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Pace students participate in IBM online forum

July
29

Students from Pace University in Pleasantville recently were among the nearly 2,000 students and faculty from more than 200 universities in 40 countries that took part in the Smarter Planet University Jam. The event, coordinated by Armonk-based IBM Corp., was on online forum in which students discussed their ideas for a better world.

A poll held in conjunction with the event found that 80 percent of the students want universities to revamp traditional learning environments, 90 percent want to join or start a green advocacy group on campus and 64 percent of students believe that the world has a chance to reverse carbon emissions by 2025.

“This kind of free-flowing forum is extremely vital to the sustainability movement, where far too often good ideas are never shared or worse, never listened to,” said Taylor Vogt, a political science student at Pace. “I was proud to be a part of this experience.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
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Two Spic and Span products to carry EPA seal

July
28

Prestige Brands Holdings Inc., an Irvington-based consumer products company, said that two of its Spic and Span cleaning products will carry the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Design for the Environment” seal. Prestige said the program recognizes the ingredients in these products as safer for the environment, families and pets. Spic and Span Sun Fresh and Spic and Span Citrus Fresh dilutable cleaners are the products that will include the EPA seal.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
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Fifth Street Finance completes stock offering

July
23

Fifth Street Finance Corp., a White Plains-based specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and midsized businesses, said that it has completed a public offering of nearly 9.5 million shares of common stock. Fifth Street said it expects to use $16.5 million of the net proceeds from the offering to repay outstanding debt and make investments in companies.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
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ITT looking for boost from federal stimulus plan

July
23

ITT Corp. executives are hoping that the $787 billion economic stimulus plan that was signed into law earlier this year will mean new orders for its water, wastewater and energy management systems.

The White Plains-based company estimated that $60 billion of the stimulus funds are targeted for such infrastructure improvement projects involving both traditional and environmentally friendly technology.

“All of these are areas that ITT is ideally positioned to serve,” the company said in a written statement.

ITT said it also is able to meet the “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus act. Those provisions, which mandate the use of U.S. iron, steel, and other products in stimulus projects, have been criticized as a setback to free trade by other countries.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
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Phone help line to answer financial questions

July
20

Volunteers from banks, credit unions, financial industry associations and nonprofit agencies will answer financial questions from area residents during a special two-day financial help line at the United Way’s 211 Call Center.

Residents can dial 211 from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday or Wednesday to ask questions on topics such as budgeting, debt, mortgages, foreclosure, credit, retirement planning, consumer scams, and paying for college. Spanish-speaking experts will be available. A language translation service will make it possible to get help in other languages.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
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Electro-Optical Sciences to sell 2.4 million shares

July
17

Electro-Optical Sciences Inc., an Irvington-based company developing a device to detect melanoma skin cancer, said that it agreed to sell 2.4 million shares of stock to institutional investors at a negotiated purchase price of $6.25 per share. Electro-Optical said that it expects to use $15 million in proceeds from the stock sale to fund its efforts to gain regulatory approval and to commercialize MelaFind, the melanoma detetecting device.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
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Former insurance salesman barred from the industry

July
17

Regulators have taken action against a former insurance salesman from Yonkers for allegedly boosting his commission income by executing phony insurance transactions for customers who did not exist.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred John Joseph Mazzella from working for its member companies. Mazzella, employed by Prudential Insurance Co. of America at the time of the alleged misconduct in 2007, no longer works in the industry, according to FINRA.

“The sanction was based on findings that Mazzella submitted false preliminary insurance applications for fictitious customers and a false preliminary insurance application for a customer without the customer’s authorization or consent,” FINRA said.

Mazzella received $3,379.28 in insurance commissions as a result of submitting the false transactions, according to FINRA. Mazzella could not be reached for comment.

In other action, FINRA levied a $100,000 fine against Strasbourger, Pearson, Tulcin, Wolff Inc., an investment firm in Garden City. Michael J. Schumacher of Purchase, the president of the firm, was suspended from association with any FINRA member in “any principal capacity” for 30 days, the agency said.

FINRA said that an investigation uncovered numerous compliance problems at the firm, including failures to supervise the trading activity of top executives and ensure that electronic communications with the public were retained. FINRA also said the firm didn’t establish an anti-money laundering compliance program, properly record all revenue and expenses and maintain minimum net capital compliance.

