Mrs. Putnam County An Entrepreneur, Mother, Wife And Active Citizen

Mrs. Putnam County has been named by the Mrs. New York America Organization, and this year’s honor goes to Laura Rudovic Waters of Mahopac, NY. She is a 30 year old mother of two boys, Christopher, 4 and Brandon, 2. Laura and her husband Steve Waters, a firefighter for the FDNY in Jackson Heights, Queens, found love at first sight and have now been married for 5 years. Laura is not only a wife and mother, but she is also an entrepreneur. A career fashion designer, store owner and business manager, she is the owner of Laura’s Boutique, a new shop in Kent, NY which carries glamorous fashions at half the price of upscale stores.

Laura will be traveling to Rochester, NY at the end of October to compete for the Mrs. New York State title. The Mrs. America pageant is a pageant system for married women that has been around since 1977. Should she win the Mrs. America Title, Laura will then compete in the international Mrs. World pageant. It is a tremendous honor to participate, made especially satisfying knowing just how active she is a mother and business owner. Laura loves to spend time with her sons and it is her number one favorite pastime. She also loves being a wife. When she is not with her family, she loves to design clothes. Fashion is her passion. She is looking forward to getting involved in her community and to start attending events as Mrs. Putnam County.

She is passionate about helping people and is currently holding a charity fashion show to benefit the A Skate Foundation, Therapy on Wheels for Children with Autism at the Coliseum in White Plains on October 3rd. Laura’s Glamorous Fashion Show will feature designs from her couture line. Celebrities have already signed up to attend. For tickets, visit


Mixed Picture for Hudson Valley Home Sales In First Half Of 2014

Through the first three months of 2014, Putnam County saw a promising rise of nearly 12% in residential home sales leading to increased speculation of a strong economic recovery, but a fairly strong second quarter tail-off throughout the Hudson Valley put a bit of a damper on such rosy expectations. Still, given that 2Q-1Q sales were off just 2.9 percent in Putnam and that the difficult winter weather may have had an impact (home sales usually have about a 90 day lead time in our region), it’s conceivable that our County may have fared rather well in comparison to others in the region which endured a fairly steep drop in the second quarter. Interestingly, our neighbor Rockland County was the only one to show an increase (6.2%) in this period.

Putnam’s median home price fell to $285,000, an 8.2% decrease which was a bit of a surprise, and home inventories throughout the Hudson Valley rose by about 8.8% overall. These events are not considered to be severe, an there is no particularly strong reason for the downturn except for the influence the severe weather we had in the winter months leading to the statistics of the second quarter. Mortgage rates remain low, and Putnam County’s unemployment rate is, at 4.7%, the lowest in the region. So people should be able to afford a house, yet the results clearly showed that the market was somewhat soft. My thoughts? The market is still on the path to recovery. I equate to walking up a hill made of sand. Sometimes you feel like you are making no traction, even losing ground, yet all the while progress is being made.

On the other hand, if you’re buying a house, take heart. Home prices and interest rates are still low, and you probably have a job to support paying a mortgage. The stigma of loans being difficult to acquire is becoming an exaggeration. Also lenders have put some realistic loans back on the table such as 1 year income verification for those of us that are self employed. You can even cash in on this hot rental market with a mere 10% down Speaking of rentals, that market continues to climb which is opportunity for those looking to invest.

The Putnam Chamber will continue its quest to enhance the business climate and work alongside the EDC and the County to beautify our Commerce districts to ensure a vital Real estate market here in Putnam County

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce


Putnam EDC Breakfast to Highlight Business Accomplishments

The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation is hosting its 2014 Recognition Breakfast at the Putnam County Golf Course on Friday, September 26 at 8:30AM. The event will recognize two outstanding businesses in the county as well as feature former New York Governor George E. Pataki as keynote speaker. Putnam EDC President Meghan Taylor expressed her excitement at this annual business celebration: “We are honored to highlight the accomplishments of companies doing business within the County and look forward to connecting with many more!”

The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation works to drive the economic vitality of our county. It seeks to foster an environment conducive to the creation and retention of business,delivering an enhanced quality of life for all who reside here. Events such as the Breakfast, combined with strong partnerships such as those between the EDC and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, the Tourism bureau, and others, helps achieve this vision. Under Ms. Taylor’s leadership the EDC has worked hard to help business see the possibilities that a cohesive, strong local economy can do for Putnam in creating not only wealth but an even more pleasant living environment. We are indeed fortunate to live in a county that has such a balanced approach to planning for the future.

