The Business Council of Westchester honors six leaders at annual Business Hall of Fame Awards dinner

May 21, 2019 - Front Section

Rye Brook, NY Over 600 people were on hand to salute the best of Westchester’s business leaders at the Business Council of Westchester's (BCW) 17th Annual Business Hall of Fame Awards Dinner. This year’s program, which was held April 30th at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, honored six visionary leaders whose business successes have contributed to the vitality of Westchester County’s economy.  

Shown seated (from left) are: Gene-Christian Baca, Christine Warrington, Christine Sand and Katherine Warrington Woodward of Walter’s Hot Dogs; Louie Lanza of Hudson Hospitality Group and Hudson Realty Investors; Joe Guilderson of Corporate Audio Visual Services; Stacey Tompkins of Tompkins Excavating; John Pinto of Pentegra and Christie Houlihan of Houlihan-Parnes Realtors. Shown standing (from left) are: Dinner co-chairs James Giangrande of Altium Wealth and Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson of Thompson & Bender; BCW chairman Anthony Justic; BCW president & CEO Marsha Gordon; Jim Houlihan, Brian Houlihan and Jim Coleman of Houlihan-Parnes Realtors.     

The honorees in their respective categories were: 

Corporate Citizenship: Pentegra
Accepting the award was John Pinto, president and CEO. Pentegra is a leading provider of retirement plans, institutional investing and fiduciary outsourcing solutions to organizations nationwide. Starting with less than 30 employees, Pentegra’s White Plains office, where it has been headquartered since 1974, has expanded to over 150 employees in the Westchester/NYC area. Pentegra is strongly committed to community service and is a Corporate Champion and strategic impact partner and supporter of Volunteer New York. 

Entrepreneurial Success: Hudson Hospitality Group/Hudson Realty Investors 
Accepting the award was Louie Lanza, president. Hudson Hospitality Group owns restaurants throughout Peekskill while Hudson Realty Investors owns no fewer than 25 commercial or multi-family residential properties in Peekskill. After divesting his real estate and restaurant holdings in NYC, Lanza focused on Peekskill, founding both Hudson Realty Investors and Hudson Hospitality Group. Hudson Hospitality Group has changed the dining and hospitality scene in Peekskill and northwestern Westchester. 

Family Owned Business Success: Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC 
Accepting the award were managing partners Jim Houlihan and Jim Coleman. Houlihan-Parnes Realtors is a privately owned, vertically integrated commercial real estate investment and management firm. Based in White Plains, the company’s portfolio spans multiple asset classes, consisting of over 8.5 million SF of office, retail, industrial and mixed-use space and approximately 25,000 multifamily units. Founded in 1891 and operated by the fourth and fifth generations of the Houlihan family. 

Small Business Success: Corporate AudioVisual Services 
Accepting the award was Joe Guilderson, president.Corporate AV, celebrating its 34th year, is an expert in cutting-edge audio, video, lighting, and staging solutions for live events, specializing in the corporate, hospital, and non-profit markets. In the last two years alone, Corporate AV has produced more than 1,200 events in over 1,000 different venues ranging from hotel ballrooms to airplane hangars. Corporate AV supports more than 100 fundraising events per year. 

Women in Business Success Stacey Tompkins, Tompkins Excavating
Accepting the award was Stacey Tompkins, president. Tompkins Excavating began as a lawn mowing service in the early 1980’s and expanding into a full- service commercial and residential excavation company serving Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties. Stacey joined the company in 1991 and became president and owner in 2013. The number of employees has grown from five in 2011 to 20 in 2018 and gross revenue has grown from $750,000 to $3 million during that time.

Chairman’s Recognition Award: Walter’s Hot Dogs 
Accepting the award was Christine Warrington, owner/operator. Walter’s Hot Dogs is a fourth-generation, family owned and operated business. Founded in 1919 by Rose and Walter Warrington, Walter’s has been serving quality products for 100 years. In the 1950’s, Eugene and Gloria Warrington took over the business and expanded its menu, carrying it on for 65 years. The business is now expanding with the addition of third and fourth generation family members. 

“Visionary leadership is what all of this year’s winners have in common. These companies exemplify the transformational ability to actualize their companies’ goals. In other words, they inspired strategic change and evolved to meet the emerging trends of their industries,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester.

“All of the Hall of Fame winners possessed an uncanny sense of what potential customers were looking for and stayed ahead of the curve by delivering their products and services through innovation and creativity,” said BCW chairman Anthony Justic.

The names of this year’s winners will be added to a plaque on display in the waiting area of the Westchester County Airport.

The Business Council of Westchester is one of the county’s largest and most prestigious business membership organizations representing over 1,000 members, including multinational corporations, hospitals, universities, biotech pioneers, not-for-profits, entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes. The Business Council of Westchester’s members have access to top thought leaders, business development opportunities and lawmakers at all levels of government. The BCW Data Exchange provides demographic research to help guide smart business decisions. The LEAP program gives members direct access to lobbying efforts at the county, state and national levels on issues that directly affect their businesses.

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