William P. Harrington, Jr., Chairman of the Westchester County Association (WCA), announced that Michael N. Romita will become the next President and CEO of the WCA, the County’s leading economic development and business advocacy organization, effective March 1, 2020. Romita, Partner at Mercury Strategies LLC, and a former Executive Vice President of the Castle Oil Corporation and Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, is a resident of Harrison. . For nearly 70 years, the WCA has proactively developed and advanced policies and initiatives to foster smart growth and economic vitality in the region.
“Michael is a visionary of extraordinary accomplishment, who is passionate about bringing Westchester’s business community to the next level; this is a real coup for us,” said Harrington who also thanked the WCA Board’s seven-member Search Committee chaired by Jeff Menkes, President and CEO of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and a key member of WCA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, for their tireless and extensive effort to find the WCA’s next leader. Romita succeeds Bill Mooney, who retired on December 31, 2019 after fifteen years at the helm of the Westchester County Association.
Menkes lauded the work of the Search Committee, which screened over two dozen fine candidates. “We were impressed with the caliber of people we met, but Michael was exceptional. We were thoroughly impressed by his strong vision, thoughtfulness, dynamism, and drive. His credentials, experience, and education are simply extraordinary.”
Romita holds a BS from Tufts University; Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, and Master of Laws from The London School of Economics. Besides his work at Castle Oil and the Department of Justice, he has published numerous articles on business and energy policy. Romita has served on the Boards of many charitable and civic organizations, including the Westchester County Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Board and MINT, a mental health foundation. In addition, he recently co-chaired the County Executive’s Transition Committee on Economic Development.
According to Aléida Frederico, Vice President, Commercial Lending, TD Bank, and a member of the Search Committee, “We cast a wide net and went through a robust and inclusive process. Michael was the clear choice. He understands where the opportunities are, and he is committed to building an organization that includes a diverse group of voices and encourages the active participation of young professionals and entrepreneurs – the next generation of business leaders. That said, I am very happy to add that we had many top-performing candidates whom we will encourage to become active with the WCA.”
County Executive George Latimer commented, “I am excited for the Westchester County Association and its new dynamic leader. I have gotten to know Michael well over the past several years. He understands business and this is an opportune time for a big-picture visionary to take the helm as Westchester County transitions into a vibrant business hub of the biotech, healthcare, education, real estate, and entertainment industries. I look forward to continuing to work with Michael and the WCA to strengthen business opportunities in Westchester.”
Romita said he was attracted to the Westchester County Association for many reasons, the most important of which is its distinct approach to economic development. “The WCA is unique. It focuses on underlying drivers, such as real estate, workforce development, healthcare, sustainability, and innovation, all of which improve the environment for economic development. I am impressed by the strength of its brand, its commitment to building for the future, and the influence of its extensive network. With my background in business strategy, advocacy, and public policy, I think the synergy is terrific. The WCA gets stuff done and I can’t wait to get started.”
U. S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, “My congratulations to Michael Romita, the new President and CEO of the Westchester County Association, an organization with which I have worked closely for years. Michael’s business acumen and knowledge of Westchester County will help the WCA promote job creation; build sustainability, innovation, and healthcare efficiencies; and energize the business culture. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”
NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins added, “Westchester County has many assets that make us a great place to live, work, raise a family, and retire, including our transportation infrastructure, great parks, diverse communities, and educated workforce. Under this new leadership, I am sure the Westchester County Association will continue to inspire action and grow the strong public-private partnership that has helped benefit our communities. I congratulate Michael Romita on this new position and look forward to working with him to continue the progress we’ve made in growing the local economy and improving the quality of life for residents.”