Long Island leaders reveal their predictions for the year ahead

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By Dan Sears

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Eric Alexander

Director

Vision Long Island

The revelation that housing and zoning mandates are not coming back in 2024 should bring us more opportunitiesto plan changes in our communities locally with less interference from New York City or New York State interests.

Over 50 downtowns already have some sort of revitalization plan that envisions new redevelopment. 10,000 units of multifamily housing are going through the planning process now. Innovation in ADU’s; ownership units; and smaller, more affordable housing types can help provide options for young and old alike.

By the third quarter of this year we are hopeful that banks and other financial investors are comfortable lending to projects. Where interest rates land are making homeownership out of reach is unclear.

Communities have identified over 50 areas for pedestrian and bike safety improvements on our many dangerous roadways. How Department of Transportation and county DPWs deal with this crisis is well within their control.

Numerous sewer infrastructure, transportation and clean energy projects are underway as well.

The high cost of everything due to inflation will continue to impact middle class, working class and lower income folks. The trouble most Long Islanders have paying for the basics of food, gas and other basics is the major issue we hear on Main Streets.

Building the trust of Long Islanders particularly among NYS and federal officials will be a big issue this year. The revelation that we are sending over $40 billion more in taxes to these levels of government than we are getting back in projects and services is galling, but could begin the process of Long Island receiving its fair share of resources.

 

Stuart B. Almer

President and CEO

Gurwin Healthcare System

Our industry is at a crossroads. With chronic underfunding, burdensome regulatory requirements and the residual damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing homes are closing or considering their options as 2024 nears. Today, New York State has 5,600 fewer nursing home beds than in 2019, limiting access to quality care for all New Yorkers and overburdening our hospital system. That trend will continue without some relief.

Recruitment and retention will remain our focus in 2024, as we compete with other healthcare sectors for quality caregivers. Many caregivers are leaving the healthcare profession entirely, with an eye on career opportunities that provide increased compensation, flexible work hours and remote options. The impact of this goes beyond long-term care; lack of healthcare workers means alack of adequate healthcare options for our community. With an aging population, this has the potential to be devastating. New opportunities must be developed and funded to encourage young people to pursue careers in healthcare, especially in long-term care.

Last year, our New York State legislature finally heard our pleas and provided the first real increase in Medicaid funding in more than 14 years. In 2024, they need to do more to ensure the long-term future of skilled nursing care, rebasing the Medicaid rate and making provisions for an annual cost of living increase. With predictable funding, long-term solutions to some of the most critical problems facing our industry can be addressed, and we can assure the quality care that our Long Island seniors deserve.

 

Phil Andrews

President

Long Island African American Chamber

The forecast for 2024 is bright on Long Island as new industries such as offshore wind, redevelopment of the Hub, and new workforce development opportunities are on the horizon.

Long Island ecosystems are being strengthened by unique partnerships among organizations such as the Long Island Association, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Small Business Support Program, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers. A collaborative data collection study was funded by the Community Development Foundation of Long Island in partnership with the Long Island Association, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to access challenges of Long Island-based minority-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic. With the assistance of Long Island University’s Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis, this survey builds on a joint initiative that was already established between the LIA, LIAACC, and LIHCC to support inclusive regional economic growth through a Long Island Community Foundation grant to the LIA Foundation earlier this year.

 

Navin Arora

Dermatologist and Founder

Borealis Dermatology

In 2024, the field of dermatology will see remarkable progress and positive transformation. Advancements in technology will continue to revolutionize diagnostics, treatments and newly approved FDA medications. The emergence and growth of AI-powered tools and telemedicine will enhance dermatological care, making treatments and access to care more personalized. Breakthroughs in biological therapies will significantly impact conditions like psoriasis, eczema and skin cancers, offering more effective and targeted treatments. Ongoing research and advancements will assist members of my profession and allow us to provide more positive outcomes for patients. Additionally, global health initiatives aimed at improving skin care for underserved members of the community will continue to gain traction.

Ware seeing a strong demand for cosmetic dermatology treatments and services. New technology is allowing for safer and more advanced procedures which is attracting a greater number of individuals who are seeking non-invasive aesthetic enhancements. A heightened awareness on preventive skincare will drive regular dermatological check-ups and early interventions for skin cancer and other illnesses, promoting overall health and well-being. Collaborations between dermatology and other specialties will foster multidisciplinary approaches to treat complex skin conditions.

Overall, in 2024 we will experience a dynamic era in dermatology, marked by technological innovation, personalized care and a deeper understanding of skin health for better patient outcomes.

 

Leo K. Barnes, Jr.

Member

Barnes & Barnes PC

2024 is likely to bring an upswing in litigation around partnership disputes and cybersecurity. With continued economic uncertainty plaguing the economy, we expect businesses (especially closely-held entities) to maintain a critical eye on the profitability of co-owners. When profitability is tight and collections are challenging, disputes between business owners can surface as a result of increased analysis of contributions to the bottom line. This scrutiny of profitability often leads to one of two conclusions: (a) business owner X is unprofitable as a result of lack of talent or effort; or (b) business owner X has engaged in affirmative misconduct (such as a diversion of business assets). In either instance, litigation often follows. Fortunately, Long Island contains local courthouses which hear and resolve these business-related litigations in the Commercial Division of the State Supreme Court. These courts are staffed by Judges who focus exclusively on business-related claims, leading to cost-efficient resolutions.

We also expect to see an increase in data breach and cybersecurity litigation. Savvy businesses must address the challenge of protecting large volumes of sensitive, business-critical data from ever-evolving sophisticated threats. Given the global reach of malicious cyber criminals, it can be a question of “when”—not “if”—a security breach will occur. Businesses responding to these breaches must prepare for litigation that will inevitably follow. Businesses which have been affected can also proactively pursue litigation against third-parties whose actions or omissions have contributed to a data breach.

 

John Beres

Chief Business Officer, Director of Client Services & Development

SterlingRisk

Throughout 2023, the commercial insurance space became an increasingly complex environment. Mirroring other areas of the economy, the sector encountered continued volatility. While some lines of coverage have seen decelerated price increases, other coverage segments are seeing double-digit rate jumps. Considering these inconsistencies, the commercial insurance landscape will remain challenging in the months ahead.

SterlingRisk anticipates that the commercial insurance sector will still carry challenges in 2024; however, it may present more favorable conditions than it has in previous years for certain lines of coverage. Yet, some coverage segments, including commercial property and auto, will remain difficult to navigate.

For business owners to successfully manage the commercial insurance space, it’s important to consult insurance professionals who understand your industry and operations, comprehend the characteristics of the current market cycle, and provide necessary tools and targeted risk management solutions to handle challenging conditions.

At SterlingRisk, our professional staff stands ready to provide the risk management solutions and coverage expertise your business needs today and in the years to come.

 

James Bonner

CEO

New York & Atlantic Railway

Long Island’s elected leaders recognize the importance of the greater use of rail freight for its economic and environmental benefits, and as a means to ease regional traffic congestion, which in turn, helps reduce emissions. In 2024 we look forward to meeting with the region’s leadership and economic developers to show rail freight’s capabilities and work to develop and strengthen a regional rail freight strategy.

The efficient movement of goods on and off the Island is critical in growing the local economy, and New York & Atlantic Railway is poised to accommodate new opportunities by providing dependable and economical rail freight services.

We are optimistic about growth and development on Long Island. We see the Island’s slight rise in population and expanded tax base as a positive indicator that will benefit our business.

Last year, hiring was a significant focus for us as we successfully brought on talent from across the region. As many new hires undergo training and secure safety, and other essential certifications, they will play a critical role in meeting the needs of new rail freight clients we expect to cultivate over the next several years.

An important part of our mission continues to be a good corporate citizen as we support education, hunger relief and youth development organizations. Our employees regularly volunteer and support many worthy causes.

Overall, we at New York & Atlantic Railway believe that Long Island’s economy will continue to grow, and that rail freight will play a vital part in the region’s economic health.

 

Douglas Brinkman

CFO

Ocean Financial Federal  Credit Union

2024 will prove to be a challenging year for financial institutions. If the Fed’s promise of higher interest rates for a longer period of time comes true, people with existing revolving lines of credit will not see any relief from their high monthly payments. Additionally, people seeking a loan might find that process to be difficult and equally expensive.

On the other hand, if the Fed’s strategy of reducing inflation is successful and interest rates decline, the consequences might also include reduced work hours, partial layoffs or even higher unemployment in general. This is assuming an economic downturn (recession) will occur. In an economic downturn, demand for products is reduced, causing inventory buildup businesses to oftentimes cut back on hours worked and maintain their personnel, or just have a reduction in their workforce.

Regardless of the scenario, having access to financial resources is the key to helping navigate through these challenging times. Ocean Financial has helped our members through Superstorm Sandy and, more recently, through the pandemic; it’s our mission and responsibility to continue to provide guidance in unsure times.

 

David Burman

Principal and President of Development 

B2K Development

For decades, the Long Beach superblock was six acres of empty scrub alongside the boardwalk until approvals were given by city officials to construct 200 luxury condos that would overlook the Atlantic. In April 2024, these residences will be opening their doors and, in the process, create one of the most important economic generators Long Beach has seen in generations. And then these residences will be joined by 238 rental units in an adjacent 10-story building.

Prior to development, this property generated about a half million dollars in taxes. Ultimately, with condos alone, the annual real estate tax revenue will jump to some seven times the property’s prior taxes. Together, the total taxes that will be generated from the condominiums and rentals are projected to exceed $100 million over 25 years, dollars to be distributed to the city, the school district and Nassau County.

Because it is unique to the Island, the waiting list to put down deposits for “The Boardwalk” has revealed significant demand for these kinds of unique lifestyle communities that offer luxury amenities. What the New Year will reveal is that we can create economic benefits and new residential communities when there is a collaborative effort among community, government, and the private sector.

 

Randell Bynum

CEO

Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Moving into 2024, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County remains steadfast in its mission to nurture and empower young women. This year, our focus intensifies on three pivotal areas: supporting girls and the community, enhancing mental health support and exposing girls to non-traditional careers. Our community engagement initiatives aim to foster a sense of social responsibility and community involvement among our Girl Scouts, encouraging them to become proactive citizens. Acknowledging the growing concern for mental wellbeing, we look to provide more mental health resources and programs. These initiatives will equip our Girl Scouts with the resilience and emotional intelligence needed to navigate life’s challenges.

