LI Business Leaders on What Lies Ahead
President and CEO – Long Island Association
As 2018 comes to a close, it is clear that Long Island had a big year. The Long Island Association worked closely with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to secure record amounts of state investments in our infrastructure, including moving forward with the Long Island Rail Road’s Third Track project and completion of the Double Track, $30 million for the Bioelectronic Medicine at the Feinstein Institute at Northwell Health, $30 million for the creation of a Neuroscience Research Complex at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and $12 million to build the first veterinary college in the New York metropolitan area at Long Island University.
We need to keep the momentum going in 2019. With Democrats taking over the U.S. House of Representatives in January, they need to push for the full reinstatement of federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes as the cap on deductions will inequitably impact our region. And, in Albany, it is imperative for our legislators to make the property tax cap permanent.
Locally, there is more to do to ensure our economy keeps growing. The new Nassau Hub Coalition we established, based on the successful Right Track Coalition, will play a leading role in advocating for redevelopment of the site. We need to keep making progress fostering a research corridor from Brookhaven National Laboratory to the New York Genome Center in Manhattan, and we need to move forward with making Long Island the offshore wind capital of our country. Finally, redeveloping our downtowns and constructing more affordable housing to retain our young professionals should remain a top priority for our region.
The LIA will continue to lead efforts to ensure Long Island’s economy remains bright in the year ahead.
Regional Director – Milvado Property Group
In 2019, Long Island will begin to realize the enormous economic impact the arrival of Amazon will have on the bi-county region as the internet giant’s presence in Long Island City is going to be felt far beyond the Nassau-Queens line. Industrial space, already at a premium on the Island, will go from strength to strength as logistics companies that support the digital economy look for square footage in a market that is in the midst of a strategic pivot to meet the challenge. The demand will rise to the point where we will see selected Class A space convert to industrial use because of the ‘Amazon effect.’ Long Island office real estate will be stable with key locations that can support the burgeoning healthcare industry particularly well-situated during 2019.
President and CEO – Discover Long Island
The $5.9 billion tourism industry on Long Island expects continued growth in 2019 due to strong consumer confidence, innovative destination marketing and key partnerships designed to leverage resources and capitalize on world-class events including the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black and World Pride in New York City.
While the growth will be moderate due to limited hotel inventory, the visitor economy will support more than 100,000 local jobs and is expected to generate more than $720 million in local and state tax revenues. Pivotal developments could be transformational for this critical industry in 2019, including the approval of a convention center at Ronkonkoma, new entertainment and lodging opportunities at Nassau Hub and Belmont Park and the addition of Amazon to Long Island City.
It’s an exciting time to be on Long Island and 2019 is stacking up to be a monumental year for tourism and development.
Principal – Engel Burman Group
While Long Island will continue to enjoy a rosy construction picture during 2019, it comes with thorns.
The industry is seeing a significant rise in construction commodities, i.e., steel and lumber. At one point during the past 12 months we saw lumber prices spike some 40 percent, and those kinds of numbers have the potential to wreck the business model of the unwary. In addition, because of the ongoing building boom in neighboring New York City, the ability of placing a workforce where you need it when you need could become problematic for the Long Island development community next year.
The good news for Engel Burman is that the baby boomers, largest age demographic in the history of the nation, continue to seek out our product. Given Long Island’s post World War II history, many of those who created modern suburbia now want to continue to live within a 5- to 7-mile radius of where they raised their families. The barrier to Long Island development is high, often taking as many as seven years for approvals, but we anticipate additional Engel Burman ribbon cuttings during 2019.
President – New York and Atlantic Railway
Over the past several years, the demand for rail freight service on Long Island has increased. We are seeing companies, particularly in Suffolk County, expanding their operations. This has opened up opportunities for rail freight. There are a number of large projects being built and proposed that are making the environment positive for New York and Atlantic.