Putting on a major business event involves a lot of sponsor support, and the Recognition Breakfast is fortunate to have strong participation by its sponsors. Participants at the Gold level include Unicorn Contracting Corporation, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, and Putnam County Savings Bank, while the Silver Sponsors include Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Keane & Beane, P.C., the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and Putnam County Tourism.

Tickets are still available for the Recognition Breakfast. Admission is $35 or $300 for a table of 10 for this marquee event. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce


The Arts Have A Positive Economic Impact On Putnam

In various parts of New York State, the Arts are an integral part of the culture, the sense of community and regional economic development programs. For example, who could think of New York City without Broadway? Saratoga without its famed Performing Arts Center (summer home of the New York City Ballet)? Schenectady without Proctor’s Theatre (the largest movie screen north of Radio City Music Hall)? Even smaller towns and communities have great arts programs, such as New Paltz with its wonderful college and culture, or the Catskill Symphony Orchestra entertaining thousands in Oneonta and Cooperstown. Putnam County would seem to be a place where the arts could flourish, after all we have the wonderful, unique and interesting village of Cold Spring with its vibrant culture, history and personality, Brewster with its charm and beautiful architecture. Both of these Villages alread have developed a niche for arts and culture yet our residents often attend performances in Westchester and Connecticut or head down to Broadway for the latest plays. If we had more to offer they may keep more of the money local. Arts and culture is a beneficial model for community investment, according to a report by the SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), with some 52 organizations in Putnam County alone having an $11.5 million impact on our economy, attracting about 175,000 visitors per year and leading to about 160 local jobs. We need to find more ways to capitalize on our arts and cultural assets, and utilize these assets more aggressively within our county’s borders.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce


The Regional Approach Works Best In Managing Complex Issues

“Think Local” is usually the best approach, but some issues transcend our borders, affecting our region and even our state. The proposed temporary shutdown at Indian Point is one of those issues.

Power generation and delivery is at a premium in New York State. Increased demand for electricity has put tremendous pressures on the grid while we are trying to rebuild our economy and also as alternative energy becomes more prevalent with the decreased emphasis on fossil fuels. We need a strong, reliable and local source of electrical power to supply our needs. Despite the challenges posed by reliance on nuclear power, the Indian Point facility has been supplying our energy needs since the 1950s and is applying for a permit to continue to do so well into the future. Currently 25% of the region’s power is supplied by the plant. Yet a proposal being considered by the DEC would close the facility for as much as 42-92 days to coincide with the patterns of migrating fish in the Hudson River.

This idea has very severe negative economic consequences for not only Putnam County but the region. Therefore we must respond as a region. Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell has stated, “Economically, closing the units for 42 to 92 days each year could easily prohibit businesses from locating in the area, a point which most counties in the Hudson Valley would find alarming”. Rockland Business Association President Al Samuels lamented that with the increased uncertainty and cost associated with electricity generation, “Why would you want to spend millions of dollars to move [a business] to New York?”

Your Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and its President/CEO Bill Nulk will be working alongside our partners in the Hudson Valley to oppose any such closing of Indian Point unless and until a reasonable solution to our electricity needs is found – one that we as a region can mutually accept.

– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce


Women’s Leadership Alliance To Spotlight And Support Female Business Owners

Women’s Leadership Alliance To Spotlight And Support Female Business Owners


In an era where ideas and concepts must be developed more quickly than ever before to remain competitive, Putnam County business leaders have begun an ambitious collaboration to facilitate better communications, training and opportunity for local businesswomen.


The Putnam County Women’s Leadership Alliance, a partnership between the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and the Professional Women of Putnam, is holding its official kickoff event on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 6 to 8PM, at the Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street, Mahopac NY 10541.  Admission is free.  There will be resources and entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.   Guest speaker for the evening will be Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell, and each guest will receive a complimentary signed copy of author Allison Pataki’s historical novel, “The Traitor’s Wife.”


“Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and Distinguished Harvard Professor, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,”” says Odell.  “Today, women are in leadership positions because they are not afraid to use their intellectual talents and their business savvy to compete with their male counterparts. That is what our Women’s Leadership Alliance is all about – supporting their leadership, professional and economic growth by providing networking possibilities, seminars and mentors.”


Times have changed.  The leadership skills that come naturally to women are now absolutely necessary for businesses to be successful.  The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and our strategic partners are looking forward to creating an atmosphere that not only empowers women to be in leadership roles but allows them to celebrate who they are.    Jamie Imperati, President of the Professional Women of Putnam and Chairwoman of the new Alliance, agrees:  “Together we will do great things and provide opportunities for new business development and personal growth for the members in the Women’s Leadership Alliance.”


For more details or to register for the event, visit .


