Category Archives: Corporate Governance

Cornell Tech Announces $50-Million Naming Gift for Verizon Executive Education Center

Cornell Tech today announced a $50-million gift from Business Council member Verizon for the development of one of the innovative aspects of its Roosevelt Island campus, the Verizon Executive Education Center.

The center will be part of the first phase of the campus, which began construction last month and is due to open in the summer of 2017. When fully completed, the campus will include two million square feet of state-of-the-art buildings, more than two acres of open space, and will be home to more than 2,000 graduate students and nearly 280 faculty and staff.

“This is a transformative gift that will help enormously to advance our mission of bringing academia and industry together,” said Cornell University President David J. Skorton. “The campus will welcome everyone interested in using technology to advance the economy and to make the world a better place, and the Verizon Executive Education Center will be at the center of it.”

Cornell Tech is a revolutionary model for graduate education that fuses technology with business and creative thinking. Cornell Tech brings together like-minded faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary ideas grounded in significant needs that will reinvent the way we live.

Cornell Tech’s temporary campus has been up and running at Google’s Chelsea building in New York City since 2012, with a growing world-class faculty, master’s and PhD students, and postdocs who work with tech-oriented organizations and companies and on their own startups.

“Our donation to Cornell Tech is an investment in the future and fits perfectly with our mission to use communications technologies to solve big challenges and make people’s lives better,” said Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam. “The Verizon Executive Education Center will be a magnet for developers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators across all industries, building on the great talent and creativity we already have in the tech sector in New York City.”

In addition to the Verizon Executive Education Center, the first phase will include the First Academic Building with an open plan and collaborative work spaces, taking its cue from the tech world. It is designed to be among the largest net-zero energy buildings in the United States, with all of its power generated on campus. A corporate co-location building will also be located on campus. The co-location building will fuse academia and industry by providing space for established tech companies and startups to locate on campus. A residential building will be constructed for faculty, staff and students to ensure the campus is active 24/7.

To read the complete announcement from Cornell Tech, please click here.

IBM recognized by New York State DEC with Environmental Excellence Award

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has recognized Business Council member IBM with its Environmental Excellence Award for IBM’s innovation, commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and economic viability.

IBM was recognized for its Chilled Water Optimization Project in Dutchess County as an effort that demonstrates their commitment to the environment. East Fishkill, IBM’s largest facility, supports the significant energy demand of semiconductor cleanroom space. This project required meticulous collaboration between all aspects of the facility’s operations team because any degradation of the cleanroom environment would have significant negative impacts. The chilled water plant is among the most efficient of its type and saves almost 2.5 million kWh of energy which translates to avoiding 5,400 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. That equates to taking more than 1,000 cars off the road.

The award was presented at the 11th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards celebration, which was held at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute at their NanoFab South Rotunda and Auditorium in Albany.

“This year’s awards recognize innovative programs, smart business decisions and unique collaborative initiatives that improve New York’s environment and contribute to a stronger economy,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Through the Environmental Excellence Awards, DEC is able to showcase those who are setting the example for others across New York.

Business Council president and CEO moderates diversity panel at Somos El Futuro

The positive impact on company performance that is tied to corporate board diversity was the topic of a panel discussion at Somos El Futuro, moderated by Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

Panelists included Roberta Phillips, executive director of the Center for Women in Business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Mecca Santana, chief diversity officer for New York State, and Nancy Hernandez, Deputy New York State Comptroller Office of Diversity Management.

Somos El Futuro, is an annual event that serves as a platform for legislators, scholars, business and labor leaders to address issues that impact the Hispanic community.

Cornell University names first woman president

University of Southern California provost Elizabeth Garrett will be Cornell University’s first woman president, the university announced on Tuesday.

Garrett will replace David Skorton, who is leaving at the end of the academic year to lead the Smithsonian Institution.

“Cornell is one of the world’s truly great universities, with a stellar commitment to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative activity, linked with a deep commitment to public engagement,” Garrett said in a statement. “I am excited to join the Cornell community and to work with the faculty, staff, students and alumni to write the next chapter in its illustrious history.”

Garrett’s unanimous appointment by Cornell’s board of trustees follows a six-month national search.

Business Council President appointed to Central Hudson Board

briccettiBusiness Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, the combination electric and gas utility serving New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley that became the first American utility subsidiary of Canadian holding company Fortis Inc. in June 2013.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Heather to our board, and we are certain that her substantial business expertise and governmental affairs experience will benefit Central Hudson customers immensely,” said H. Stanley Marshall, Chairman of the Board. “We look forward to her involvement and her contributions to our deliberations.”

Briccetti is the third New York State resident appointed to the utility’s board in the last year. Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 378,000 customers in eight counties of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley; it delivers natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the Capital District at Albany.

Its mission is to deliver electricity and natural gas to an expanding customer base in a safe, reliable, courteous and affordable manner; to produce growing financial returns for its owner; to foster a culture that encourages employees to reach their full potential; and to be a good corporate citizen.

Fortis Inc. is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, with total assets of approximately $18.6 billion and fiscal 2013 revenue exceeding $4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for approximately 90 percent of total assets and serve approximately 2.5 million gas and electricity customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean.

In addition to Marshall and Briccetti, the following individuals now serve on the Central Hudson Board:

  • Margarita K. Dilley of Washington, D.C., former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Astrolink International LLC, who joined the board in 2004;
  • Steven M. Fetter of Norland, Wash., the President of Regulation Unfettered and the former Chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, who joined the board in 2002;
  • Mark Kastner, of Ulster County, NY, Principal of The Chazen Companies, who joined the board in 2013;
  • Steven V. Lant of Poughkeepsie, NY, Chief Executive Officer of Central Hudson and CH Energy Group, who joined the board in 2002;
  • Mary D. Madden of Ulster County, NY, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, who joined the board in 2013;
  • Barry V. Perry of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Fortis Inc., who joined the board in 2013; and
  • Karl W. Smith of Alberta, Canada, President & Chief Executive Officer of FortisAlberta Inc., who joined the board in 2013.

Business Council members featured in list of Best Corporate Citizens

Many members of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. were recently featured on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List.

The companies were assessed on nearly 300 performance indicators including corporate governance, finance, environment, employee relations and philanthropy. Entergy Corporation, a Business Council member, engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations, was one of the honorees.

“We are honored to be counted among the country’s best companies in going the extra mile for our stakeholders,” said Entergy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault. “This recognition is a testament to the enduring commitment of everyone – from our board of directors to our front-line employees – to doing the right thing.”

Other Business Council members honored along with Entergy include Microsoft Corporation, Coca-Cola Co., Walt Disney Co., United Parcel Services, Inc., General Electric Co., Altria Group Inc., International Paper Co., Xerox Corp., AT&T, Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Eli Lilly & Co., Verizon Communications, Fedex Corp., Consolidated Edison, Inc.

Click here for the full listing of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.