“Schumacher failed to reasonably discharge his supervisory duties as president and chairman,” FINRA added.

A representative for the firm said that no one was available to comment. Schumacher could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
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Westchester towns make Money magazine lists

July
16

New York comes up empty when it comes to the nation’s most liveable cities, according to Money magazine.

The magazine’s annual listing of the top 100 best places to live did not include a single community from New York state. The rankings, which consider factors such as the strength of local economies, the quality of schools, the affordability of homes and cime rates, are included in the magazine’s August edition and on the Web site, www.CNNMoney.com.

While New York communities were left out of the overall rakings of liveable places, several Westchester communities were rated on secondary lists:

•Pricey homes. Harrison, with a median home sales price of $1.075 million, ranked sixth on this list.

•Six-figure towns. Greenburgh ranked 12th on a list of wealthy cities with a median family income of $131,619 and a median home price of $575,000. “There’s one more thing that makes this wealthy community different,” the magazine said. “Members of the town board, including the town supervisor make a ‘house call’ to any resident who has concerns or complaints.”

•Rich and single. Tarrytown ranked No. 19 and Dobbs Ferry No. 23 on a list of affluent towns with large single populations. “In this quaint Hudson Valley village half an hour from New York City, you might meet people who work for Kraft, Hitachi, Dannon or Bayer, all of whom have offices in Tarrytown,” Money wrote. “Singles hang out at the many luxury hotel lounges in town.”

In Dobbs Ferry, “foodies will relish the many high-quality restaurants….To really impress your date, bring a home-cooked picnic dinner to Waterfront Park and enjoy an outdoor jazz concert.”

Louisville, Colo., with a population of 18,800, was rated the best place to live nationally in recognition “affordable housing, great schools, and easy access to the Rocky Mountains,” Money said on its Web site.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
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Fifth Street Finance announces public stock offering

July
15

Fifth Street Finance Corp., a White Plains-based specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized businesses, announced plans for a public offering of 6.5 million shares of its common stock. Fifth Street said that it expects to use $16.5 million of the net proceeds from the offering to repay outstanding debt and make investments in companies.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 at 11:29 am |
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WHI Solutions develops electronic catalog for Mexican auto market

July
14

WHI Solutions, a Rye Brook-based maker of business management software, said that it was chosen to develop an electronic parts catalog for the Mexican automotive auto market by Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, a major auto parts distribution and organization. The catalog, which includes data on auto parts available in Mexico, was released in June.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 11:11 am |
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Engineering company relocates Baltimore office

July
13

McLaren Engineering Group, a West Nyack-based company that specializes in bridge and waterborne transportation engineering, has moved its Baltimore office downtown to the Inner Harbor as it continues work on multiple projects in that region.

That work includes a series of pedestrian bridges in Montgomery County, Md., parks scheduled to be completed later this year.

McLaren has operated an office in Baltimore since 2000. The old location was in the Charles Village section of the city.

“Our new location in the Inner Harbor offers us a prime opportunity to strengthen our business relationships with clients and potential clients,” said Malcolm G. McLaren, founder, president and chief executive officer of the company.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
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IntegraMed makes list of fast growing small companies

July
9

IntegraMed America Inc., the Purchase-based company that runs vein clinics and fertility centers, ranks as one of the nation’s 100 fastest-growing small public companies.

That’s according to the the latest rankings published by Fortune Small Business in its July/August issue.

IntegraMed, which employs 1,266 workers at its treatment centers nationally, made the list for the third straight year.

The company’s ranking rose to No. 75 this year from No. 99 in 2008.

“Our growth record is a testimony to the strength of our professional team as well as our focus on specialty health care services where we can deliver a distinct competitive advantage,” said Jay Higham, president and chief executive officer. “It is particularly gratifying that we have earned this distinction despite a challenging economic environment.”

Fortune’s rankings evaluate public companies with $200 million or less in annual revenues and a share price of at least $1. Companies are rated based on three-year annualized revenue growth rate and their three-year total return to investors.