GSNC continues to be committed to introducing young women to a diverse range of career paths, particularly in fields where women are underrepresented. By doing so, we aim to broaden their horizons and instill in them the confidence to pursue their ambitions, irrespective of traditional gender norms. Our annual STEM conference with Hofstra University—and the new American Airlines partnership—were two successful initiatives from this past year that introduced our girls to new opportunities and connected them with influential role models as they embark on their professional journeys as leaders of tomorrow.

As we move into 2024, GSNC is excited to expand on these efforts and pave the way for a generation of strong, informed and capable young women ready to make a meaningful impact in the world.

 

Erika Calderon

Managing Principal

Brinster and Bergman

Global uncertainty, both economically and relating to international conflicts, has many business leaders on Long Island concerned. Many businesses import goods or rely on services from international providers, while others have family in or near conflict zones. This will slow or alter business decision making, and potentially impact the economy.

In addition, the rise in antisemitism locally and globally is alarming and, with a presidential election this year, the economic future is also uncertain.

Inflation has also caused the costs for goods and services to rise. As accountants, we will be assisting clients to address this challenge and help identify ways to enhance efficiency.

The accounting profession is also undergoing changes that will continue in 2024. There has been a reduction of 30 percent in incoming accounting students, which will create greater demand and hiring challenges. This decline comes at a time when new regulations from New York State go into effect, requiring firms to prepare more audits and certifications for clients. Staff and partners will spend more time managing these items.

In the accounting profession many are struggling with remote staff and workflow. At Brinster and Bergman, most of our teamwork in the office. This is beneficial because it enhances efficiency and allows for greater collaboration. Clients are better served, and we are also able to build a better culture.

 

Robert M. Calica

Senior Partner

Rosenberg Calica & Birney LLP

Forecasts for how the 2024 economy will impact Long Island’s law firms are as mixed as predictions for the U.S. and New York region economies in 2024. Overall, however, it is our view that 2024 will see continuing steady growth and progress for Long Island law firms which, unlike major New York City and national law firms, are somewhat less affected by macro-economic changes attributable to higher interest rates and similar changes.

The stall and decline of income and profits in many major New York City and national law firms has largely occurred in the highly profitable “mergers and acquisitions.” Also capital financing practices, which have seen steep declines as high interest rates have stalled that sector of the economy as well. Long Island firms on the other hand are not as heavily involved or dependent on this aspect of legal practice, and in addition, transactional practices are closely tied to real estate development on Long Island which continues to be generally healthy.

Another encouraging facet is that litigation continues to be a steady if not growing area.  As New York City firms have shed attorneys in M&A, financing and other corporate areas, employment and salaries for attorneys in litigation departments have been growing. This too, is and will continue to be a healthy component of many Long Island law firms.

In short, our law firm anticipates a steady and growing legal business outlook for Long Island 2024.

 

Matt Campo

CEO

Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro

Not since the founding of our New Hyde Park House have we been more excited for the future. Our mission to provide housing and care for families caring for a sick child receives daily doses of urgency when we walk in our front doors, and the support we receive from like-minded Long Islanders has grown exponentially in the last few years. Our collaboration with Stony Brook Medicine allowed us to reopen our Family Room at the Children’s Hospital, providing parents with a child in the hospital a quiet space to care for themselves and their emotional well-being, as well as a much needed drink or snack or a shoulder to cry on. Combined with our NICU Family Room in the Stony Brook main hospital building, we are helping parents care for their children in their most desperate hour of need. And countless fundraising drives, toy drives and support from donors and volunteers have propelled us toward our ultimate goal: a new Ronald McDonald House for Suffolk County, which we hope will begin to become reality in the coming year. 2024 will be a banner year, and we can’t wait for it.

 

Bob Caulfield

President & CEO

Jefferson’s Ferry Life Plan Community

Communities that serve older adults are changing in large part because our residents are changing. The silent generation is the majority population of life-plan communities like Jefferson’s Ferry. Members of the greatest generation also call Jefferson’s Ferry home, and the baby boomers are not far behind. Our goal is to meet the needs and desires of all residents.

Most residents want to remain independent and active, with a focus on health and wellness and an expectation of care. Life-plan communities are reconfiguring their campuses to offer additional programs and services and adding apartments to meet an increased demand for this independent lifestyle.

Jefferson’s Ferry will complete our 5-year Journey Toward Renewal in 2024. We’ve added independent living apartments; expanded fitness programs; increased dining experiences; and opened a larger arts center, game room and spaces for get togethers with neighbors, family and friends. The physical therapy and rehabilitation suite is expanded and newly outfitted, and a state-of-the-art memory support wing with a spacious, flowing floorplan lets residents stroll around their neighborhood, enjoy family gatherings and secure outdoor spaces.

What continues to shape Jefferson’s Ferry is the commitment to fostering a sense of home, community, caring and peace of mind, knowing their health care needs will be met.

 

Kimberly Cline

President

Long Island University

Recognizing our commitment to access and excellence, Long Island University continued to limit tuition increases to no more than 2% for the last decade, which is dramatically below the regional average.

In 2024, we will launch exciting new majors, including a digital engineering degree, and graduate our first four-year class from our College of Veterinary Medicine in May.

In 2024, we will break ground on a $30 million Center of Excellence in Life Science and Research on our Brookville campus to support our College of Science, open– in collaboration with Live Nation–the fully renovated, historic Paramount Theater at our Brooklyn campus (a $55-million-dollar project) and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the George Polk Awards in Journalism, presented by Long Island University.

In a presidential election year, the Roosevelt School will continue to educate the community about the importance of civic involvement, host ambassadors and presidential descendants, and share an historic display of campaign memorabilia from the Museum of Democracy.

 

Benjamin Coggiano

CEO/President

Walter F. Cameron Advertising

In 2024 everyone in advertising and marketing must be mindful of emerging technologies and find new ways to navigate and leverage them. Google and Meta’s algorithms are becoming more committed to artificial intelligence. This, however, will not eliminate the importance of human involvement. It will be clear for those that find ways to better navigate technology and effectively use it will win the day.

Access to first-party data is essential as rules change to further safeguard consumer privacy. Agencies that know how to use data to target customers and prospects in the right way will produce the best results for their clients.

Content development is essential as well. Video and social media continue to play an important role in getting messages in front of people. It is critical to utilize user-generated content as the impact of influencers and content creators become more engrained. Understanding of new creative formats and customization is key, information must be provided in the way that customers or prospects want it.

We are leveraging the power of digital marketing and innovative technologies, and in 2024, we believe the economy will level out and sectors such as real estate and automotive will rebound as consumers gain confidence.

 

Allan Cohen

Managing Partner, Long Island

Nixon Peabody LLP

We continue to be in a period of great uncertainty, but I expect the economy (and my principal areas of the law, mergers and acquisitions and emerging companies/venture capital) to continue to show the improvement that we saw during the fourth quarter of 2023. The reason is that, as inflation and supply shortages have eased, we are in a good place. Most of the economic unhappiness is the result of perceptions that we were somehow entitled to a continuation of the record-breaking expansion and low interest rates we saw through the first half of 2022. As perceptions align with the reality that things really are pretty good, business activity and the economy will undoubtedly expand.

 

Matt Cohen, President & CEO

Stacey Sikes, Vice President for Government Affairs

Long Island Association

Long Island’s economy shows tremendous pro-mise for growth in 2024. We are closing out this year with some historic successes for our region, including the operation of South Fork Wind, the first offshore wind turbines to ever spin in New York State and in federal waters generating power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses; the opening of Grand Central Madison offering Long Island commuters a ride directly to the east side of Manhattan, a once-in-a-lifetime new transit hub in New York City; and the advancement of the Sands New York project, which offers unparalleled potential for stimulating economic activity at the site of the Nassau Coliseum, which has challenged officials for decades. Discussions about our region’s high cost of living and lack of housing opportunities are focusing on innovative solutions, and if government and business leaders continue to collaborate next year, we can achieve more progress confronting the existential crisis facing Long Island. The Long Island Association’s advocacy will continue to focus on fostering a more affordable environment for the business community and pushing back on government mandates that make it more difficult and costly for them to operate. We will continue to support the expansion of small enterprises, which comprise the majority of businesses on Long Island, as they have been squeezed in 2023 by interest rates and inflation. At the LIA, we are optimistic that our region’s businesses can thrive despite some adversity and will be steadfast in assisting them with developing their networks and relationships and advocating for our region’s economic prosperity, as we have been for the past 98 years.

Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate a continuation to see robust mergers and acquisitions, and transactional activities. Uncertainties about interest rates are expected to ease as the Federal Reserve signals a slowdown in rate increases. Lower interest rates will certainly benefit law firms, especially those specializing in real estate and corporate law.

 

Robert Creighton

Managing Partner

Farrell Fritz P.C.

We continue to see a transformation on the human capital/legal talent side of things. Long Island law firms encountered recruitment challenges as New York City firms lured attorneys with remote work options during the pandemic. However, as major law firms are requiring in-person work, we are seeing attorneys preferring positions closer to home. This situation creates a vibrant market for Long Island firms to attract talent.

The real estate development market on Long Island has significant growth potential–especially in a more stable rate environment. We expect to see a continuing trend  of retail spaces being converted into housing, medical facilities, and mixed-use developments aligns.  We also expect to see municipalities continuing to be focused on transit-oriented development. We also believe that municipalities will seek to develop more work force housing opportunities.

Lastly, we expect our trusts and estates  practice to continue to be a very strong practice at our firm. We have strategically broadened our trusts and estates capabilities by recruiting talent from NYC firms. The rising demand from an aging population for trusts and estates services, combined with baby boomers selling businesses and real estate for legacy creation, positions this area as a major driver of growth for our firm into this next year.

While the economy remains sluggish and a bit uncertain, we are optimistic about 2024.

 

Marc Cronin

Co-Founder

John’s Crazy Socks

We are optimistic for 2024 as we see long-term business decisions yield fruit and consumer trends bending our way. We have been investing in our own product lines–J’s from John’s Crazy Socks–and those investments are coming to fruition. Offering more of our own products has allowed us to enter the wholesale channel so retail stores can now carry John’s Crazy Socks.

We also see businesses seeking to create more personalized gifts and promotional items, a rising demand that we meet with our custom socks and corporate gifting program.

Consumers are more thoughtful with their spending, which helps a purpose-driven business such as ours. They value the quality socks we make and like to know their purchases make a difference. As a company, we strive to employ those with differing disabilities, as well as giving back to our charity partners, such as the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society and North Shore Animal League America.