We are seeing growth in the rail freight sector nationally. Locally, there is a need to decrease truck traffic on highways, including the Long Island Expressway. Rail freight will be instrumental in this effort in 2019 and in the future. Our new, clean and energy efficient locomotives, which have been introduced here on Long Island, are also playing an important part in addressing regional air quality.
We are leveraging technology to complement the national implementation of precision-scheduled railroading by our larger railroad partners. The concept is one that has been in use here on Long Island for many years.
We are in the midst of major regional rail transportation infrastructure improvements, including the Third Track project on the LIRR Main Line. We support the LIRR with this effort through adjusted service periods and handling of materials used to create the infrastructure which will benefit the entire region from a reduced congestion perspective.
Project Executive – MTA
As the project executive for the LIRR expansion project from Floral Park to Hicksville, I’ve been lucky to witness the tremendous progress we’ve made during 2018. During the past year, we made great strides in advancing designs, conducting subsurface testing, and initiating early site-prep work. Looking ahead to 2019, several construction milestones are slated to be completed. The centerpiece will be the unveiling of two under-grade crossings at Covert Avenue in New Hyde Park and Urban Avenue in New Cassel. Modernized station enhancements, parking upgrades, bridge replacements and other improvements will accompany them.
This project is a model of how the MTA is doing business differently. Discrete project elements are packaged into the broader program, allowing their benefits—such as greater bridge clearances and lengthened station platforms—to be realized immediately following their completion. This project is more than the addition of a third track, and each of the project components will help improve LIRR’s on-time performance.
The project designs have been shaped by three years of close coordination with the host communities. We are continuing to seek valuable stakeholder input through cutting-edge programs, including a ‘community scorecard’ completed directly by adjacent residents. I am excited to continue our strong collaborative and look forward to a productive 2019.
Managing Director – Sterling Analytics (SterlingRisk)
The trend towards effective management of outside counsel costs will continue in 2019 as a growing number of businesses implement cost-control measures to help manage expenses and gain control and predictability over outside counsel billing practices. Last year alone, legal spending dropped by 11 percent on average, according to a survey from Bloomberg Law and Buying Legal Council.
With attorneys’ hourly rates continuing to rise year over year, businesses across all sectors will seek to reduce their legal expenses by implementing outside counsel billing guidelines that compel outside counsel to reexamine and modify how and what they bill. Companies often seek the assistance of a legal audit advisory firm, whose process typically entails an assessment of a client’s legal expenses, identifying which charges exceed industry standards, benchmarking against industry best-practices, and implementing strategies to enforce ongoing cost controls. In the most successful cases, individuals and companies have been able to reduce their outside counsel legal expenses by 25 percent or more. Additionally, saving on outside counsel costs is the easiest way to reduce expenses without impacting infrastructure.
Questioning previously-accepted billing practices gained momentum over the past decade as corporate America placed new emphasis on transparency and accountability. With outside counsel representing one of the biggest costs incurred by a business, the coming year will see a continued rise in effective management of outside counsel expenses.
CEO – Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty
In November 2018 we opened an office in Astoria, Queens, our second in the borough, just as Amazon announced Long Island City as an HQ2 site. The impact Amazon HQ2 and Google’s presence in Manhattan will reverberate on Long Island, with many Long Islanders looking at the HQ2 area for both investment and residential purposes. We also expect new and relocating employees of Amazon and Google will look to live in Nassau and western Suffolk counties.
While Long Island remains a community of single-family homes, new developments like The Ritz-Carlton Residences in North Hills, The Beacon at Garvies Point in Glen Cove, Roslyn Landing in Roslyn and Ocean Watch at Freeport, as well as other established condominium communities are attracting lifelong Long Islanders and new arrivals of all ages who are looking for a lower maintenance suburban lifestyle.
Year over year from 2017-2018 sales volume and average sales price have increased and geography continues to play a role in market conditions. Rising interest rates will influence where prices go.
Our industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace with new technologies that have revolutionized the home buying and selling process for both agents and consumers. That said, regardless of what technology can offer, real estate remains, at heart, a people business.
