BY MICHAEL RICONDA
NEW CITY – County Executive Ed Day announced on March 24 that the position of Economic Development director has been filled with business and marketing specialist and 2013 Spring Valley mayoral candidate Calherbe Monel, a man now charged with bringing business back to the county.
Monel, who ran for mayor on the Day-backed Preserve Rockland line, has a long history of work with economic development and business management in the private sector, including stints as an IT business specialist at Clear Channel in White Plains and as a business and marketing coordinator at Lascomp Institute of IT in Montvale, NJ.
“One of my top priorities as county executive is to grow and diversify Rockland’s economy,” Day said in an official press release announcing the appointment. “With Calherbe leading the charge, we will continue to improve our County by attracting world-class companies and top tech talent to Rockland.”
Monel explained to the Rockland County Times that his priorities encompass large scale corporate interests, small businesses and entrepeneurs. According to him, targeting economic problem areas was a broad but urgent matter as the county attempts to recover from past fiscal woes.
“When I was going through the process to get the job, my view was that I was going into a crisis situation to help and to make things better for the county,” Monel said.
Much of Monel’s focus relies on Rockland’s strategic geographic location less than an hour from the city. With I-87 and the Palisades Interstate Parkway running through the county, Monel said Rockland is uniquely positioned to attract tourists from New York City and businesses seeking access to the city’s vast resources via major highways.
Monel plans to use Rockland’s existing resources to that end, boosting the county’s image in business networks to attract investors and promoting its recreational outlets to draw in tourist dollars. According to him, there is still much potential in existing draws such as the Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet.
On the labor side of economic development, Monel expressed a desire to capitalize on the county’s small businesses, entrepeneurs and job-seekers. He hopes to do this by partnering with workforce development groups, business trainers and technical schools and taking a particular interest in tech-savvy young people building start-up companies.
“On a more national level in the last two or three decades we had a lot of young people in their teens and twenties developing multimillion dollar companies,” Monel said. “We believe we have these talents in Rockland County as well.”
Aside from his experience in business development, Monel also served as the executive director for Christians United For Haiti, Inc., an advocacy group for Haitians in Virginia. He is also pursuing a Masters of Business Administration from New England College and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from Regent University.