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Armando D’Accordo

President

CMIT Solutions of South Nassau

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing and all business owners and PC users must be made aware and adjust their tactics accordingly. Bad actors are now using Artificial intelligence and social engineering as two of their major weapons. To combat these trends, everyone needs to stay educated and vigilant, they need to fight back with layers of security, and—at a minimum—deploy advanced endpoint protection with AI. Companies need to know that employees’ bad habits and lack of discipline are the top reasons for new breaches; poor password management, social engineering, and mistakes by end users are just three of the top seven reasons. We have always advised clients to have levels of protection and good backups. We have since modified this advice to state that good backups and cyber insurance are now essential, and layers of security and end user training are must-have items. In IT, like almost any industry, you get rewarded for diligence, effort, and using quality products. Please take the time to evaluate your information security, and stay protected in 2024!

 

Greg Demetriou

Owner/CEO

Lorraine Gregory Communications

Happy New Year! It’s a great time to explore key trends that will affect the marketing landscape. And there are many for 2024: leveraging vast amounts of data for hyper-personalization, creating custom content at scale, using short-form video to break through to the ever-decreasing attention span of consumers, facilitating conversation marketing and maximizing marketing dollars across more consumer touchpoints.

And then there’s AI. It is a gamechanger. A silver bullet that is rapidly transforming the marketing landscape. It is here to stay and becoming more powerful. And when looking at trends to watch for 2024, AI can play a role in all of them.

  • Data analysis and manipulation, combined with predictive modeling can create hyper-personalized brand experiences.
  • AI can assist with idea generation, writing headlines, creating initial drafts, and crafting compelling social media posts to turbo-charge content generation.
  • Though still in very early stages, AI is making an impact on video production with concepting and storyboarding, transforming long-form content to short-form, and creating animations from still frames.
  • Conversation marketing has been transformed with chatbots, voice-activated devices, and virtual assistants, that field questions, provide customer support, make personalized recommendations, and resolve complaints—all in real-time.
  • In addition to expanding bandwidth, AI create efficiencies across the marketing landscape to directly impact advertising budgets.

With all of the benefits, it is important to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement.  It should be used to complement human expertise, strategic planning, and creative thinking.

 

Victor DeStefano

President

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

As president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York (formerly Empire BlueCross BlueShield), I anticipate 2024 will bring an increased focus on improving healthcare access, affordability, and convenience through digital innovation.

Key to this is Sydney Health, our mobile app allowing members to directly access care including primary care, mental health support, and management of chronic conditions. We are continuously expanding Sydney’s capabilities to serve as an intuitive, convenient “front door” to benefits information and care.

At the same time, we are developing high-performing networks of providers tied to value-based arrangements emphasizing care coordination, positive health outcomes, and appropriate costs. Our Accountable Care Organizations help drive this model of accountable, patient-centered care focused on keeping populations healthy over the long term.

Addressing affordability continues to be imperative in New York’s complex regulatory environment. We are bringing cost-control solutions like site-of-care optimization and real-time claims editing to bear on addressing out-of-control expenditures that drive up premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Sydney offers cost transparency features to help members be savvy healthcare consumers.

The years ahead promise exciting progress on access, affordability, and convenience as we optimize digital platforms like Sydney while innovating in value-based care delivery, insights, and network development. We’re excited to continue enhancing health and affordability through technology and
collaboration.

 

Michael Dowling

President and CEO

Northwell Health

Like all professions and businesses there are challenges–but each challenge is an opportunity.

I continue to be optimistic about the future–healthcare continues to adapt and advance as a result of new research, new technology, genomics, new delivery methods and the increasing focus to go upstream and address the social determinants of health.

Next year, however, on a broader scale–
we face troubling issues that we must take
seriously.

These include the toxicity of our politics, the growth in conspiracy theories, the growing lack of trust, respect, and decency and most troubling–the challenge to democracy itself.

The issues in healthcare pales in comparison.

 

Randi Shubin Dresner

President & CEO

Island Harvest Food Bank

As we make resolutions for 2024, let us look back on the successes and challenges of the past. Did we care for our environment, lift the arts, cure diseases, solve the crisis of mental illnesses, climate change, or end hunger? No, but not for lack of trying.

The region’s nonprofits address these issues to make it a better place to live. Last year, we, in the nonprofit sector, reimagined our post-COVID growth in response to community needs. In 2024, I am confident that with Island Harvest’s expanded services, more people will graduate from our Workforce & Skills Development Institute and find good-paying jobs. Others using our community empowerment support will find the resources to help rise above poverty. As we strengthen our food distribution, we will support more who rely on us for healthy food, nutrition education, and services. To achieve success, the sector needs more corporate partners.

I challenge the corporate sector to encourage staff engagement to give back, not just putting their name behind their team’s work but committing resources. Offer special volunteer days to your staff and set aside meaningful funding to enrich their impact. Senior leaders should stand next to their staff for inspiration while they complete their volunteer work. Society demands a culture shift; let us be ahead of the curve this year in transforming corporate culture for the greater good.

 

Robert Esposito

Founder

Relocators Services

Long Island commercial office real estate prices have reached unbelievable levels. We expect to see a major shift in commercial real estate over the next two years. This is mainly due to $5 trillion in loans backed by commercial office buildings, which will soon be owed. These buildings were financed at 5 percent when occupancy rates were high. Therefore, these loans will be due when mortgage interest rates are in the sevens and occupancy levels will be much lower, creating challenges and uncertainty both locally and nationally.

There are and will continue to be challenges for those who own and operate industrial and warehouse space. With red tape and restrictions, it is difficult to transform these buildings for other uses. In 2024, government leaders need to find ways to make it easier to convert these types of properties for different purposes.

Most who are involved in residential real estate saw 2023 as a difficult year. In 2024, we will likely see a stabilization in mortgage interest rates. Buyers and sellers who have been waiting will both make their moves. The residential real estate market is a key driver of the regional economy. Long Island, while an expensive place to live, remains desirable and there will always be a demand for homes at all price levels.

 

Thomas Falcone

CEO

Long Island Power Authority

2024 will be an exciting year for LIPA. We recently released our Integrated Resource Plan, which charts the path for integrating into the electric grid all the new clean energy coming online over the next seven years. That new clean energy will reduce LIPA’s carbon footprint 70% by 2030.

In early 2024, our South Fork Wind Farm will be complete. This is the first offshore wind farm to be built in the nation in federal waters–35 miles east of Montauk Point. It’s the first of an energy source that will provide more than 50% of Long Island’s electricity by 2030.

In 2024, LIPA will also be the first utility in New York to offer time-of-day rates as the “standard electric rate.” Customers will now be able to save two types of green–money and carbon–by moving some electricity usage to off-peak hours. Save money before 3 p.m. or after 7 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends and holidays are always off-peak. This will also offer an added savings to customers with electric vehicles or modern electric heat pumps.

No matter what happens throughout the year, our priorities in 2024 will remain the same: to provide our 1.2 million customers throughout Long Island and the Rockaways with clean, reliable and affordable energy.

 

Dr. Kerry Frommer Fierstein

Pediatrician and CEO

Allied Physicians Group and Adjuvant.Health

For Long Island to thrive, families need easy access to excellent medical care. Allied Physicians Group is growing our footprint in pediatric and adult primary care. We expect to acquire a number of medical offices in 2024.

As the birth rate dwindles, pediatricians need to excel in service and marketing to attract newborns. Inflationary costs make it crucial for medical groups to be innovative, efficient and flexible to maintain the margins needed to be viable.

With 50% of children on Medicaid, the Medicaid unwinding will cause New York children to lose coverage. Our practices will continue to reach out to families to help them maintain coverage.

Vaccinating New York families remains a high priority even as vaccines are getting more expensive for practices in time, energy and lost value of money.

COVID vaccine privatization created significant burden and expense on primary care. Newer expensive vaccines, such as those against RSV, will be in demand, and it is critical that physician practices are paid properly.

Hiring in healthcare remains challenging. Some of our offices have reduced hours due to staff shortages. Virtual assistants and remote workers will take on greater significance. On the positive side, Allied’s partnership with CareAbout Health has given us access to resources that will help our patients and our staff. Our switch to AthenaOne Electronic Medical Record is a huge step forward and allows us to fully participate in CareAbout’s technology opportunities.

 

Mike Florio

CEO

Long Island Builders Institute

Housing supply and affordability will remain central topics in 2024. The industry faces the challenge of meeting housing supply and affordability needs against a backdrop of escalating costs and tightening financial conditions. The increased cost of land, materials, labor and insurance, combined with higher interest rates, presents a complex landscape for developers, potentially slowing the region’s growth.

While the Governor’s Housing Compact—to create 800,000 new units across the state in the next decade—was well intended, it faced fierce local opposition and has brought renewed attention and scrutiny to development from local communities. Early word is that the state legislative session will rightfully focus on incentives to produce housing rather than mandates.

The “Good Cause Eviction” bill, still under discussion in Albany, poses a potential risk to the investment climate in New York. Its implications on rent control and tenant rights will deter future investments, redirecting capital to more business-conducive states.

The introduction of new leadership in Suffolk County and various town halls could be a turning point, offering fresh perspectives on long-standing challenges.

Finally, Long Island will be in the spotlight as control of the House runs through New York. The results of a February special election in the third congressional district, will be a bellwether as to which party will occupy the White House and a majority in Congress come November. The results could significantly influence the political climate and real estate markets.

 

Shinya Fukuda

Vice President and General Manager, Corporate Planning

Canon USA

Embracing change and responsible practices will help Canon define success in 2024 as the imaging technology industry is undergoing a transformative journey. We’re using that mindset to help revolutionize live events with advanced lenses and software enhancements. Innovations in low-light performance and immersive audio enhance the visual narrative, pushing boundaries in the viewer experience. Technology such as Canon’s Free Viewpoint System offers fans an entirely new way to watch their favorite sports and entertainment. Through virtual camera control, it feels like you can fly around and look at every possible angle of the action. 2024 will open a range of opportunities for growth in the convergence of print and digital, offering imaginative solutions. Canon Solutions America, our printing technology arm, is poised to redefine value for businesses, hospitals, and schools

Finally, 2024 will be pivotal for corporate social responsibility. As stewards of innovation, companies must allocate resources to initiatives that contribute to a sustainable future, like environmental conservation and advocacy for those in need. Canon’s philosophy, Kyosei, emphasizes harmonious living to create a better future for all. That’s why Canon partners with the New York Marine Rescue Center, dedicates resources toward our Future Authors Program to support Long Island students, and has been the flagship sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

 

Louis Grassi

CEO/Managing Partner

Grassi Advisors & Accountants

The accounting landscape has changed drastically over the last few years and will continue to transform throughout 2024. As CPA firms respond to increased demand for advisory services, shrinking talent pools, baby-boomer retirements and economic challenges, succession plans will continue to be accelerated. Strategies that were once unheard of in the industry, including many CPAs selling their firms to private equity, will remain prevalent. Many Long Island CPAs have already done this. Firms choosing to remain independent without PE or upward mergers will explore strategies such as employee stock ownership plans, like Grassi did. ESOPs can address all these challenges while leaving ownership control within the organization. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ESOPs gain popularity across accounting and other industries. Employees want to have greater impact in an organization, and an ESOP accomplishes that while allowing them to share directly in firm growth and profitability.

