WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The future of smart growth in Westchester County began in earnest as leaders from various business, government, nonprofit, and financial sectors convened recently at the Westchester County Association’s (WCA) conference, “Westchester: County of Tomorrow.”
Speakers from New York City, Austin, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Raleigh, N.C., explained how their regions created innovation eco-systems to ride a tide of demographic and technological trends.
The WCA, the main business leadership organization serving Westchester County, organized the conference as part of its new “BLUEPRINT for Smart Growth“ for the region.
“Welcome to the future,” said William M. Mooney, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the WCA, at the conference start. “This is easily the most important conference in our region in a decade. Westchester County is on the cusp of greatness as we are about to turn this region into a major national hub of innovation and flourishing business. The outstanding individuals here today came from across the USA to share their experiences and insights to help us at this important juncture.”
Presenters and panelists spoke of the urgent need for collaboration among business leaders, officials, and educational institutions to set a bold vision for the future, and use communication, public-private financing, and political will to achieve it.
Keynote speaker, Dean Whittaker, an economic development futurist and chief eecutive officer of Whittaker Associates, Inc., said the county’s future depends on thinking long-term and looking at the emerging trends shaping the future.
William V. Cuddy, Jr. chairman of the WCA’s BLUEPRINT for Smart Growth, said the WCA is committed to using the lessons learned at the conference to develop a regional strategy for the future.
“Westchester and the region have made great progress since we began our BLUEPRINT initiatives in 2011, and we are now recognized nationwide as an emerging innovation hub and biotech center,” he said. “We know we have what it takes to now create an entrepreneurial economy: we have the livable cities, an educated workforce, and proximity to New York City. The WCA is determined to take action today to take control of our future.”