Partner-in-charge (Long Island office) – EisnerAmper
The biggest factor impacting the landscape for accounting firms nationally as well as locally is, without question, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Clients, more than anything, don’t like surprises, so any time advisers can sit across from individual and corporate clients and give them prudent tax planning options is time well spent.
Accordingly, the major challenge faced by firms is getting timely information from the government – especially when many of the changes are still subject to questions. For example, one year after tax reform, lingering questions remain as to the revised tax forms, state adoption of federal regulations and the Section 199 deduction.
Closer to home, Long Island has its own set of unique challenges and opportunities for accountants and business advisers. Some of these challenges include a comparatively high tax structure, coupled with a younger workforce migration to large cities. However, the Long Island economy remains strong and it is attracting investment in key sectors such as real estate, healthcare and technology. Investments in infrastructure will hopefully cause many of those Gen Ys and Zs to decide to remain in the local workforce.
Based on the aforementioned, 2019 looks to be a good year for the accounting profession.
CEO – IntraLogic Solutions
The security industry, in particular the school security technology sector, is one of the fastest growing market segments in America today and this trend will continue in 2019. This significant growth is the unfortunate result of frequent events, such as active shooters in schools and in public places as well as other security challenges. The tragic events in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where I personally met with parents and administrators, demonstrate that we must do more and technology must be leveraged to protect schools and students.
We are seeing schools across Long Island and the nation spending more money on enhanced technology and security measures. Schools are adding systems like IntraLogic’s one-button lock down as well as advanced facial recognition and video analytics to address changing security challenges. State and federal grant funding allocated this year and additional funding in 2019 will assist schools to pay for and install advanced school security technology. Schools, religious institutions and houses of worship, municipalities, transportation authorities and law enforcement on all levels will all be investing in security technology in 2019.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs – Bethpage Federal Credit Union
The past year saw a rise in deposit rates, which is expected to continue into 2019. This makes for more consumer-friendly money market and CD rates. With these rising deposit rates, however, also came rising mortgage and home equity rates. To help our members adjust to these rates, in late 2018, Bethpage launched a home equity product that allows members to mix and match how they draw down their money with both variable and fixed rate options all within one loan.
If you look at your email inbox or mailbox, you are also probably seeing many credit card offers as the credit card market is highly competitive right now, creating a consumer-friendly credit card environment. In 2019 Bethpage will be rolling out a personalized rewards card, which members have been asking for.
While we do not see any dramatic changes in the financial services landscape for 2019, we are focusing our efforts on ensuring that we offer the best value we can to our members throughout the tri-state area.
Partner-in-charge (Long Island office) – Friedman
We project 2019 to be an exciting, challenging and advantageous year for the accounting profession. The hasty implementation of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act marked the most sweeping tax reform changes since 1986 – leaving incomplete guidance for tax preparers to follow. Tax professionals may be forced to use their best judgment, rather than concrete rules, to determine the new tax law’s intent and best practices for implementation. As a result, more time will be spent on returns by preparers especially pertaining to changes with international tax filing. More time means increased spending for clients when it comes to accounting and tax preparation fees.
The new tax code also creates great opportunities for the firms that strategize ways to plan and reduce their clients’ tax obligations. In effect, specialized tax guidance will create new client opportunities.
The significant work required to navigate the changes under the new tax code will create a staffing challenge for many professionals in 2019. Firms may need to consider employee-centric programming such as Friedman’s alternative work arrangements. This offering has been a great selling point when attracting new staff. Further, professionals will want to invest in technology in 2019 to optimize employee efficiency, since the new tax code will require an even more nuanced and time-consuming approach.
President and CEO – Teachers Federal Credit Union
In 2019, member growth, consolidation and the transformation of the credit union branch will be areas to watch. The consolidation trend in the credit union industry will continue regionally and nationally in 2019. During 2018, TFCU acquired three credit unions. As of September 2018, there were 5,548 credit unions in the United States, down from 6,956 in 2012. While there is a decrease in number due to mergers and acquisitions, this is not necessarily a negative. Generally, the consolidations allow existing members from credit unions being acquired/merged to continue to receive credit union services and are accompanied by an increase in the services offered.