More than ever, these developments will give clients and accounting professionals distinct choices when deciding on a CPA firm based on their preferred service approach, business model and culture. Firm success will highly depend on the execution and effectiveness of these strategies, as well as the adoption of lightning-fast advances in technology that have quickly turned robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, big data and other digital tools into major competitive advantages.

As the accounting industry continues to move away from commoditized audit and tax services to value-based delivery of holistic business solutions, technology is key to enhancing this value through increased efficiencies and heightened support of our role as trusted business advisors.

 

Jason Halloren

Innovative Career Program Consultant

Academy Charter Schools

The Academy Charter High School in Uniondale is spearheading a revolutionary leap into the drone aviation career arena, shattering traditional aviation paradigms. Two FAA CFR Part 107 certified drone pilots have emerged from this innovative program, propelling into employment opportunities while still in high school. These students are rewriting the narrative of pilot training, acquiring wings and expertise without ever leaving the ground. Their emergence in a notably underrepresented career field symbolizes a pioneering step towards inclusivity and diversity.

The program’s impact is palpable, evidenced by an astounding 850% surge in class enrollment, signifying the infectious enthusiasm and recognition among the student body. Collaborations with industry giants like Drone Cadets and Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering promise an even broader curriculum, encompassing maintenance, operations, and mission planning facets.

As Amazon, Walmart and other retailers explore drone operations, The Academy Charter High School’s exponential growth in drone aviation education sets a promising stage for aspiring young minds. The future indeed shines bright for these trailblazing individuals, poised to soar into lucrative career opportunities in an ever-expanding field. This pioneering initiative not only breaks barriers but also opens doors for a new generation of aviators, setting a precedent for innovation and progress in education.

 

Charles Hammerman

President & CEO

Disability Opportunity Fund

In 2023, the CDC announced a national rise in the number of children diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Shortly thereafter, the Disability Opportunity Fund, along with Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and members of the Nassau Disabilities Council announced plans by DOF to expand investments in Long-Island based programs and institutions that assist people with disabilities. Due to a generous sponsorship by Maidenbaum Law Firm, DOF then allocated $75,000 in grants to Long Island nonprofits that support the disability community.

In 2024, we will continue to help nonprofits and organizations create opportunities for people with disabilities both nationally and on Long Island. We will continue to provide debt capital and venture capital for projects and companies in the following six categories: housing, employment, education, health and life sciences, technology/products and socialization. We have already deployed over $150 million in transactions impacting people with disabilities in more than 40 states and have extensive experience financing projects in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

We will address public issues with private-sector solutions by supporting creative housing projects, new businesses created by entrepreneurs with disabilities, treatments at world-renowned hospitals and school districts unafraid of addressing their students’ needs.

 

Corinne Hammons

CEO

Little Flower Children and Family Services

As the new year comes more into focus, mental health issues are clearly the most critical challenge for all young people in 2024.

By providing therapy and support services, agencies like Little Flower play a vital role in healing and helping young individuals overcome challenges and foster mental health resilience.

At Little Flower, the young people in our care have experienced multiple traumas that strongly influence their mental health and behaviors. The devastating effects of poverty, racism, substance abuse, violence, and lack of opportunity—particularly on children and families—have made the path to healing much more difficult.

It does take a village to raise a child who can overcome their traumas. At Little Flower, a team of social workers, mental health staff, childcare staff, educators and medical professionals is that village.

However, it also takes increased governmental funding for mental health services if we are to sustain such initiatives and allow agencies to reach more young people with specialized mental health care programs.

The long-term benefits of this investment include improving mental health outcomes for individuals and creating a more supportive and functional community.

 

Joshua Hanson

Executive Director

The Safe Center

The coming year holds challenge and promise for social services agencies such as The Safe Center. Statistics show that 50% of women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime, and one in four women will experience domestic or intimate partner violence in her lifetime. And while we may want to believe otherwise, abuse happens in every community on Long Island. The Safe Center uses a survivor-centered, and trauma-informed model to connect people with life-saving resources that incorporate advocacy, case management, counseling, and legal services.

In 2024 we will seek to increase our presence in communities across Long Island to work with schools, colleges, and community partners to interrupt the cycle of abuse. Through a collaborative approach, we will help victims and survivors connect with critical services while challenging and changing systems that are complicit in abuse. Only by working together can we change these statistics we can build a safer Long Island.

 

Ray Ann Havasy

Founder and Director

Center for Science

Parents on Long Island, just like parents everywhere, spend for their children. For this reason, museums and attractions like the Center for Science and our Dinosaurs! and Live Animals Exhibit will continue to attract families and school groups. The local economy has stabilized and should see growth next year.

For 2024, it is my hope as the head of a science organization, that people become more in tune with the science of the environment around them. We need to better understand regional wildlife and how to coexist. People need to recognize and learn about our natural resources, including water. Many individuals still don’t know that our drinking water comes from the aquifers below us. We must protect this resource for all of us who currently live on Long Island and for future generations. We also need to understand the science around the necessity of green space so we look critically on what is happening as far as development. Finally, we need to understand invasive species and the negative impact they have.

Programs focusing on STEM education are gaining a foothold, but more must be done. Jobs and careers in STEM-related fields pay well. Individuals with degrees in engineering, science, math and technology will continue to be in high demand across Long Island. For Long Island to be competitive in technology, we need to be a leader in STEM education.

 

Richard H. Hayes

Managing Director

Empire Valuation Consultants

2024 will bring new federal estate and GST tax exemptions and gift tax exclusion amounts that are record-setting highs, providing perhaps the most favorable tax environment to date for wealth transfer tax planning. Many planners will feel it is important to take advantage of utilizing the current exemption amounts during the election year before any changes are set into motion. The federal estate tax and lifetime gift exemption will increase in 2024 by $690,000—from $12.92 million to $13.61 million—which will certainly pique a lot of interest. The annual exclusion exemption will also jump up by $1,000 to $18,000.

Another big issue will be the sunsetting at the end of the “25 Trump Tax Act.” Most notably, the above-reference exemption of $13.61 million will go down to approximately $7 million unless Congress and the president change the law in the meantime. For estate planners with clients whose estates will exceed that figure, time is ticking in a “use it or lose it” situation with the risk of the clients paying 40% of every dollar on the “lost” exemption amount to the government instead of to their family or other chosen beneficiaries. Careful tax planning and leveraging the expertise of a trust and estate valuation consultant will be of utmost priority.

 

Katherine Heaviside

President

Epoch 5 Marketing & Public Relations, Inc.

If there ever was a “Golden Age of Public Relations,” this is it. In 2024, public relations will continue its role of building and protecting reputations, supporting sales growth, and helping professional service firms differentiate themselves. PR is now a dynamic and essential component of modern business strategy.

One reason Epoch 5 is so excited about 2024 is the return of in-person events. They’re back, and that’s great news for clients and agencies alike. One of the best ways to generate newsworthy content is through in-depth interviews with industry leaders hosting meetings or roundtables.

Social media will also continue to offer new and exciting opportunities for PR professionals in 2024 as we partner with “influencers” to benefit clients. Epoch 5 often incorporates influencers to expand the reach of traditional advertising and PR, and build credibility among a larger community of followers.

The downside of social media is that a reputation that took 20 years to build can be ruined overnight. The best way to protect that is by maintaining a strong, confident presence with awards, op-eds, blogs, webinars and positive publicity. These tried-and-true strategies will be expanded in 2024 as we harness the power of AI to manage and protect reputations.

Associations challenged by new legislation, schools and universities facing potential negative publicity, and businesses with issues contact Epoch 5. In 2024, we expect that trend to accelerate as well as referrals from attorneys. PR’s golden age continues and has never been brighter.

 

David J. Heymann

Managing Partner

Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP

Inflation, interest rates, the 2024 election and geopolitical tensions will drive 2024’s economy. In particular, increased interest rates and tightening of the lending markets has resulted in a significant decrease in real estate and corporate transactions. This won’t change in 2024 absent either traditional lending sources or non-traditional lending sources providing affordable capital.

The pending presidential election creates further uncertainty as to our local and national economies. A cynic (or realist) might prophesize that the Democrats will do everything they can to stimulate the economy while the Republicans will do everything they can to limit economic growth prior to the election.

Further adding to the complexities we are facing are geopolitical concerns, which are playing out in many areas of our world. This convergence of challenges will lead people to act with great caution until there is a clearer understanding of these issues.

Chaotic economic climates, while detrimental for many, create attractive opportunities for others. Distressed debt buyers should see opportunities present themselves in 2024 as lenders will seek to offload at risk loans. Non-traditional capital providers are seeing and should continue to see opportunities. Companies with ample dry powder should have opportunities to acquire less financially stable companies.

As our population ages, and the unwarranted stigma surrounding mental health issues dissipates, the need for estate planning, elder care planning, guardianship services and mental health planning will continue to grow.

 

Rich Humann

President and CEO

H2M architects + engineers

H2M architects + engineers is committed to working with its municipal clients to fortify infrastructure in the face of evolving challenges. In 2024, we’ll see intensified efforts to storm-harden community infrastructure, especially in areas that have borne the brunt of damage during recent storms and floods. Municipalities and utilities are aligning strategies to enhance resilience, shore up coastlines and upgrade energy transmission and distribution systems. This collective initiative aims to expand our ability to withstand future weather challenges. 2024 will also mark a significant leap in Long Island’s embrace of renewable energy sources. While prior years focused on planning, we chose implementation as this year’s theme—especially regarding ambitious wind power projects and safe energy storage initiatives. We’ll continue to help transform public libraries into community spaces that utilize cutting-edge technology to enhance and expand the suite of programming available to the public. When thinking about infrastructure, nothing is more important than drinking water systems.