-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce



Putnam Moves

“Putnam Moves” To Get A Rebranding, New Logo


As our county reinvents itself for a new, robust economic future, the new public transportation system called “Putnam Moves” is about to get a major redesign.   Four key tenets of the new system, namely community, commerce, nature and recreation, will be the focus of a logo design contest open to students from grades K-12 who reside in Putnam County.  Major efficiency updates to the county’s public transportation system include revamped routes which are expected to be announced in the spring of 2014. The deadline for contest entries is March 5th. The student submitting the winning design will receive a $500 scholarship.

“I believe that there is no better marketing team out there to promote our county transportation system.  I was thrilled to have the Putnam Chambers agree to partner with the Transportation Advisory Council and county government,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “To have their support and expertise in marketing not only our transit system, but our Main Street economy continues to be a major focus of the administration. We are in good hands.”

Students should enter the contest via the “Putnam Moves” Contest tab on the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce Facebook Fan Page ( or via the chamber’s website, Artwork should be presented in a JPEG, GIF or PNG file. The winning entry will be selected by the Putnam County Transportation Advisory Council with the final approval of the County Executive.  Winners will be notified via email; children under 18 must have their entries approved and submitted by a parent.  The winner will be announced by County Executive, MaryEllen Odell at the State of the County address on March 13th.

All submitted logo designs will be on display at the Putnam County Golf Club on March 21st as part of the inaugural meeting of the Putnam Women’s Leadership Alliance.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce


Review of 2013

953 South Lake Blvd, Mahopac, NY 10541

Phone: 845 228-8595, e-mail:


Review of 2013


As we look forward to the New Year of 2014, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce can take pride and satisfaction with our accomplishments and progress in the short time since our beginning in late 2010.  Building on our past successes, 2013 was a very good year.


We kicked off the Year 2013 with the exciting 2012 Trailblazer 40 Under 40 Awards event in January.  This inaugural event honored up and coming young leaders from every area of Putnam County in the largest, most festive celebration of our business community anyone could remember.


The PC CofC continued its commitment to bring together our elected officials with each other and with Putnam’s business community during our annual Elected Officials Forum in March.  This casual meeting of our representatives from the federal to the village level has proven to be a positive opportunity to express concerns and share ideas.  We presented to results of the surveys these officials had requested in our 2012 Forum and also the findings of our Industry Cluster Task Force, which identified Commercial Recreation and Arts & Culture as two areas that fit well with Putnam’s unique character and available resources.


In April, we joined with the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation to host the Consolidated Funding Applications (CFA) Workshop.  Our partnership with the PCEDC, and its President Meghan Taylor, has helped our county score well with the Regional Economic Development Council in the competition for state funding.  Brewster, Carmel and Cold Spring came out as specific winners, but many others are now aware and ready to use this process in the next round.


We made a significant effort to monitor and participate in the government processes that affect our business community.  Our comments were heard in the County Legislature on item pricing, a smoking ban, energy issues and budget issues.  Our participation in the Transportation Advisory Task Force helped produce a forward looking plan for our public bus system and how we will provide for those with special needs.  We co-hosted a purchasing workshop to explain the procedures for our businesses to successfully bid on the many government contracts available at the state and municipal level.



Our Meet & Greet the Candidates event in August provided a non-partisan program for all the candidates in the 2013 elections to present themselves to the public in a friendly, neutral atmosphere.  We later co-hosted a candidate debates forum with the League of Women Voters of Putnam County.


The PC CofC built on the information of the Industry Cluster Task Force and the comments at the Elected Officials Forum to create our Community Initiatives Program working on specific projects in each of our six towns to enhance the viability of the commercial districts.  Parking, sewer and water districts, street lighting and a master plan have all moved forward thanks to the efforts with our local Chambers.


Putnam’s business community shined brightly at the 2013 Shop Home and Business EXPO in May.  It was truly a county-wide event led by an energetic committee from the Mahopac Chamber and hosted at the Putnam Hospital Center.


Throughout the year, the PC CofC Constant Contact and Facebook messages have brought the events and messages of the business community to everyone’s attention.  The citizens of Putnam are aware that our business community is available and working on their behalf.


This year’s Trailblazer Success Awards, to be celebrated on Friday, January 31, 2014, is an affirmation of the vitality at all levels of Putnam’s business community – Emerging, Established, Mature, Environmentally Engaged and Socially Conscious.


The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce looks forward to an even more exciting and productive New Year in 2014.  We will continue to advocate for the interests of our business community and work with our member Chambers to enhance the conditions and opportunities that will make Putnam County the great place we all want to live and work in.