IntegraMed was the only company based in Westchester, Rockland or Putnam counties to make the list. Thirteen companies in New York state were included in the rankings.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
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Real estate firms join forces

July
2

Albert P. Schatz Realtors, a real estate firm in Ossining, has joined Keller Williams Realty Partners of Yorktown Heights. The new name of the firm is Albert P. Schatz at Keller Williams. The Schatz family will continue to operate from their Croton Avenue office in Ossining where they have been since 1970.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
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Four Westchester companies make diversity list

July
2

Four companies based in Westchester County are among the “40 Best Companies for Diversity” compiled by Black Enterprise magazine. They are IBM Corp. of Armonk, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. of Somers, PepsiCo Inc. of Purchase and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide of White Plains.

The fifth annual listing is featured in the magazine’s July issue. The selection was based on how the companies performed against their peers regarding board representation, employee base, senior management and supplier diversity.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
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Landscape designer group forms New York chapter

July
1

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers said that it has formed a new chapter in New York. The goal of the group is to advance landscape design as an independent profession. The president and co-founder of the New York chapter is Bill Einhorn, owner of Landscape Design Associates of Westchester Inc. in Carmel and an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden for 25 years. For more information, visit www.apld.com.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
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Electro-Optical Sciences included in Russell indexes

June
30

Electro-Optical Sciences Inc., an Irvington-based medical technology company that is developing an instrument to assist in the early detection of melanoma skin cnacer, said the company’s shares have been added to the Russell 2000 and Russell 3000 indexes. Member companies are drawn from the 4,000 largest companies meeting the indexes’ criteria at the end of each May and are added or deleted annually in June.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
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Nutrition 21 hoping to expand in Europe

June
30

Nutrition 21 Inc., a Purchase-based marketer of nutritional supplements, said that it is closer to selling a key product in Europe after a favorable ruling from regulators.

The European Food Safety Authority released a safety assessment that supported the use of chromium picolinate in food supplements in the European Union. Chromax chromium picolinate is Nutrition 21’s top selling nutritional supplement ingredient in the United States. Approval of this ingredient in the Europe would allow Nutrition 21 to enter into the new markets.

“This is an exciting development for our ingredients business,” said William J. Levi, vice president of ingredients for Nutrition 21. “Expansion into the European Union is an important component of our growth strategy.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
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Eileen Fisher named one of best places to work

June
29

Eileen Fisher, the clothing designer based in Irvington, has been named one of the top 25 medium-sized companies to work for in the nation.

The rankings of top small and medium-sized businesses were developed by Society for Human Resource Management and the Great Place to Work Institute Inc., an international research and consulting firm.

“Top companies know how critically important it is to have a culture that empowers and motivates employees, particularly in this tough economy,” Laurence O’Neil, the society’s president, said in a written statement. “Knowing how to align and engage your employees is an essential part of keeping productivity high and your organization open for business.”

The winners range in size from 50 to 999 workers. This year, more than 550 companies participated in the selection process that included a 57-question survey sent to each company’s workforce and a separate questionnaire for management. Judges also reviewed annual reports, employee handbooks and other materials.

Fisher started her business in 1984 in New York and relocated to Westchester in 1992. The privately held company had 40 stores across the country, more than 700 employees and annual sales of $273 million last year.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
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Euro Group of Companies announces distribution agreement

June
25

Euro Group of Companies Inc., a Port Chester-based manufacturer of transportation products, announced an agreement to sell its Eurospeed gasoline scooters and motorcycles across much of Europe.

Under a five-year distribution agreement, Parallel Intelligent Transportation LLC of Jericho has been granted rights for the marketing and sale of the Eurospeed products in Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

The agreement calls for a sales quota of at least 10,000 units sold in the European markets by the end of 2010 and at least 74,500 units over five years.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
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PepsiCo anounces alliance to sell food products in Japan

June
24

PepsiCo Inc., the Purchase-based food and beverage company, has formed an alliance with Japan’s largest snack company to expand its presence in the Japanese market.

PepsiCo’s agreement with Calbee Foods Co. calls for the companies to jointly manufacture and sell a variety of food products in Japan, including potato chips, vegetable snacks, cereal and crackers.

As a result of the complex deal, PepsiCo will will contribute its Frito-Lay Japan business and an undisclosed amount of cash to Calbee in exchange for PepsiCo taking a 20 percent stake in Calbee and gaining a seat on Calbee’s board. The combined PepsiCo and Calbee businesses generate annual sales of about $1.4 billion.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
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About this blog
Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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