2024 will be another crucial year in the relentless pursuit of eliminating emerging contaminants and enhancing treatment operations to meet increasingly strict regulations. H2M’s water district customers remain trailblazers, boasting fully operational Advanced Oxidation Process systems to effectively combat 1,4-dioxane. Our “Box” approach condensed the period to have operational treatment from 18 months to six. We look forward to implementing new creative solutions for the next wave of contaminants to be regulated.

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Michael Joy

Partner-in-Charge,  Long Island

EisnerAmper

When considering the future, our clients are always top-of-mind. As accountants, we’re currently faced with two significant considerations: finding and retaining talent to deliver top-notch services, and the impact of return-to-office policies. We’re finding the solutions to be things we’ve relied on all along: technology, and the relationships we build.

Hiring and retaining young accountants is increasingly difficult. The number of accounting graduates decreased nearly 17% over the past decade. We’ve enhanced our recruiting (we visit 75 universities each year, most of them more than once, and have added a virtual, technology-rich presence) and retention efforts–building relationships through internship/mentoring/career coaches, helping our teammates grow.

More accountants are working remotely; some firms have reduced office space and decided remote work is best, while others are promoting a return to the office. The key is whether people are working together. The major benefit of working in the office is being able to sit and talk with our co-workers. If an individual is working on a solitary project or with others who are remote, the benefit decreases, and they may be more productive working from home. Providing current and future employees with a flexible work environment will be necessary to attract and retain talent in 2024. And, as we’ve demonstrated repeatedly with our clients, technology can be a wonderful connector. However, relationships play a critical role in the firm’s–and our clients’–success, so they’re something we’re always working on.

 

Lawrence Kadish

President and Founder

The Museum of American Armor

The year 2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of key battles that convulsed the globe during World War II. The aftershocks from that war continue to be felt to this day, from embattled geopolitical borders, to advances in technology, to the rise and fall of superpowers. For selected Long Island museums and educators, the year provides an opportunity for reflection, education, tribute and insight as the lessons of this seminal conflict come into perspective during various milestone events. The Museum of American Armor is offering an essay contest to give Long Island colleges and high school students an opportunity to travel to Normandy as they reflect on the lessons of D-Day—June 6, 1944—the most complex amphibious assault in military history. Historians have long wondered what would have been the fate of the free world had it failed. The Holocaust would have continued with murderous efficiency, new German military technology would have had an opportunity to be fielded (including a V3 missile designed to hit New York), and the Soviets would have been left alone to face the Nazi war machine. These are among the searing lessons that need to be taught during 2024 so that students understand the legacy of a conflict that currently gets less than two hours of class time in the course of a school year.

 

Jack Khzouz

CEO

NICE Bus (Nassau Inter-County Express)

Public transportation models continue to evolve with rider needs and trends in the industry.

2024 will see the expansion of our ‘on-demand’ rideshare service (NICE MINI) along key commercial corridors, which operate similar to private ride providers within a service area at an affordable rate.

The first BEB (Battery Electric Bus) vehicle went into service late 2023 and NICE plans to deploy five of these in 2024 to gauge their range, reliability and efficiency to keep pace with the trend towards quieter, zero-emissions vehicles.

With more than 70,000 trips per day and covering more than 1 million miles every month, NICE Bus in 2024 will continue to focus on its contribution towards the local and regional economies to fuel growth in the communities we serve.

 

John Kilpatrick

Chairman

Long Island Water Conference

2023 saw the continuation of an unprecedented investment into our region’s drinking water infrastructure, dominated by the installation of treatment systems for the removal of emerging contaminants 1,4-dioxane, PFOA and PFOS. The rate of investment will continue into 2024 and beyond, especially as the state is actively working to finalize new regulations for a new swath of currently unregulated contaminants. You will also see a focus on the replacement of any remaining lead service lines as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s updated regulations schedule to take effect in October 2024.

For every resident and business owner, access to high-quality water is essential. We all use water every single day, and it is incumbent upon the membership of the Long Island Water Conference to ensure we not only provide water quality, but reliability as well. That is exactly what we will continue to do.

One thing every Long Islander can do to help keep capital, operating and maintenance costs down for water suppliers, is to conserve. By conserving, consumers will also see a reduction in their water bills. Approximately three quarters of the water we collectively pump out of the ground is used for irrigation systems that keep our landscapes green. In other words, a significant portion of the 1-billion-plus dollars in capital being invested right now in our water systems is for the sole purpose of keeping up with sprinkler demands in the summer. A staggering thought.

We hope 2024 will bring a renewed trust in tap water and stronger conservation from Long Islanders.

 

Evan Krinick

Managing Partner

Rivkin Radler LLP

The artificial intelligence revolution will be the most significant development in the legal industry. While its contours are not yet clearly defined, it is inevitable that successful law firms will need to embrace one or more of the generative artificial intelligence platforms developed and marketed to the industry to provide robust client service. Timely responses to client inquiries and anticipating client needs will be optimized by artificial intelligence tools. Beyond that, client costs and attorney efficiency will be positively impacted by thoughtful use of artificial intelligence.

Additionally, cyber security will continue to be the biggest risk in the industry, as even state-of-the-art programs and vigilant training are often inadequate defenses against savvy predators. Closer to home, the stagnating economy will depress the real estate and banking industries, reducing the demand for legal services, while litigation, estate and tax planning and health care matters will continue to percolate. As has always been the case, law firms that demonstrate empathy, trust, dependability and expertise will flourish.

Wishing all a new year filled with health, happiness and the fulfillment of your goals and dreams.

 

Sarah Lansdale

Chairperson

Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency

Suffolk County’s economy will continue to grow in 2024 as our goal to keep our county a desired location for residents and businesses alike remains. In 2023, we saw local companies expand and new ones enter the region by providing responsible financial assistance.

Projects approved by SCIDA have led to more than $610 million in private capital investment, and the retention of 5,671 jobs and the creation of 1,625 new employment opportunities. Together, these jobs bolster a total payroll of more than $512 million annually. Overall, the agency currently has 142 active projects, valued at more than $2.2 billion, creating more than 14,257 jobs, which is the second-highest in the state, trailing only behind New York City.

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency will remain steadfast in working with new and existing businesses to make investments that can turn underutilized properties and commercial corridors into job creating, tax-generating hubs. Similarly, as investments create new job opportunities, we must ensure a diverse mix of affordable housing options are available. The Suffolk County IDA achieved a significant milestone in 2023 by establishing a first-of-its-kind Affordable Housing Policy dedicating provisions to further incentivize the distribution of new affordable units across various income brackets and prioritize protected classes such as veterans and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

 

Gregory Lisi

Partner

Chair, Employment & Labor

Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP

The year 2024 will be a watershed year for labor and employment Laws for all sized companies. The big issues will include: 1) tracking wage and hour issues for employees who work from home; 2) working with the uptick in union organizing attempts of small and mid-sized companies; 3) navigating the new criminal penalties for violation of wage and hour laws; 4) sexual harassment, discrimination and wage notice requirements.

The rise of work-from-home employees increased exponentially since the COVID shutdown. The mere fact that your employees work from home does not change the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act or most state laws, that the employer has the requirement to keep track of hours and overtime. Further, keeping track of what an employee does at home runs into many other legal issues, not the least of which is the many privacy laws that exist. This must be carefully navigated as the laws, and more importantly, the case law, in this area is very underdeveloped.

Post-COVID, we are seeing a rise of unions trying to organize small and medium sized companies. The laws are quite extensive and pro-organization. Further, the government agency that polices most of these issues, the National Labor Relations Board, is an agency most non-unionized companies rarely deal with and can be fraught with landmines for the unwary employer.

There has always been a “criminal” aspect of state wage and hour laws, but they were rarely invoked.  Now, many states, including most recently New York, are passing new criminal laws for failure to pay proper wages or overtime. Furthermore, now many county district attorneys are assigning prosecutors part, and even full-time, to wage and hour prosecutions.

Lastly, private attorneys and the various departments of labor are pushing hard on notice and training requirements. Violations or these requirements can be $10,000 or more per employee. This can run into significant money depending on the size of your company.

 

Amy Loeb

Executive Director

Peconic Bay Medical Center

Peconic Bay Medical Center and Eastern Suffolk County are set for an exciting year of transformative growth and enhanced healthcare accessibility. Our commitment to addressing healthcare disparities in the community takes center stage as we embark on a $92 million investment in our facility, starting first with a significant expansion of our Emergency Department, which will open its doors by the summer.

The Poole Family Trauma and Emergency Center expansion, totaling 6,600 square feet, goes beyond physical growth; it symbolizes our dedication to providing swift, advanced, and compassionate emergency care. With the integration of state-of-the-art technology, this initiative aims to save lives and bring peace of mind to Eastern Suffolk County where the quality of emergency care they deserve is closer than ever before. As the East End’s population continues to rise, PBMC continues to see an increased number of patients in its emergency department, highlighting the urgency of this expansion.

PBMC’s proactive approach to advancing medical care is evident in recent accolades, such as the A safety rating from Leapfrog in both spring and fall of 2023, plus multiple awards of excellence and five-star ratings from Healthgrades. These achievements place us in the top 10 percent of hospitals for coronary intervention, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal care, solidifying our position as a beacon of health and healing for the region.

As we look ahead, these underscore our ongoing dedication to ensuring that quality healthcare remains accessible to every individual in our community.

 

Jennifer Marks

Managing Director, Head of the Long Island Private Bank

J.P. Morgan Private Bank

The rise in global bond yields marks the most important development in markets since the world emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates near 5% give investors more choices in crafting their wealth plans since the global financial crisis.

Here are five important considerations to understand and explore heading into 2024.

  1. Inflation will likely settle–you should still hedge against it: To grapple with the prospect of more meaningful inflation in 2024 and beyond, investors might first look to equities.
  2. The cash conundrum: the benefits and risks of holding too much. Low volatility and 5% yields on cash have been a magnet for consumers who are holding significantly more cash than they did two years ago. We think this is as good as it gets for cash.
  3. Bonds are competitive with stocks—adjust the mix according to your ambitions. The new rate regime represents a reset in bond market pricing, and core bonds may now be poised to deliver strong forward-looking returns.
  4. Stocks: on the march to new highs. Even as economic growth slows amid higher rates, large cap equity earnings growth should accelerate and may propel stock markets higher over the next year.
  5. Pockets of credit stress loom, but they will likely be limited. The next year could see stress in commercial real estate loans, leveraged loans, consumer auto and credit cards, and high yield corporate credit.