Credit union membership will continue to rise in 2019 as more consumers see the value credit unions have to offer. According to CUNA Mutual Group’s 2018 Credit Union Trends Report, there were more than 4.2 million new credit union members in the first nine months of 2018 – the fastest pace in history. Growth is also due to the approach to member services that credit unions take. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions focus on member service and providing value to their members.
Credit union branches will continue to transform to meet members’ changing needs. TFCU and others are leveraging technology to offer more personalized banking services to members through mobile technology and at branches.
Chairman and CEO – Empire National Bank
In my opinion, community banks will face significant challenges in 2019. Rising interest rates are having a negative impact on our sector of the banking industry. Deposit rates are climbing faster than typical loan product rates, reducing our interest rate margins. It will be very interesting to see if the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. I feel they are overly concerned about inflation.
The overall economy continues to be very strong. However, I believe commercial real estate is somewhat overvalued and 2019 will continue to bring moderate corrections to this sector.
Regulation continues to have a negative impact on community banks. Compliance costs continue to rise with no relief in sight. The stock market volatility, in my opinion, is caused by an overreaction to events that are continually exaggerated and could erode the overall confidence that now supports our strong economy. I hope that this volatility doesn’t lead us into a premature recession.
All that said, I am optimistic that 2019 should be a good year for community banks, and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
President – Purolator International
Every day almost $1.6 billion worth of goods cross the U.S./Canadian border. An increasing number of those shipments are e-commerce purchases, with an estimated 30 percent of Canadian online purchases coming from U.S. retailers. Looking ahead, 2019 promises to offer even greater opportunities for U.S. businesses – both B2B and B2C – to succeed in the Canadian market.
Specifically, 2019 may bring an updated free trade agreement in the form of the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement, which is expected to receive final review in the coming months. As proposed, USMCA will continue to provide duty-free treatment to qualified goods, and will raise the value at which shipments can enter Canada without having to pay duties or sales taxes. Equally important, implementation of USMCA will end the uncertainty that clouded the trade environment while negotiations were ongoing.
The high volume of Canada-bound shipments requires increasingly efficient logistics and transportation services. Experienced, innovative providers will be rewarded for solutions that allow faster access to the Canadian market and seamless deliveries throughout the critical last mile of service. Expectations among Canadian companies and consumers for speed and convenience have caught up to their U.S. counterparts in recent years, and will continue to drive demand for creative services, and for technology-based logistics companies that have kept pace.
Among your business’s 2019 resolutions, taking advantage of opportunities in the Canadian market should be high on the list.
President – Squad Security
Security precautions for corporations in 2019 will require a comprehensive integrated response by executives as threats range from active shooters entering the workplace to having company servers held hostage by overseas cyber criminals. There will be a recognition that far more resources will need to be allocated to identify and eliminate potential threats, as failure to create, implement and sustain a plan could bring consequences that include considerable civil liability or loss of life. During the year, the threats will only increase in frequency and sophistication as witnessed by the exponential number of ‘phishing’ emails many of our businesses received during 2018. In addition, the task of employee screening will require far more attention in order to identify and prevent potential criminal behavior in the workplace, while appreciating that we cannot violate individual privacy in the process or a corporation will risk litigation.
President and CEO – South Nassau Communities Hospital
The New York State Assembly likely will push single-payer healthcare insurance for all in the new year and, with Democrats now also in control of the New York State Senate, the bill will become a front-burner topic.
I predict that after all the facts are known about the single-payer system, legislative leaders and the public will defeat this unwise proposal as it would put a tremendous strain on nonprofit hospitals on Long Island and across New York State as most hospitals currently operate with very thin or no surplus margins. It also would burden taxpayers and the state budget. On average, hospitals currently lose money on Medicare and Medicaid patients and depend on a mix of patients with private insurance – such as Blue Cross and United – to help balance out their bottom lines.
