For the 18th year, Business Council of Westchester has selected 40 professionals under age 40 who “exemplify leadership, foresight, and vision for the future of Westchester.” We’re pleased to showcase here four of the 40 whose organizations are members of Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce. We’re proud to claim them as our own!
When Jeffrey Cobelli graduated from Emerson College in 2006 with a degree in Film and TV, and went out into the real world to find his dream job; it did not exist.
In 2009, Jeffrey created Good For You Productions, based in Peekskill, and began work on its first documentary, Someday Melissa, about Bulimia and a 19-year-old by that name who died from complications of the disease.
Since then, Jeffrey has continued to produce commercials and documentaries. He also is an adjunct film teacher, motivational speaker for kids, standup comedian, podcast host of Simply Complicated, Executive Board member of The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse (The CPCA), Board Member of Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce (HVGCC) and Chair of Art Industry Media (AIM).
Joseph Mandara is a Construction Manager at Con Edison with 15 years of engineering and construction experience. Mandara holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is inspired daily by wife Alyssa and children J.J. and Charlotte.
DWAYNE R. NORRIS
Dwayne R. Norris is Co-Founder of Soulful Synergy LLC, a full-service, minority-owned, socially-conscious consulting company that takes a multifaceted approach to sustainability, workforce, and community development.
Dwayne has managed workforce development programs for government and privately funded institutions. He has engaged community partners across the state of New York to re-design and implement training programs for thousands of people pursuing careers in construction, clean energy, and other industries.
Dwayne is a proud Rotarian, community activist and organizer, who has spearheaded successful initiatives for child literacy, education, hunger, homelessness, sustainability, and economic empowerment to better serve the needs of underserved populations in New York City and Westchester. His approach to community development is “a rising tide lifts all boats,” but prosperity must be shared to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities for advancement.
Christina Riley is the Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley. Located steps away from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, Ronald McDonald House is a non-profit organization that provides housing and support services to families, helping them cope better and ease the emotional and financial burdens they experience when faced with their child’s illness.
Christina believes when a child is faced with a medical crisis, the entire family needs comfort and support. As a community, it is our job to rally around one another to provide support and resources to our neighbors when faced with hardship.
Christina began her career as the Administrative Assistant with Ronald McDonald House in 2010 when construction of the 12-bedroom House was just beginning. She strongly believed in the organization’s mission, and it quickly became her passion.
Over the last 11 years, Christina has been instrumental in implementing programs that support more than 2,000 children and families served by Ronald McDonald House. As Executive Director, Christina’s vision for the organization is to expand its services throughout the Hudson Valley, so children everywhere have access to quality medical care and their families are fully supported and actively involved in the child’s treatment. Christina grew up in Ossining, and now lives in Fishkill with her husband Liam, sons Joseph (20) and Liam Jr. (15), and three pups — Harper, Louie, and Rosie.