 

Jim McCann

Founder & CEO

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.

As we embrace the transformative potential of new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, and look ahead to 2024, it’s crucial to recognize the balance between innovation and maintaining genuine human connections. While AI promises a dynamic and personalized customer journey, offering tailored recommendations and meaningful experiences, we must be conscious of its potential to contribute to social isolation and standardization.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of commerce and retail, where personalization takes center stage, it’s essential to go beyond the surface benefits. As we integrate AI to foster authentic connections, let’s also be mindful of the need for deliberate efforts in maintaining and nurturing genuine relationships. The use of AI can undoubtedly enhance our ability to connect with consumers and communities, but the human touch remains irreplaceable.

Looking forward, let’s approach 2024 with a commitment to investing in—and developing—relationships intentionally. As we leverage AI for operational efficiencies and improved customer experiences, we must ensure we’re not sacrificing the essence of human connection. By harmoniously blending AI and human interaction, we can streamline processes, address challenges with agility, and enrich our capacity to deliver more meaningful connections to our community.

 

Maurie McInnis

President

Stony Brook University

The Stony Brook University community experienced an incredible 2023. We were named the anchor institution of the New York Climate Exchange and received an endowment gift of $500 million from the Simons Foundation, the largest unrestricted donation to an institution of higher education in U.S. history. Our hospital was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2023. These achievements show forward-looking vision for the next chapter of research, scholarship, and healthcare.

This year, we will join our partners, university community and new CEO Stephen Hammer to begin building The Exchange, to develop–and deploy–solutions for climate change. This is no small task for such complicated and urgent issues. The Exchange will be a living laboratory to cull the most innovative ideas across disciplines. We need to be creative, collaborative and ambitious to address this issue, and institute a sustainable model to help establish new urban climate solutions.

Our strengths in key academic areas including climate, AI, biomedical engineering, quantum information science and technology, psychology, and energy transmission and storage, among others, are accelerating our path to national leadership. We continue to innovate and invest in these and other areas. Stony Brook is passionate about our role in the community, engaging in the work to benefit Long Island, New York and beyond.

 

Joseph Milizio

Managing Partner

Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP

If you own or oversee a corporation, LLC, or other registered business, you must file an ownership report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) beginning January 1, 2024. Failure to comply may result in fines up to $10,000 and criminal prosecution.

Beginning in 2024, the new Corporate Transparency Act requires most small businesses to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with the Department of the Treasury’s FinCEN. The report must identify the business’ “beneficial owners,” meaning individuals or entities that own 25% or greater interest in the business, or otherwise exercise substantial control over it, directly or indirectly.

Both domestic and foreign companies operating in the U.S. are required to file the report. This includes corporations, LLCs, or other entities registered with the secretary of state or similar office. In certain circumstances, LLCs and trusts formed for estate planning purposes may also be required to file.

Though not specifically listed in the CTA, limited liability partnerships, business trusts, and most limited partnerships are likely also obligated to file the report.

For some businesses the information required is straightforward, while for others it may require greater care. In either case, consult your attorney and make sure to file the report properly and as soon as possible.

 

Victor Mullin, President,
New York Transco

Justin Driscoll, CEO,
New York Power Authority

A robust transmission network–the backbone of electricity delivery -–is vital for our daily lives, economic growth and vibrant communities. A public-private collaboration between the New York Power Authority and New York Transco was competitively selected in 2023 to advance Propel NY Energy, a transformative electric transmission solution in parts of Long Island, New York City and Westchester County. Propel NY will bolster the reliability and resiliency of the Long Island power grid and create efficient pathways for clean energy delivery. We will accomplish this through carefully routed new underground and submarine transmission lines and new and upgraded substations that connect into the statewide power grid. As New York companies, we understand that success is only possible through communication, collaboration and shared decisions that minimize local impacts. We are committed to early, often and inclusive community engagement throughout the multi-year project permitting and construction effort.

In 2024, the Propel NY team will kick off a neighborhood outreach program to directly talk with residents and businesses and learn more about area priorities. We will conduct survey work along the preliminary route, and anticipate kicking off our permitting later in 2024 to progress toward a mid-2026 construction start and a mid-2030 in-service date.

Our goal is to engage as many stakeholders as possible in our project process and showcase how we can work together to achieve a stronger, cleaner and healthier New York.

 

Deirdre O’Connell

CEO

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

While the real estate market isn’t expected to change dramatically in the coming months, interest rates for mortgages have inched lower over the past weeks, and may slowly continue to do so. This should give the market a nudge, helping buyers and sellers re-evaluate their needs and start to move forward.

A rise in inventory would mean more choices and less competition for today’s educated buyers, who remain unwilling to pay a premium for homes requiring significant renovation.

As workers return to the office at least part time, many may once again reconsider their commute. The demand continues for homes with room for a designated workspace.

During the real estate rush of the COVID market, transaction-focused agents were able to do well. In today’s market, it is the experienced, relationship-focused real estate agents acting as professional advisors who are mainly thriving.

Despite the current low inventory, there is, and will continue to be a market. Greater inventory will help lessen prices but buyers and sellers must be realistic. Well priced quality homes see bidding wars but overpriced homes linger on the market.

What hasn’t changed is the lifestyle Long Island offers to its residents. Our proximity to the city, incomparable waterfront, outstanding schools, bustling economy and access to world class healthcare and services make Long Island a highly desirable place to live.

 

Aubrey A. Ohanian, Partner

Thomas J. Garry, Long Island Office Managing Partner & Partner

Harris Beach PLLC

Critical geographic paths to New York’s renewable energy future run through Long Island–and the pace of development will accelerate in 2024 and beyond.

In June, the New York Independent System Operator selected the Propel NY Energy Project as the most cost-effective or efficient solution to satisfy the Long Island Public Policy Transmission Need. Propel NY—a New York Transco LLC and the New York Power Authority collaboration—will provide new transmission capabilities to bolster the energy delivery backbone and facilitate clean energy into the state’s power grid.

This project is another in a series of large-scale energy infrastructure investments, led by Gov. Hochul, that puts Long Island at the center of New York’s nation-leading climate change program. Five major offshore wind projects are underway in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island and New York City. Together, they have the potential to help the state’s homes and businesses transition away from pollution-generating fossil fuels. These large-scale wind projects also bring significant spinoff investments to support the creation of a new economic paradigm in the form of manufacturing and construction jobs, the proliferation of energy storage technology, upgrading and expanding port facilities and related capabilities, and related onshore grid upgrades.

Long Island has helped to energize this effort, but there is more work to do in 2024 and beyond to meet the state’s ambitious goals. In the next year we expect to see the type of extensive public-private collaboration between state and federal regulators, elected officials, developers, organized labor, local municipalities, and the community at large that is critical to success.

And navigating the complexities of multiple government jurisdictions at the local, state and federal level is what Harris Beach does best–we look forward to playing a role in these exciting projects.

 

David Pennetta

Co-President, Commercial and Industrial Brokers Society of Long Island (CIBS)

Executive Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield of Long Island

With its higher-than-average barriers to new development, Long Island is faring well in many market sectors. Higher operating, construction and borrowing cost, and the slower-than-expected employees returning to the office are creating higher vacancy rates, currently at 14.4%. We still see increased rental rates, especially in the Class A buildings. Direct average asking rents has surpassed $33.00/square-foot gross for the first time ever. New medical providers are still taking over office space but more methodically. Same cost pressures as the office sector and now a better equilibrium of regional distribution users versus regional distribution facilities has driven vacancies up slightly to 3.6% overall and slightly lower asking rents for new product to $17.56/square foot. Central Suffolk had the most leasing activity year to date, but new supply is eclipsing new demand as net absorption remains negative.

Additional development grew with 700,000 square feet delivered this year with another 1.9 million square feet due next year. Land valuation and appraisal has been the most problematic over this past year because some record setting sales were predicated on subject-to entitlement contracts, previous low interest rates complete with a long term signed credit lease. You have sales comps in the same hamlet with valuation swings of $3 million/acre to $350,000/acre. You need a big footnote to reconcile that. However, with the industrial demand waning, multi-family developers can now be more competitive buyers. Retail vacancy rates are at 4%, and rents are increasing 1.1% this quarter. Money is being invested into new facades in existing centers.

 

Derek Peterson

CEO

Soter Technologies

The technology sector on Long Island continues to grow, and at Soter Technologies, we have found motivated and skilled talent. We have been assisted in this by the layoffs from large tech companies. With these new employees, we have been able to bring our products to more markets domestically and internationally. We manufacture Fly Sense, our vape and bullying detection systems for schools, right here on Long Island, and we are proud to do so. The supply chain issues we faced have diminished. We are now able to manufacture more efficiently and get products to customers quicker.

Doing business on Long Island has its challenges, including managing the ever-increasing cost of health insurance. We need leadership in Albany and Washington to examine this issue and develop strategies to help employers, especially small businesses, to keep costs affordable and at the same time provide the coverage that families need. Increasing inflation and rising costs are a challenge; however, we see this stabilizing in 2024, which is good for the local and national economies.

Over the past few years, hybrid work has been a hot topic. We have found that in the tech space, collaboration is critical. For this to work, employees need to be in the office most of the week. The workplace is changing, and employers need to provide some flexibility and accommodations to find, keep and retain talent. We will see more of this happening in 2024.

 

Brian A. Picarello

Managing Partner

Picarello & Saciolo, P.C.

In the dynamic realm of family and matrimonial law on Long Island, the fading pandemic restrictions hint at a new normal, with virtual court appearances now commonplace. While offering convenience to litigants and attorneys, this virtual shift has inadvertently cultivated complacency and informality, potentially undermining the judicial process’s efficacy. As we approach 2024, a resurgence of in-person court proceedings looms, yet the virtual landscape remains a lasting fixture, fundamentally transforming the legal arena.

Post-pandemic, mental health challenges have become increasingly prevalent, casting a shadow over family and matrimonial law cases with heightened depression and anxiety. Navigating these emotional complexities demands practitioners to exhibit adeptness, placing a premium on understanding and compassion during clients’ most challenging times.

A positive trajectory for 2024 is the ongoing response to shifting family dynamics, manifesting in laws promoting more equitable parenting arrangements. Departing from traditional every-other-weekend schedules, the legal system embraces a more balanced approach, recognizing the significance of both parents in a child’s life.

As family and matrimonial law practitioners traverse the dual realms of physical and virtual court appearances, addressing escalating mental health concerns with empathy becomes pivotal. Providing compassionate and effective legal guidance through tumultuous times necessitates a holistic approach, urging parents undergoing litigation stress to seek counseling, including for their children, fostering coping mechanisms for the challenges posed by divorce or custody matters and promoting shared parental responsibilities.