Governmental control of the insurance market would reduce the level of service being provided. In England, for example, home to one the world’s most popular single-payer healthcare systems, according to its National Health Service “Referral to Treatment” waiting-times data for the last year [saw] a record 4.2 million patients on its waiting lists; 362,600 patients waited longer than four months for hospital treatment; 95,252 waited longer than six months, and by this July, 4,300 people had been on the wait list more than a year—all after receiving their diagnosis and referral.
Single-payer healthcare is failing residents of Canada as well, where the median wait time between seeing a general practitioner and following up with a specialist was 10.2 weeks, while the wait between seeing a doctor and beginning treatment was about five months. Healthcare outcomes are better when the private, nonprofit and governmental sectors work together to drive access and value for consumers. More government intervention and control is not the answer.
President – Hofstra University
In the next year, we’ll see an expansion of the trends that have already shaped higher education. More students will turn to majors like the life sciences, engineering, technology and health care; and enter fields where employment prospects remain strong, driven by major expansions like those announced recently by Amazon and Google. While the classroom and the faculty-student relationship remain the nexus of learning, colleges will expand the experiential learning opportunities they already provide, such as internships and career services, and add more co-ops, experiential classes, community service learning, industry partnerships, such as ours with IBM, and lab work and hands-on experience for all academic disciplines, not just the sciences. Higher education, with its focus on the liberal arts, will also play a critical role in civic and voter education, providing students with the tools to think critically about the issues at stake in today’s national and local affairs.
Senior Counsel – Bond, Schoeneck & King
As an education attorney, my practice focuses on providing legal counsel to K-12 school districts, colleges, and universities.
Many of the news headlines in 2018 were dominated by allegations of sexual harassment. In response, New York State employers (including educational institutions) have had to keep pace with the rapidly changing legal landscape which imposes more stringent requirements on employers to prevent and investigate sexual harassment claims.
For example, the New York State Division of Human Rights sexual harassment policy requirements were released by the state on Oct. 1, 2018 with an effective date of Oct. 9, 2018 -– giving employers little more than a week to adopt some significant policy changes.
As we move into 2019, I believe that we will continue to see significant legal changes in the area of sexual harassment – this time on the federal level as opposed to the state level. On Nov. 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education published proposed Title IX regulations that are poised to affect the investigatory and evidentiary standards used by schools concerning sexual harassment allegations. Once finalized, these federal regulations may not be consistent with New York State’s requirements. Therefore, we must be prepared to continue to navigate this changing legal landscape.
Managing Partner – Farrell Fritz
Long Island continues to change and evolve. We have seen, and expect to continue to see, transformative development projects, innovation in healthcare and biotech, and a changing business community with baby boomers exiting their businesses – all of which create opportunities for lawyers.
We see downtown developments and transit-oriented projects continuing to gain momentum. On Long Island, formerly the “land of no,” we are seeing increasing receptiveness to innovative projects, which will drive our economy forward. Projects like Belmont, the Nassau HUB, Ronkonkoma Hub, as well as projects in Lindenhurst, Hicksville and the Village of Hempstead, will change the face of Long Island. We expect to continue to see investment in real estate from the outer boroughs. The continued evolution of retail and changing consumer habits will challenge us to get more creative from a land use and development perspective.
Innovation in healthcare and biotech will continue to change the landscape. Healthcare providers will continue to occupy retail locations, for instance. We expect that continued M&A and consolidation will make healthcare organizations even stronger. Clients will need the counsel of transactional, regulatory and government relations attorneys to navigate the changing healthcare landscape.
As baby boomers continue to age, we expect to see significant M&A opportunities as they pursue exit strategies, whether through sale or leadership transition to the next generation. In either event, these transactions create opportunities for attorneys and other advisors, such as investment banks, accountants and wealth managers.
