner Sports moved to Westchester it has grown from 30 employees to 100 employees and over $40 million in annual sales. Steiner Sports’ 27-year commitment to product development and client service has helped the company remain a constant in a dynamic industry. Steiner Sports has leveraged its athletes and products to improve the lives of children with serious diseases, under privileged communities, boys and girls homes and more.


The Westchester Bank, White Plains

The Westchester Bank was formed in 2008, a time when the nation was facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It was a year in which large financial and banking institutions were failing and consumer confidence was at its lowest ebb — not exactly the most propitious time to start a small business anchored in Yonkers. Yet The Westchester Bank had correctly identified a void in the marketplace and opened a local community bank with a simple, yet fundamental, formula for success. Starting with just 8 employees in 2008, the Bank currently employs 56 people. The Bank has expanded from a single branch to five full-service branches throughout Westchester County and has a newly established headquarters in White Plains. In just seven years, the Bank has grown from $39 million in assets to more than $600 million in total assets. Deposits have increased from $22 million to $479 million, while loans increased from $7 million to $410 million.


Wendy Wollner, Founder & President, Balancing Life’s Issues, Ossining

For nearly 20 years, Wendy Wollner has been the go-to resource for companies committed to supporting employees’ work/life balance. After many successful years as a training consultant for a variety of work/life providers, and earning a Master’s Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Wollner launched Balancing Life’s Issues, Inc. in 2001 to expand her scope and network of workforce support. Her engaging, authentic style has enticed companies like IBM, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Donna Karan to work with BLI repeatedly for more than 15 years.  She oversees a targeted network of trainers who bring a wide range of work/life balance programs to corporations, not-for-profit organizations, employee assistance programs and educational institutions. Leveraging decades of corporate knowledge and her own very personal experiences, Wollner has lectured widely as a keynote speaker for Fortune 500 companies, educational facilities and health care industries.


The College of Westchester, White Plains

The College of Westchester has operated as a profitable, tax paying business owned by the same family for more than 40 years. When Ernest Sutkowski purchased the College in 1973, then known as The Westchester Business Institute, it served 16 enrolled students and had a small number of faculty and staff. The College of Westchester has grown into an average annual enrollment of 1,000-1,200 students and currently employs many area residents including 150 full-time and 75 part-time employees. The College is located in a 50,000-square-foot, five-story building it owns in White Plains as well as two auxiliary buildings. Following action by the New York State Legislature in 1975 that allows proprietary career schools to become degree granting colleges, the College of Westchester has grown into a fully accredited degree-granting college offering certificates, associate and bachelor degrees. In addition to operating successful campus-based programs, the College also offers a number of fully online programs at the associate and bachelor level.


N. Dain’s Sons Co., Inc, Peekskill

Peekskill’s oldest business and one of the oldest retail lumberyards in the country still owned by the same family founded on the banks of the Hudson River by Nathaniel Dain in 1848. Throughout the 19th century, Dain’s delivered to construction sites by horse and wagon and sites along the Hudson River, including West Point, by the company-owned schooner, Annie. Then, deliveries mostly consisted of heavy lumber and timbers, cement and lime. Today, Dain’s offers virtually every building product available on three acres of and in the 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse and 5,000 sq. ft. showroom and 2,000 sq. ft. deck showplace. A more recent addition to the facility is a sawmill and millwork division. Presently, Jeffrey Dain, great-great grandson of founder Nathaniel, operates Dain’s along with the dedicated staff which possesses over 75 years of combined experience. Dain’s continues to serve the needs of homeowners and contractors as it has done since the 1800s by carrying quality products, providing exceptional service and offering expert advice.


For more information about sponsorship opportunities for the Business Hall of Fame Awards Dinner, please call (914) 948-2110 or visit

Similar News Items

The impact of the housing market on the Hudson Valley’s economy is the focus of two new reports issued this week by Hudon Valley Patterns for Progress. The reports focus on the cost of housing and residents moving out of the area. Patterns for Progress President & CEO Adam Bosch gave a detailed overview of […]

Read Article

For those seeking a career in the hospitality industry, BCW Member Fordham University’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies has the answer with the launch of a new Hospitality Program that provides aspiring students a pathway to leadership roles in hospitality management, asset management and entrepreneurship. Under the umbrella of the Fordham Real Estate Institute (REI), […]

Read Article

This month’s Summer Soiree was a huge success with a record attendance of more than 200 members and guests enjoying a festive evening of great food and tiki bar, entertainment and giveaways. The evening event was on July 9 outdoors at the beautiful Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle. Long-time BCW member Greentree is a […]

Read Article

Become A Member

Join the county’s largest and most influential business organization today.

The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate, and grow. Over 80 events and programs are offered every year, giving our members ample opportunity to connect and meet with businesses representatives in the Westchester community and beyond.
Back to top