 

Gail Prudenti

Founding Member

Burner Prudenti Law, P.C.

The number of jobs in the legal services sector seemingly bottomed-out in August, but the outlook for 2024 is looking far more robust for the next several years as society litigates cutting-edge issues ranging from reproductive rights to artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency to intellectual property to mergers and acquisitions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of lawyers is projected to grow an average of 8 percent, at least until 2032, far surpassing other professions. And the general decline in recent law school admissions suggests we are heading into a seller’s market for lawyers. Already, the pay is mind-boggling: Reuters reported in November that the nation’s largest firms — such as Cravath; Paul, Weiss; Cleary Gottlieb; Baker McKenzie; Skadden, Arps; Proskauer Rose; and Dechert—recently rolled out a new pay scale that has first-year lawyers starting at $225,000.

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With the density, proximity to New York City and range of institutional clients – such as hospitals, corporations, colleges, etc.—on Long Island, we can reasonably anticipate that the demand for legal services in Nassau and Suffolk counties will at least meet and quite possibly exceed national averages. And all that creates work not only for judges and attorneys, but also paralegals, mediators and court reporters.

 

Gregg and Mitchell Rechler

Co-Managing Partners

Rechler Equity Partners

The past year has been a unique time for Long Island real estate. Industrial space demand is robust while the office market still faces post-pandemic effects. Despite these conflicting trends, one thing has remained constant: Long Island’s workforce is in need of more housing.

In 2023, Rechler Equity Partners continued to expand on its diverse portfolio of properties, which includes the most industrial space on Long Island at over 6 million square-feet. Ground was broken on the first building of the Rechler Business Center at Medford, a 140,000 square-foot structure, 100,000 of which has been pre-leased. When completed, the industrial development will be a nearly 800,000 square-foot economic hub in Suffolk County. Additionally, the fifth building of the Hampton Business District was completed, with the entire park fully leased.

These projects will continue to strengthen Suffolk County’s economy by encouraging companies to operate here, which will lead to jobs for Long Islanders. However, we must be able to provide quality housing as our workforce expands. Our Greybarn community in Amityville remains above 95% total occupancy, and we are set to break ground on our 92-unit Greybarn project in East Patchogue in the coming months.

By supporting development in both the commercial and residential sectors, Long Island’s economy will continue to grow.

 

Theresa Regnante

President and CEO

United Way of Long Island

A key driver in 2024 will be a systemic approach for advocacy with elected officials to position collectively on policies that directly impact families. By engaging with policy makers, nonprofits can communicate the needs and concerns of the people we support, shaping legislation to address social issues, allocate resources and promote positive change. One significant issue facing Long Island families is raising the poverty threshold for protection against exclusion from vital assistance programs.  A targeted approach is essential for developing effective strategies to alleviate poverty and promote economic stability.

Nonprofits face a range of challenges to grapple with, which can vary based on factors such as the organization’s size, mission and nature of activities.

However, some common challenges include financial sustainability due to reliance on grants and contributions. Changes in funding priorities always pose a significant risk. Recommendations include building strong donor relationships, developing robust evaluation methods, collecting meaningful data and effectively communicating outcomes to stakeholders that enhance credibility and support.

In addition, implementing cybersecurity measures, regularly updating technology infrastructure and providing staff with cybersecurity training are crucial for safeguarding sensitive information. Finally, nonprofits must continue to ensure the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded within organizational culture, policies, and practices for long-term success as well as in recruitment of board members who have talent and contacts in areas that the organization has identified for improvement.

 

Jeffrey Reynolds

President and CEO

Family & Children’s Association

2024 may be particularly challenging for nonprofits, especially for state and federal funding. Leaders need to plan and adjust their fundraising strategies to position their organizations for long-term viability and growth. Enhanced collaboration among nonprofit groups is a smart strategic option. As an example, groups should explore jointly applying for more robust funding opportunities over wider geographic areas to potentially improve their impact on the communities they serve. Several organizations are already doing this. Joint partnerships can also help provide enhanced performance data and metrics that nonprofits need– and what more funders now require–to demonstrate they’re moving the needle on their organizations’ promises and missions.

 

Christoper Roberti

Director of Strategic Growth and Mortgage Loan Originator

Hartford Funding

Mortgage rates made it above 8 percent, and inflation continued to be a drag on the economy and housing market in 2023. This regression, along with post-pandemic housing costs, resulted in fewer people buying homes and applying for mortgages.

However, in 2024, I believe, as do many experts, that mortgage rates will return to “normal” levels. More individuals seeking to sell their homes will feel comfortable doing so. Buyers, many who have been on the sidelines, will make their move.

With lower mortgage rates and inflation staying steady, securing a mortgage will be easier for those who want to live, work and raise families on Long Island. This is good news for the local economy. Companies like Hartford Funding will be in an excellent position to assist customers.

Mortgage bankers across Long Island and nationwide are eager to get back to work. While the home lending business sector has slowed as rates have climbed, Long Island is a market where there is always a high demand for homes. Inventory has been tight for the past few years; however, we see more opportunities in 2024.

The key to success for mortgage bankers in 2024 will be focusing on customer service and providing education. It is also critical for home buyers to have a team of professionals working with them to ensure they get the best deal possible and avoid being ripped off.

 

William Rockensies

Chairman

Nassau County Industrial Development Agency

2024 is poised to be another great year for Nassau County’s economy with many new projects already lined up to close. At the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA), we will continue our mission of attracting new businesses and retaining existing ones for the purpose of creating job opportunities for residents and growing the County’s tax base. We look forward to speaking with company corporate heads and developers about why Nassau County is the right place for their business.

We are optimistic that some of the challenges presented in 2023—such as high interest rates and increased costs for supplies, as well as supply chain issues—will start to resolve and cause an influx of new interest in Nassau County. Supporting the growth of our businesses and job opportunities is important, but equally important is ensuring those employees have quality places to live. In 2024, we will continue to work with developers and communities to fill the significant void in housing options for our workforce, elderly and future generations.

We encourage those unfamiliar with the financial assistance that is available through the NCIDA, as well as the Local Economic Assistance Corporation, to connect with us this year.

 

Melissa Rose

President

Event Works

In 2024, creating an experience isn’t just about flashy elements; it’s about curating an environment where attendees feel engaged, valued, and connected.

Engagement: Engaging experiences capture attendees’ attention and keep them involved throughout the event. This engagement can lead to better retention of information or messages conveyed during the event.

Brand-building: A well-crafted experience aligns with the brand’s values and objectives. It helps create a lasting impression.

Audience satisfaction: A positive experience enhances attendee satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and the potential for repeat attendance at future events.

Networking opportunities: Engaging experiences facilitate interactions among attendees, fostering networking opportunities.

Differentiation: In a crowded events landscape, unique and memorable experiences set an event apart. Attendees are more likely to remember and talk about events that offer something distinct.

Social media amplification: Memorable experiences are often shared on social media platforms, amplifying the event’s reach and visibility.

Emotional connection: Experiences that evoke emotions—joy, excitement, inspiration—create a stronger bond between attendees and the event, leaving a lasting impression.

Sponsor and partner satisfaction: Engaging experiences can also benefit sponsors and partners by offering unique opportunities for brand exposure and audience engagement.

By focusing on creating engaging, and memorable experiences, event organizers can elevate the overall experience.

 

Ralph Rosella

Member (Partner)

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

AI/ChatGPT raises several issues for lawyers, such as the ethical issue of possible public exposure if the source used is open to the public, and the viability and accuracy of the output used by the attorney. The law is always changing, so careful monitoring is imperative to confirm attorney output is updated on a real time basis.

A new federal law, the Corporate Transparency Act, will commence on Jan. 1, 2024. Its stated goal is to “better enable critical national security, intelligence, and law enforcement efforts to counter money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and other illicit activity.” Under the law, certain new and existing entities, such as corporations and limited liability companies, must report their “beneficial owners” to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). With few exceptions, small businesses will be affected by the regulations and must collect and submit to FinCEN information regarding beneficial owners. Beneficial Owner Reports must contain company name, address and taxpayer identification number, certain personal information about owners, including birth date and a unique identification number. Existing entities will have the entire year to submit their reports to FinCEN; entities formed in 2024 will only have 90 days to comply; and entities formed after 2024 will have 30 days to comply. Companies and individuals who willfully fail to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act are subject to civil and criminal penalties, including fines up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment.

 

Sue Ruzenski

CEO

Helen Keller Services

Through strategic partnerships with companies such as Hilton Garden Inn, Joann’s and Amazon, we are harnessing the power of inclusion to bridge employment gaps for individuals who are blind, have low vision or DeafBlind. Our focus is on imparting valuable skills that foster independence so these individuals can actively contribute their unique abilities to society. In addition to these initiatives, our transformative art therapy program serves as a creative sanctuary, unlocking the boundless imaginations of participants. Our summer program experience of Camp Helen Keller is critical in helping campers create a social network with others who understand firsthand the daily challenges that arise from living with permanent vision loss. Gratitude is extended to all those who support HKS who champion and fund these programs.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are optimistic about achieving greater equity for individuals who are Blind, low vision or Deafblind with combined hearing or vision loss. It is our collective responsibility to define the path we wish to tread and ensure that our progress is both meaningful and impactful.

 

Brian Sapp

Regional Director

National Grid

National Grid is committed to providing a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy future for our customers and communities across Long Island. We are continuing to pioneer a hybrid approach to decarbonization that will reduce emissions while still providing the reliable and affordable energy that families and businesses depend on each and every day. These include reducing the emissions in our current system with upgrades and vital resiliency projects. In addition, we are developing cutting-edge plans such as HyGrid, a hydrogen blending project, alongside our partners in the Town of Hempstead; and making investments in RNG across Long Island. At the same time, we are continuing our programs to help customers increase their energy efficiency, naturally lowering their energy usage and their bills along with it.

On Long Island, we know better than most that we must fight the impacts of climate change while also helping to keep our businesses, economy, and communities safe and vibrant. That’s why National Grid is committed to using every tool available to decarbonize our energy network, especially renewable fuels that allow minimal impact to our customers, while helping us get new renewable energy infrastructure in place. We are investing in many solutions, and know that our network can be a tremendous asset, which will allow us to reduce emissions and continue to energize Long Island for the long haul.