We see tremendous opportunities here on Long Island for companies and business leaders who are adept at responding to these changes.
CEO and President – The Dover Group
Technological advances and the thriving economy across the nation has changed the restaurant and catering industry significantly, and fortunately we have adjusted with the times. More disposable income in people’s pockets make them more inclined to order food – but you see a generational gap. Young people have more money, and they chose to order delivery with Doordash, Uber Eats, and other delivery service with high-cost delivery charges, whereas older generations go out to eat when they have more money. I see this trend continuing through the next year. Also, people are more inclined to go out for special occasions, meaning on birthdays and holidays, party sizes have increased from a table-of-four-or-five, to a room of ten or more. This helps the service and catering industry tremendously. But, challenges still exist. We see hiring becoming more difficult, resulting from the ever-increasing costs of labor, minimum wage spike, and low unemployment throughout the country. There is an industry-wide trend in hiring fewer high school and college employees as a result. We hope that the economy remains strong in 2019, after a record year in 2018 across the board.
Executive Director – North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center
Did you know that every day more than 290 Americans die from suicide or a drug overdose? With proper treatment, many of these tragedies could be prevented — but despite a law that guarantees coverage, people face enormous roadblocks when they seek care.
In 2008, a federal law called the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (or the Parity Act) was passed to stop insurance companies from routinely denying benefits to people with mental health and addiction challenges. Getting necessary treatment is often a matter of life and death.
We have joined a national campaign called “Parity@10” to fight for the rights of people living with mental health and substance use disorders. These are your children, your neighbors, your family, your friends. No one is immune from facing these issues.
Discriminatory insurance coverage must end. When insurers do not comply with the law and government enforcement is inadequate, millions of Americans are at risk.
In 2019, we will continue to advance this cause to end discrimination and guarantee that all people receive the timely and affordable care they deserve and that is mandated by law.
Founder and Executive Director – Gold Coast Arts Center
The future of the arts in 2019 is on the minds of those who, like me, work in the arts and education. Arts and business are not often thought of as a pair of compatible thoughts. Generally, when community leaders talk about the future and what is important for a thriving community and downtown, the conversation turns to roads, new construction, storefronts, parks, even waste management.
At Vision Long Island’s 2018 Smart Growth Summit, which was well attended by leaders in every area of accomplishment, the arts on Long Island and their impact on the quality of life were not mentioned in the broader context of redevelopment and community enrichment. When cultural activities that include art, music, dance, theater and film, are integrated into the daily life of a community, the impact is immediate — as the Village of Patchogue and its success has shown.
The needs of our seniors are a topic that generates discussion, and trying to identify what would attract and keep young people here is ongoing. But, essential to any plan to entice young people, or keep older residents from leaving, is to offer cultural and arts-related opportunities and entertainment, which also benefit economic growth. That would help to ensure the vitality and the future of Long Island in 2019 and beyond.
A. Gail Prudenti
Dean – Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
I believe that in 2019 we will see more interdisciplinary programs for both undergraduate and graduate programs, with a focus on new technology. Obtaining an interdisciplinary education with two different degrees is invaluable in establishing students as experts in both fields, diversifying their skills and knowledge and expanding the networks and opportunities available to them. At Hofstra, we recognize the inherent value in interdisciplinary studies with our numerous joint degree programs including the Hofstra Law & Northwell Health Medical-Legal Partnership and the JD/MBA Program.
Technology is changing how we transact business and how we live our lives. In 2019, we will be offering new courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, courtroom technology and blockchain. Hofstra has also formed an alliance with IBM’s Global University Program that will provide training and certification on high-demand digital skills to our students across the entire university.
Partner – Ruskin Moscou Faltischek
The real estate market on Long Island and in the New York metropolitan area will continue to be affected in 2019 by the trends and issues we have seen in 2018.
