Deborah Novick is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, where she identifies opportunities to improve and expand the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Westchester. Programs within her portfolio include Launch1000, Westchester RISES, the Element 46 incubator program, the Westchester County Biosciences Initiative, and the Biosciences Accelerator program. Prior to joining the County, she was the Director of BioInc@NYMC, the biotechnology incubator at New York Medical College, where she oversaw a doubling of the space, which houses more than 10 startups. Since February 2020, she has been a member of the Board of the Westchester County Association.
Bridget Gibbons serves as Westchester County Executive George Latimer's Director of Economic Development. In this role, she is focused on attracting and retaining businesses and talent in Westchester. Since the pandemic started, she has focused on providing critical funding, information and crisis advisory programs to help our businesses recover and become more resilient.
Amy is Vice President of the Westchester County Association (WCA), a business leadership organization that acts as an integrator to drive economic vitality in Westchester and the region by stimulating growth and innovation. Her main focus is on areas that are critical to the economic viability of the region such as health care, workforce development and public policy advocacy. Currently, she leads the work of the WCA Healthcare Consortium, which provides the opportunity for those who give, get and pay for health care to come together to collaborate on improving the quality and value of care for the people of the Westchester region.
Ms. Ardigo, has over 25 years of experience in life science commercial real estate. Ms. Ardigo not only offers tenant and landlord representation to bioscience, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies, but also serves as a national consultant to developers, universities and institutions in facilitating the development of research and innovation parks by understanding the areas of excellence in both science and research. Some of her past projects include the Pfizer site in Skokie, IL, the Scripps Project, West Palm Beach, FL, the New Orleans Medical District, and SkySong at Arizona State University.
Jonathan Bandel is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for White Plains Hospital. He oversees strategy, programmatic growth and development, and innovation. Jonathan is responsible for establishing the innovation department’s vision, goals, strategic imperatives, and investment theses. Jonathan has over 16 years of healthcare strategy and operations experience, and previously raised a $5M venture fund. Jonathan has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a MPA from New York University, and a MS in Finance from Baruch College, in addition to being a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and Project Management Professional.
Heidi Davidson is the CEO of Galvanize Worldwide, the largest distributed marketing and communications consulting firm in the world. The Galvanize team focuses on startup advisory work, outsourced marketing, crisis communications and change management for organizations of all sizes. Before co-founding Galvanize Worldwide, Heidi spent four years as part of the turn-around team at BlackBerry in senior executive roles focused on helping BlackBerry move from a device manufacturer to a security software and services provider. Prior to that, Heidi worked at MasterCard Worldwide at its global headquarters in Purchase, New York for 11 years. She served in various leadership capacities across communications, marketing, compliance, global public policy, consumer education, training and events, security and risk management, mergers and acquisitions, among others. Heidi’s career began in association and agency public relations.
As leader of Westchester County’s largest and most influential business organization, Dr. Gordon brings more than 25 years of community, commerce and leadership experience. Under her leadership, BCW has tripled its membership, developed programs to meet the needs of the County’s diverse business community and become a lead advocate for business and economic development in the region and New York State.
As a senior strategist, Laurence P. Gottlieb is primarily responsible for leading RMC Bio1, a life sciences and health technologies initiative he launched to enhance Robert Martin Company’s (RMC) real estate portfolio, which includes 6 million square feet of office, retail, industrial and residential properties. He joined the firm in 2019 with over 30 years of executive and C-suite management experience as a high-level communications and economic development expert.
Barry Kappel is the founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sapience Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing peptide therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. As a biotechnology entrepreneur and executive, Dr. Kappel is driven to help develop and foster the biotechnology community in New York, and Sapience is the latest example of this effort.
Prior to founding Sapience, Dr. Kappel was a senior executive of ContraFect Corporation, a company that he played an integral part in founding in 2009. As the Senior Vice President of Business Development, he was involved in all aspects of the company, including financing activities, licensing of the company's key technologies, establishing scientific collaborations with academic and corporate partners, presenting to regulatory authorities and developing a corporate strategy. Prior to ContraFect, Dr. Kappel was a Senior Consultant at Easton Associates, LLC, a boutique life science consulting firm located in Manhattan. Easton Associates has since been acquired by Navigant Consulting.
Dr. Kappel holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Emory University, a Ph.D. in Immunology and Pharmacology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and an M.B.A. from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Dr. Kappel was also chosen as a Howard Hughes Pre-Doctoral Fellow and has published 17 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Thom Kleiner has been the Executive Director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce development Board since 2018. He is responsible for directing all aspects of the workforce development and career center system including program development, staffing, operations, budgeting and fiscal management. He partners with economic development agencies, academic institutions, not for projects and business partners to identify hiring needs and skills gaps and optimizes opportunities for job seekers in Westchester and Putnam counties. Previously he was Hudson Valley Regional Representative for the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Labor and Deputy Director of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. Prior to that, he was a seven term Town Supervisor in the Town of Orangetown in Rockland County.
Vivien Wong, PhD is a pharmaceutical executive with over 20 years of experience in the development of drugs and diagnostics. Dr. Wong has held positions of increasing responsibility in Research and Development at Emisphere Technologies, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and most recently serving as Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Progenics Pharmaceuticals. At Regeneron, Dr. Wong pioneered translational pharmacology research that led to the development of Arcalyst®, Eylea®, Zaltrap®, Kevzara®, and Dupixent®. At Progenics, she led multifunctional teams to achieve FDA approval of Relistor® Subcutaneous Injection, Relistor® Tablets, and AZEDRA®, including successes in obtaining Breakthrough Therapy, Fast Track, Priority Review, Orphan Drug, and Special Protocol Assessment designations for these products.
Elaine Zacharakis Loumbas is an experienced health, privacy and technology attorney with a broad range of health care transactional experience focusing on the life sciences and digital health space. For more information on this expertise, please visit: www.zacharakislaw.com. Currently, in addition to her law practice, Elaine is an adjunct professor at the Biotechnology, Management & Entrepreneurship Program at Yeshiva University.
• Promote awareness of the robustness of the industry
• Promote awareness of the accomplishments of the participants in the industry
• Promote collaboration among participants in the industry
• Highlight the cutting edge research being done here, and assist with connections/partnerships to advance research toward the clinic
• Attract new entrants into the industry, particularly those that can readily collaborate with or support the operations of the existing establishments
• Promotion of local ‘centers of excellence’; areas of specific expertise in which the county has real depth
• Stay up to date on trends in the industry, and needs of the ecosystem/industry participants, so that strategic action can be taken in response to needs that are identified, and WC can capitalize on trends
• Keep the ecosystem map up to date
• Serve as a “brain trust” to the Biosciences Industry Desk/concierge service