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Eric Gertler of Empire State Development to Deliver Keynote Address at Oct. 30 Virtual Event; Founder of Land Use Law Center and City of White Plains to Receive Awards

By WCA November 02, 2020

White Plains, NY (October 27, 2020) – Regional experts in real estate and housing will share best practices and offer potential solutions to the lack of affordable and diverse housing stock in the region – where more than 11,000 additional such units are needed — at the Westchester County Association’s fourth annual Real Estate and Housing Virtual Summit on October 30 at 9:30 a.m. EST.


Eric Gertler, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Development, will provide the keynote address for the summit.  A media executive, entrepreneur and published author, Gertler has written and spoken extensively on key policy issues and economic development priorities, including workforce development, infrastructure investment, entrepreneurship and innovation.  John Nolon, founder of the Land Use Law Center and distinguished professor of law emeritus at Pace University, will receive a special recognition award, and the City of White Plains will receive the WCA’s annual “Playbook Award” for its accomplishments in affordable housing initiatives and programs.


Panelists with decades of experience in land use planning and real estate development will share insights and actionable recommendations to help solve the regional housing crisis will include:

  • Patrick Cleary, principal of Cleary Consulting, a professional planning firm that provides planning and environmental services for government and the private sector;
  • Arthur Collins, co-founding principal of Collins Enterprises, LLC, with 30 years of experience in managing development and construction for major residential and commercial projects in the New York market;
  • William V. Cuddy, Jr., executive vice president of CBRE, a commercial real estate professional for 33 years, and an executive board member of the WCA;
  • Norma Drummond, commissioner of planning for Westchester County.


Bill Mooney, III, will emcee the event. He is a senior vice president and group director at Signature Bank, and a WCA board member. Registration for the event is free at


The summit is part of the WCA’s broader initiative to advance solutions to help local municipalities struggling to respond to the surging demand for more diverse, affordable, and available housing.  The WCA recently announced a newly-published “Housing Initiatives” chapter in its Policy Playbook, which was produced through a collaborative effort between the WCA’s Real Estate and Housing Committee and the nationally-recognized Land Use Law Center at Pace University, and is available for download on the WCA’s website.


The new chapter details:

  • Why municipalities should create a housing initiative – including the impact it can have on the community and on local businesses dependent upon skilled workers and a stable workforce;
  • How to create a successful housing initiative;
  • Examples of local municipalities that have successfully implemented effective housing initiative strategies, including the city of White Plains.


According to Westchester County’s published Affordable Housing Needs Assessment report, 11,703 additional affordable housing units are needed in the region, which represents the total number of Westchester households that are severely overcrowded or homeless, as well as the registrants to the Westchester HomeSeeker program.


The Westchester County Association ( is the leading economic development and business advocacy organization in the lower Hudson Valley.  The WCA promotes smart economic growth, fosters development for businesses and nonprofits, and provides its members with opportunities to interact with key public and private sector individuals, agencies, and organizations.


For more information about the Westchester County Association, visit


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