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3 tapped for state panel that helps to award tax credits, grants to firms

From left, Jermaine F. Williams, Theresa Sanders and

From left, Jermaine F. Williams, Theresa Sanders and Stratis Philippis will all serve on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. Credit: Nassau Community College; Howard Schnapp; Bountiful Company

A college president, a civil rights leader and a top executive at a vitamin manufacturer have been appointed to the state panel that helps determine the recipients of state business aid on Long Island.

Jermaine F. Williams, president of Nassau Community College, Theresa Sanders, president of the Urban League of Long Island, and Stratis Philippis, general counsel and chief compliance officer at the Bountiful Company in Ronkonkoma, will all serve on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.

The council’s 23 members are unpaid volunteers and appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Williams joined NCC two years ago from North Shore Community College in Danvers, Massachusetts, where he served as vice president of student affairs. He has a doctorate in education from Temple University.

Sanders has led the Urban League for nearly 30 years. She also teaches at SUNY College at Old Westbury, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. Her doctorate in education is from Dowling College.

Philippis has worked for the Bountiful Company, formerly called the Nature’s Bounty Co., since 2012. The manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements is one of Long Island’s largest employers with 11 factories in Suffolk County and sales of $2 billion last year.

The new members succeed Pat Edwards, a vice president of community development at Citigroup who has retired, John T. DeCelle, president and CEO of Nassau Financial Federal Credit Union, and Harvey Kamil, who left the Bountiful Company last year as vice chairman.

The development council’s executive director, Cara Longworth, welcomed the three new members, saying, "We are confident that their experience, skills and talent will enhance the proven formula of success we have had over the last decade."

The Long Island council is one of 10 across the state that reviews applications for state tax credits and grants in the annual Regional Economic Development Councils’ competition.

The Long Island council has secured $727 million for 885 projects in nine funding contests between 2011 and 2019, the second most after the Syracuse area. There was no competition last year because of funding constraints due to the pandemic.

Those seeking a share of the $750 million in state tax credits and other funding in this year’s contest have until July 30 at 4 p.m. to apply. The application may be found at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.

The Long Island council is led by co-vice chairmen Kevin Law, a partner at developer Tritec Real Estate Co. in East Setauket, and Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz.

Longworth said, "Our council members are integral to the REDC process and our regional, bottom-up approach to economic development will be even more important as we work to rebuild our economy after the COVID-19 crisis." She also is Long Island director for Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

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