Rising mortgage loan interest rates have affected both the residential and commercial real estate markets. On the residential side, rising rates will affect the homebuyer’s ability to secure a viable mortgage. On the commercial side, rising rates will drive up cap rates and possibly cause prices to fall.
The limitations on the state and local tax deductions that were imposed by the federal government in 2018 have had a detrimental effect on the housing market. What once may have been affordable to a homebuyer may no longer be within reach. Developers in the new construction market have had to reevaluate their positions accordingly.
On the retail side, store closures, bankruptcies, and the rise of e-tailing have had a tremendous impact on the shopping center industry. Developers will continue to reposition their centers with additional uses in order to fill their centers and attract foot traffic. Uses that may have been shunned in the past, such as medical, office, health and fitness, entertainment, residential, and hotel uses, are now becoming commonplace in existing and new centers.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Jefferson’s Ferry Life Plan Community
For 2019 and looking further ahead, the need for housing and care for Long Island’s older adult population will continue to increase. Suffolk County is experiencing a higher growth rate of people over 75 years of age than any other place in New York State and the projected growth rate over five years will continue to exceed that of most communities in the nation. The senior care industry is acting to meet this growing demand, as indicated by the rise of 55 plus, assisted living and life plan communities as well as more adult day programs and at-home care options. Jefferson’s Ferry, which offers residential living to active adults over 62 years of age, plus the promise of onsite health care, is embarking on a significant expansion and renovation project to meet this growing need. The project will add new apartment homes, expand the rehabilitation center and memory care neighborhood, and transform the dining area and common spaces to enhance the living experience for residents and better accommodate their changing needs.
Managing Partner – Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman
As I think about my predictions for the legal industry in 2019, I have to look no further than my desk. I now work with two computer screens. This technological change has facilitated the way I get my legal and administrative work done. Technology continues to impact all of our lives. In the legal industry, it affects everything from courtroom management to the delivery of legal services. Our firm’s administrative functions are continually impacted: from our copy/scan machines to billing procedures to our document management system and customer relationship database to Skype. We rely upon these tools to move us into a paperless environment. Those of us who have been practicing law for decades know we need to keep current in order to better serve our clients. The practice of law keeps changing at a record pace. Our next generation of lawyers and clients expect us to have an active, online presence including social media and a dynamic website with articles of interest. It’s a tall order to fill, but it makes for a quick and efficient response time. I think we all feel like we are working twice as fast, and we probably are. Let’s see what technology brings us this new year.
President – Farmingdale State College
Colleges will increasingly move toward test-optional admissions and away from relying on standardized test scores and high school grades.
This is the result of two concerns: One is about grade inflation and the other is the byproduct of declining enrollment. Admissions will continue to become more holistic and personally focused, and will make more use of student achievement beyond the classroom. No matter the result, the Harvard affirmative action case will contribute to this move toward holistic admissions.
Colleges will work to do a better job of addressing the student debt issue and emphasizing the remarkable returns of higher education.
According to the College Board, a college graduate will earn 66 percent more than and high school graduate over a 40-year working life. If the economy slows, it will become imperative for colleges to better engage with this misunderstood issue.
Online programs seem to be proliferating, though enrollment in these programs is not necessarily keeping pace. This will prompt colleges to qualitatively differentiate their online programs from those of their competitors and will lead to more comprehensive services being offered to online students.
As a result of the newly proposed Department of Education regulations, colleges will be pushed to examine the ways in which they balance to rights of both victims and those accused in Title IX.
Managing Partner (Long Island office) – KPMG
KPMG has the privilege of working with businesses across industries, along with government agencies and nonprofits. Across the board, organizations, including KPMG, are facing complex business issues such as cybersecurity, tax reform and other regulatory changes, sustainability, business transformation and optimization, and attracting and retaining skilled talent, to name a few.
In this ever-changing environment, we see businesses focusing on digital transformation, data and analytics, intelligent automation and blockchain technologies.
Talent management is a major focus in client service organizations like KPMG. We have a strong emphasis on having a diverse and inclusive workplace.