“Building Community” was the theme of the event in Tarrytown.
The business and not-for-profit worlds met on May 6 for a special summit that found common ground in the work of uniting and building communities that work for everyone.
More than 600 people turned out for the 17th Annual Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit which featured speakers including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Mercy College President Tim Hall and sociology professor and author Eric Klinenberg. Despite the current breakdown of societal norms, they said, not-for-profit organizations continue to provide vital services that preserve the quality of life in our communities.
“Our idea for this year’s theme of “Building Community” was to bring together the nonprofit sector with for-profit industries, government and academia, to break down the walls, work together, and most importantly accomplish more of our goals for the common good,’’ said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who has attended the event for the past 17 years, said that “despite what is going on in Washington D.C.,” not-for-profit organizations continue to do the work that is vital to keeping our communities together.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Non-profits in Westchester County play a vital role in our economy and they are an underpinning in our county’s culture and spirit of giving back. And while non-Profits are dealing with a changing landscape and demands like never before, we in Westchester County are their partner. Through funding for vital services that the County would not be able to offer on its own to providing access to millions of dollars in low-cost tax-exempt bonds to finance acquisitions, construction, reconstruction, equipping and/or furnishing of facilities, or to refinance existing debt at a lower interest rate through our LDC – Westchester County is here to support our invaluable non-profits.”
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester said, “The BCW has 130 nonprofit members. Nonprofits are a key part of our local economy and are vital to economic development and sustainability. Having a strong nonprofit sector attracts and retains businesses to the area who in turn support the community and the nonprofits through their volunteerism and financial contributions.’’
The breakfast keynote speaker was Mercy College President Tim Hall and the luncheon speaker was Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University and author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018).
In addition to the keynote speakers, 16 breakout sessions were held in the morning and afternoon and continuing education credits were offered.