 

Dr. Neal Shipley

Medical Director

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care

Three trends will drive urgent care in 2024: deep integration with healthcare networks, advances in technology, and simplifying New Yorkers’ access to healthcare and management of their health.

Urgent care’s role in the healthcare ecosystem needs to grow as patients’ needs and expectations evolve. New Yorkers are looking for convenient, affordable care giving them access to broader healthcare resources. Urgent care that is deeply integrated with health systems can provide that. Someone who comes into Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care with a persistent cough can be screened for pneumonia, sent for a chest CAT scan and referred to a pulmonologist—in just one visit. And all because they were able to receive on-demand care from an urgent care network that’s connected to Northwell Health and their Northwell medical record.

We will continue improving patients’ care experience by applying technology that enhances the bedside experience and diagnostics. Tools like voice recognition will streamline how chart notes are recorded, freeing urgent care providers to be present and authentic with their patients. While advances in “point-of-care” testing will expand providers’ ability to accurately diagnose illnesses within minutes so patients can go home with the appropriate treatment and medication.

Finally, we’ll lean into our strengths of speed, agility and expertise to alleviate the struggle many people encounter when a health issue arises. Although long waits for new patient appointments with traditional primary care and behavioral health providers are likely to stay in 2024, Northwell Health-GoHealth can provide on-demand gap care and improve outcomes for patients.

 

Howard Stein

Managing Partner and Co-Chair of the Real Estate Group

Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP

The landscape of the legal industry will continue to change in 2024. We see law firms focusing on technological security and figuring out ways to best service their clients in this unpredictable world. How artificial intelligence and work-from-home issues will affect our work environment and productivity remains to be seen. At Certilman Balin, we plan to stay the course by remaining true to ourselves. In this region we have called home for more than six decades, we will continue to make a difference by preserving our core culture and commitment to our community and by continuing to invest in our talent and technology to best service our clients. We envision successful growth into the future, which will hopefully include the expansion of top-tier companies into our region, as well as further real estate developments.

 

Walter Stockton

President & CEO

Kinexion

We are in a time where more children are being diagnosed with developmental disabilities, and the expected life span for people living with disabilities is now on par with the 70-year life expectancy of the general population. We must increase the quality and effectiveness of the overall health for those living with disabilities.

Nonprofit human service organizations funded under New York State’s Office for People With Development Disabilities strive to provide “Person-Centered Care;” however, the budget does not support this philosophy. The current budget process follows the funding of a generalized standardization of care rather than focusing on the outcomes of individual support and care needs.

In 2024, the Kinexion network will continue to advocate to NYS OPWDD to allow provider agencies to have a say as to what, when, how much, and where to spend budget dollars to ensure that everyone can live their best lives for life. To do this, we are supporting the concept of integrated care to allow greater flexibility and participation as to how to use state budget dollars. We will advocate for the ability to increase rates/dollars to provide housing modifications and adaptive equipment. Increasing staffing levels will also allow people living with disabilities to remain in their homes at the end of life, eliminating unnecessary costs to the state and increasing the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

 

Kyle Strober

Executive Director

Association for a Better Long Island

Once again, affordability will remain at the forefront of issues facing Long Islanders in 2024, as the region’s high taxes and daunting cost of living continue to burden our families and residents.  One positive sign is that it appears the increases in inflation and interest rates over the last 24 months will ease in 2024.

Gov. Hochul’s pledge to spur additional housing via incentives, not mandates, will surely assist municipalities that might have previously been hesitant but now see the financial incentive necessary to revitalize our downtowns.  Long Island’s economic development community stands ready to assist.

It will be critical for New York State to encourage housing development by passing legislation that cuts the bureaucratic red tape. The options include legislation supported by a bipartisan coalition of public officials, environmentalists, and labor that enables local municipalities the ability to create self-certification programs to fast track construction.  The state must stand firm against forces urging Good Cause Eviction legislation that will immediately halt any potential new housing developments.

With the pandemic now mostly behind us, Long Island will be fully back to business, making it even more important to focus on the region’s long term economic health.

 

Edward Thompson

Vice President for Advancement

Molloy University

As our region continues to adapt to increasing needs in areas that include healthcare, business services and education, it is clear the value of a four-year degree has never been higher. In fact, a recent study by the Center on Education and the Workforce shows that about 68 percent of all jobs in our modern economy require at least some post-secondary education. By 2031, this will increase to 72%. A high percentage of those jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree.

At Molloy University, 2024 will bring new initiatives and degree options that continue to prepare students for successful careers and fruitful lives through our values-based education rooted in our founding mission. In addition to career success, it is Molloy’s vision to educate a diverse body of students as ethical citizen-leaders who are needed in our communities now more than ever.

 

Norton L. Travis

CEO

ProHEALTH Dental

As we look toward 2024, the landscape of oral health is making significant steps toward the integration of medical and dental services. Clinical studies published in prominent medical journals and government white papers clearly demonstrate correlations between poor oral health and over 60 serious medical conditions that jeopardize patients’ well-being and overall health. We are also seeing government insurance programs and private insurance responding to these studies through expanded dental service coverage–something we have been advocating since our inception seven years ago.

We are very excited about our projected growth plans for 2024. We recently entered into two key strategic agreements that will have a huge impact in the coming year.

Our recently announced strategic agreement with Northwell Health signals a new era in delivering holistic healthcare. Both the clinical and management leadership of Northwell are strong supporters of the importance of oral health and the need to integrate medical and dental services. Our agreement expands patient access to dental care across Long Island, New York City, and Westchester County, advancing ProHEALTH Dental’s mission of educating the public about the vital role that oral health plays and providing the highest quality services.

In addition, our partnership with Renew Dental Implants offers an affordable alternative for patients in need of full arch implants that also offer the feature of being removable to promote dental hygiene. This service furthers our model of improving overall health through improved oral health.

Moving into 2024, ProHEALTH Dental remains committed to shaping a future where oral health is an integral component of comprehensive healthcare. It’s finally time for the public, the medical community, and insurers to, as we put it, “Put Your Health Where Your Mouth Is!”™ and create a better healthcare delivery model.

 

William Wertheim

Interim Executive Vice President

Stony Brook Medicine

Stony Brook Medicine continues to innovate and today stands at the forefront of advancements in healthcare delivery, groundbreaking research and transformative education.

A comprehensive approach to prevention, treatment and compassionate care is healthcare’s future—and accessibility is the key. Strategically located care facilities, such as our multi-specialty site, Advanced Specialty Care at Lake Grove, which opened in July, bring care directly into the community conveniently located on major mass transit routes. Plans for the site include an urgent care facility catering to the immediate healthcare needs of our community.

The future of healthcare requires support that integrates deeply into communities. Community-based programs like our Stony Brook Medicine Healthy Libraries Program bring Stony Brook’s Health Sciences schools and local libraries together to offer healthcare resources for library patrons, empowering them to take charge of their health and well-being.

Addressing shifts in demographics is also critical. Our Center for Healthy Aging focuses on the unique healthcare needs of aging populations—a population growing rapidly on Long Island. By bringing together experts from various fields, including geriatrics, neurology, and psychology, we are pioneering research to support holistic healthcare for seniors, ultimately improving health outcomes for the elderly.

Of course, the future of healthcare demands a well-trained and collaborative workforce. Innovations in education, like our Center for Interprofessional Innovations, prepare the next generation of caregivers to work effectively in teams and provide the highest quality care. At Stony Brook Medicine, we embrace new teaching methodologies emphasizing real-world scenarios, artificial intelligence, simulation-based learning and interactive experiences.

As a leading academic health center, we’re innovating to connect with patients precisely where they need us—in their neighborhoods and at pivotal moments throughout their lives.

 

Jimmy Winters

Owner

Winters Bros. Waste Systems of Long Island

The management of our solid waste will increasingly become one of Long Island’s most pressing issues over the next several years. Transportation and logistics challenges will affect all residents, businesses, builders and municipalities. Most will see the cost of managing solid waste increase. Air quality will suffer from more trucks on our roads, which contribute to climate change and negative health impacts. More trucks on our already overcrowded highways and bridges will also result in more safety and maintenance impacts. All of this is compounded by the fact that Long Islanders are producing more garbage than ever before.

Collectively, we all must do more to generate less waste. While Long Island municipalities and the solid waste industry have worked together to identify ways to improve recycling and dispose of our society’s millions of tons of waste, we still need substantial participation from everyone.

Municipalities and private entities must advance environmentally-friendly and cost-effective waste management solutions for Long Island. We need to build more capacity and develop local markets for recyclables. We need legislation that supports recycling and waste reduction. Additionally, we need improved transportation infrastructure—including freight rail options—to keep additional trucks off our roads.

 

Michael Zmorod

Partner

UHY

As we look toward 2024, the demand for Environmental, Social and Governance reporting is growing. Companies are facing heightened pressure to be ESG compliant from investors and consumer expectations as the business landscape continues to change drastically, these companies will be seeking guidance on how to implement ESG strategies and maintain compliance with evolving regulations and standards. Accounting firms will be guiding businesses through ongoing changes to the tax code and planning as certain items draw nearer to their sunset, such as bonus depreciation and favorable estate and gift tax exemption thresholds. New provisions and requirements from the Inflation Reduction Act will continue to be a topic of discussion as the push towards sustainability wages on. Increased emphasis on IRS enforcement combined with additional resources will require accounting professionals to work closely with their clients as trusted advisors to ensure compliance and avoid any tax penalties.

 

Charles Riordan

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Hofstra University

In 2024 Hofstra is launching two new degrees and focusing on interdisciplinary education as a key initiative.

This summer begins the school of Health Professions and Human Services’ new doctor of physical therapy degree, and the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s bachelor of science in sports media program began this academic year.

Today’s job market demands well-rounded professionals with experience in multiple disciplines. Hofstra is creating unique opportunities for students to broaden their studies in specialized and marketable ways, and prepares them for careers of the future, which may not even exist today.

For example, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law teamed with the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, pairing three students from each to develop an app that parses legal information in a user-friendly way. The law students know the content, and the engineers know the tech, and they learn from each other. Development will continue in 2024.

Another planned initiative focuses on the intersection between art, design, and technology–matching artists with computer scientists and engineers to create unique designs and sculptures, transforming the campus into a gallery.

Next year launches the WRHU Goes Green project, a collaborative effort between the award-winning campus radio station and engineers, to ensure renewable energy powers the broadcast transmission.

The new Science & Innovation Center gives rise to opportunities among its tenants–the School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies and the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. With shared spaces, including a maker space with 3D printing, the innovation potential is boundless.

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