Orange County Partnership - News

  • Michael Gilfeather, Chairman of the OCP Board of Directors; Erin Boyce, President of Boyce Excavating; Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive; and Maureen Halahan, President & CEO of OCP
  • Keynote Speaker: Philip Orlando,Senior Vice President & Chief Equity Market Strategist of Federated Hermes

Orange County Partnership Investor Breakfast Event Honors Erin Boyce; Orlando Offers Frank Economic Outlook

More than 350 business, civic and political leaders gathered at the Villa Venezia in the Town of Wallkill on Oct. 4 for the Orange County Partnership’s annual Investor Breakfast event.


The program was highlighted by the Orange County Partnership bestowing its first ever Woman of Achievement in Economic Development Award to Erin Boyce, the owner and president of Boyce Excavating of Slate Hill. Erin took over the helm of Boyce Excavating under tragic circumstances back in November 2019 following the untimely death of her husband Garry at the age of 45, who at the time was the owner and operator of the family business. Since then, she has successfully balanced her role as parent to her two children with helping lead Boyce Excavating and its 85 employees to new heights as the company continues to grow and secure work on just about every major job site in Orange County.


Specifically, under her leadership, Boyce Excavating has been awarded work on major projects, such as the Matrix Logistic Center in the Town of Wawayanda, Adam's Fairacre Farms and President Container Group in the Town of Wallkill, King Zak in the Town of Goshen, and many more.


Under the most difficult of circumstances, Erin chose to take the helm at Boyce Excavating and save the jobs of its growing workforce. Family-owned and operated, Boyce Excavating has been “Moving the Earth” since Jack Boyce found the company in 1939. Since that time, Boyce Excavating has been passed down from generation to generation.


Kaitlynn Lancellotti, Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Orange County Partnership, said “the Woman of Achievement in Economic Development Award is long overdue and that many women have played an integral part in projects over the years that have fostered growth in Orange County.”


In bestowing her the honor, the Orange County Partnership noted, “Erin Boyce and Boyce Excavating have changed the layout of the county and with their assistance are adding hundreds of jobs and millions in capital investment.”


In accepting the award, Boyce thanked her family and company staff for their support in helping her lead the company over the past three years since her husband’s passing. “I appreciate the honor this morning and will always cherish the outpouring of love that inspired this award,” Boyce said. She said that many other deserving women leaders were present at the event and that she looks forward to shaking the hand of next year’s honoree.


The program concluded with keynote speaker Philip Orlando, Chief Equity Market Strategist and senior vice president of investment firm Federated Hermes, who offered a no-holds barred view of the U.S. economy and the headwinds that lie ahead.


His presentation entitled “Volatility Rains in 2022” covered the market instability that took place in 2021 and 2022. He said the economy faces six major storm clouds in 2022 going into 2023:


1)    Continued impacts from COVID-19

2)    Geo-political risks, specifically from the China-Taiwan crisis; the Russian invasion of Ukraine and global energy and food issues.

3)    Soaring inflation

4)    Federal Reserve Policy Changes

5)    Conflicting Fiscal Policies from Congress and the Biden Administration

6)    Mid-Term Elections


“The bottom line is we are expecting negative GDP in the first half of next year and negative GDP for the full year,” Orlando said. “We are not calling for an outright recession just yet, but we are looking at a significant slowdown.”


He then related the volatility that exists in the energy and housing markets. In terms of the housing market, the marginal buyer is priced out of the market due to escalating prices caused by low for-sale inventory. Things are not much better in the multifamily rental market where prices have risen 25% over the last two years.


Orlando predicted that the Federal Reserve will increase rates once again by 75 basis points in November to be followed by a 50 basis point rise in December and then likely smaller hikes of 25 basis points in the first quarter of 2023 that will eventually raise the Fed lending rate to approximately 4.5% by early next year.


These rates hikes are an attempt to slow the economy down, reduce record-high inflation and raise the unemployment rate from 3.5% this summer to 4.4% by the end of 2023.


However, such a plan comes with great risk, Orlando noted. “We have never seen an increase in the rate of unemployment that substantial that didn’t result in a significant slowdown to the economy and a possible recession," he warned.