July 27, 2011
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Launches Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched his Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, which will redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined local officials, business leaders, and community members to launch the Regional Council at SUNY New Paltz.


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, Ulster and Westchester counties. 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 the Hudson Valley will 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 of New 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 of New York is once again open for business."


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 York State'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 in New 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 when New York is 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 to New York State."


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 to New York and 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."


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 of Marist College

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


General Members

Teri Ward, President & CEO, Sullivan County Chamber 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, Caf 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, SUNY Rockland Community College

Jonathan Drapkin, President and CEO, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

Aleida Frederico, Senior Vice President, TD 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 Commerce Westchester & Rockland Counties

Vincent Cozzolino, President & CEO, The Solar Energy Consortium

Marsha Gordon, President & CEO, Westchester Business Council

Al Samuels, President & CEO, Rockland Business Association

Maureen Halahan, President & CEO, Orange County Partnership


Elected Officials


Westchester County Executive

Rockland County Executive

Orange County Executive

Dutchess County Executive

Putnam County Executive

Ulster County ExecutiveChairman of

Sullivan County Legislature


Mayor of the City of Yonkers

Town of Ramapo Supervisor

Town of Monroe Supervisor


Elected officials will serve in an ex-officio basis and will participate in discussions and the planning process. In regions composed of more than two counties (except for the New York City region), members will include:


  • the chief executive or supervisor of each county; and
  • the chief executive or supervisor of the three municipalities with the largest population (limited to one municipal representative per county)



10 Regional Economic Development Councils


  • Capital Region (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington)
  • Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego)
  • Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates)
  • Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
  • Mid-Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
  • Mohawk Valley (Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie)
  • New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
  • North Country (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence,)
  • Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins)
  • Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara)