Program Day 1 Program Day 2 Program Day 3

Day 1: PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNITIES | Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Navigate the 2020 NYS MWBE Forum and better PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNITIES that New York State offers to MWBEs. Join sessions today that will provide your business with strategies and tools for Building Businesses Better.

NEW! Take-away your MWBE Business Resource Toolkit with six important on-demand webinars to help you steer your business through changing economic conditions.

 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 
  • Opening Session: NYS Building Businesses Better

    The Tenth Annual New York State MWBE Forum Opening Session will highlight State leadership and celebrate a decade of strengthening opportunities and providing economic empowerment prospects for minority and women-owned businesses.

    Opening Remarks
    Nadine Fontaine, First Assistant Counsel to the Governor, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
    Debra Alligood White, Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights & Workforce, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

    Carey Gabay Excellence and Innovations Awards

  •  10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 
  • Special Update on Article 15 A

    Article 15-A provides the legislative framework for the operations of New York State’s MWBE Program. Hear first-hand from State leadership about the reauthorized program and the new rules and regulations set forth by the State that expand opportunities for New York State’s certified MWBEs.

  • Presenters
    Stephanie Siaw, Assistant Counsel, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
    Dwight Flynn, Vice President, Agency Services & MWBE Compliance, Empire State Development
    Bella Satra, Senior Counsel, MWBE Legal, Empire State Development
    Fawziyyah Slavov, Associate Counsel, MWBE Legal, Empire State Development

     11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
  • NYS Access to Capital Programs and Other COVID-19 Funding Resources

    [COVID-19 Technical Assistance]

    New York State continues to be at the forefront of small business support and recovery during COVID-19. This important session will highlight the NYS’ access to capital programs and other funding resources designed to assist MWBEs operate and grow their firms during this critical time.

    Linda Lacewell, Superintendent, NYS Department of Finance Services

    Pravina Raghavan, Executive Vice President, Division of Small Business and Technology Development, Empire State Development

    James Bason, President, TruFund
    Donald DiMartini, Senior Vice President, National Small Business Administration Lending Manager, Citibank
    Malik Evans, Financial Wellness Manager, ESL Credit Union
    Niles Stewart, Head of Commercial Lending, Carver Bank

  •  12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

    Insurance – the ability to secure coverages and bonding and obtain the correct coverages – are key to an MWBEs success. With spiraling insurance costs, learn what you need to know to secure coverage, the ins and outs of OCIPS and CCIPS, the types of coverages that owners require, practical tips for improving your experience rating, and much more. If you are competing for construction projects – small or larger, add this insurance session to your tool kit.

    Danette Beck, National Construction Practice Leader at USI Insurance Services

    MWBE: David R. Cayemitte, President, Cayemitte Group
    MWBE: Deborah Bradley, President, Deborah Bradley Construction and Management Services, Inc.
    BrokerChristopher Smith, Senior Vice President, NFP
    Owner: Bryan Paul, Senior Insurance Manager, L+M Developers Partners, Inc.

  •  1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.  

    From its award-winning Statewide Surety Bond Training Program to discretionary purchasing, DASNY recognizes the importance of thinking outside of the box. So, what is ahead on the frontier of procurement? This session will feature DASNY’s procurement team and provide important insights for certified firms.

    Opening Remarks
    Reuben R. McDaniel III, President and CEO, DASNY

    Michael M. Clay, Senior Director of Procurement and Opportunity Programs, DASNY

    Wayne Benjamin, Chief, Procurement, JOCs, DASNY
    Erin Butler, Chief, Procurement, Construction Contracts, DASNY
    Kara Mallard, Chief, Procurement, Professional Services, DASNY
    Matthew Moore, Director, Procurement, DASNY

  •  2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.  
  • Journey to Success: MWBE Procurement Best Practices

    This signature Forum session is designed to share New York State’s MWBE business success stories in 3 components: agency; prime and subcontractors . Learn more about MWBEs as primes on state contracts and ways that access to capital, innovative procurement approaches, strategic relationships and technical assistance programs demonstrate business best practices.

    Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

    Panelists: Four Teams, 3 panelists per team: 

    Construction: MWBE, Private Sector, Public Sector

    1. Royal Contracting: Daniel Moreno, Owner
    2. Delhi Telephone Co.: Jason Miller, Vice President, Treasurer, and General Manager
    3. Empire State Development: Doni Soro, Project Manager, Monitoring & Compliance, Innovation and Broadband

    Professional Services: MWBE, Private Sector, Public Sector

    1. BJH Advisors: Elizabeth ‘Kei’ Hayashi, Partner
    2. Village of Westbury: Anna K. Vikse, Village Attorney
    3. NYS Department of State: Catherine Traina, Contract Management Specialist 2

    Design Professionals (Architecture/Engineering): MWBE, Private Sector, Public Sector

    1. Jade Stone Engineering: Jada L Walldroff, P.E., Chief Financial Officer
    2. architecture +: Brian Barker, Principal
    3. NYS Office of General Services: Sukhjit Singh, Director, Consultant Procurement, Design & Construction

    Supplier/ Manufacturer: MWBE, Private Sector, Public Sector

    1. & 2. SRR Holdings: Shakil Khan, President
    3. DASNY: Michael Clay, Senior Director of Procurement and Opportunity Programs


    What skills, resources and strategies will MWBEs need to grow and thrive in challenging economic environments? Join six intensive on-demand webinars designed to provide you with business tools and resources that will change the way you operate and manage your firm today and into the future.

    Your take-away: key resources and information you need to succeed.

    1. MONEY
    Managing Unexpected Costs

    How can you cover unexpected and general operating business costs in a challenging economy? This session will help you identify NYS and private sector capital resources to help you navigate your business in the coming months and into 2021. Learn about NYS and private sector financing resources, lines of credit, grants, loans and more. Discover how to prepare required documents, who can help you and how to navigate the capital access process.

    Ray Salaberrios, Senior Vice President, Small Business Capital Access, Empire State Development

    Sunil K. Aggarwal, Founder, ThinkForward Financial Group, LLC
    Ann Enger, EAC Senior Coordinator, IBERO Buffalo
    Brian Gurski, Vice President/Managing Director - New York, TruFund
    Jean Kristensen, President, Jean Kristensen Associates LLC
    Carra Wallace, President, MBE Capital

    The Impact of the New Normal on Your Business

    The pandemic has created a new normal and the impact on your business is significant. This session will include an intensive primer on the following topics:

    • ■ How to work virtually
    • ■ Strategies for restructuring and downsizing teams
    • ■ Exploring new workspace options
    • ■ Implementing COVID-19 safety measures to protect and promote productivity
    Penda Aiken, President, Penda Aiken, Inc.

    Kate Baker, Interim Director, Albany Small Business Development Center
    Elizabeth Velez, President, The Velez Organization

    Pivot 360: Reposition and Rebrand during the Pandemic

    What worked before may not work now. This session will help you re-evaluate your business plan, strategy and market position. Assess what resources you need to improve your business position or embark in new directions.

    Philip Berry, President, Philip Berry Associates LLC

    K.A. Stacie Alexiou, President, Watt + Flux
    Nicole Mahoney, President, Break The Ice Media
    Cynthia Marsh-Croll, Program Director Mid-Hudson, Women's Enterprise Development Center Inc.
    Derrick Mason, COO, ABC Go Digital – certified MBE, Mid-Hudson

    Winning Contracts: RFPs, RFQs, RFIs and More

    Government contracting requires a deep understanding of how to respond to a business opportunity. This session will introduce you to several types of responses: Request for Qualifications {RFQs], Request for Information (RFIs}, Request for Proposals (RFP) and Requests to Bid (RFB). The session will help you evaluate a request, understand what needs to be completed and how to strategically organize your team and bid.

    Jahmeliah Nathan, Vice President, Administration, Battery Park City Authority

    Jayne Czik, Vice President, General Counsel, Citnalta Construction Corp.
    Eileen Della Volle, Vice President, Business Development, KS Engineers, PC
    Justin Engel, Procurement Specialist, NYS Department of Health

    How to Win a Job, and STILL Make a Profit

    Cash is king, but pricing projects correctly is the road to business success. This session will analyze a project and how to arrive at the right price – one that will win you the job and ensure you have profit. This session is a fundamental one for every business owner who needs to understand competitive and effective bid pricing for government contracting.

    Matthew Burrell, Procurement Counselor, Monroe County, Finger Lakes Procurement Technical Assistance Center

    Deborah Bradley, President, Deborah Bradley Construction and Management Services, Inc.
    Margo Cargill, Founder & CEO, Titanium Linx Consulting, Inc.
    Frank Corona, Vice President Construction Project Management Director, AECOM
    John Novak, Chief of Staff and Project Executive, Skanska-Walsh Joint Venture (SWJV)

    6. TEAMING
    Alone? Or Together?

    Teaming is a multi-faceted strategy for building capacity as well as bidding on work that you might not otherwise consider. Teaming takes a variety of forms – joint ventures, partnerships, strategic alliances – and they all require specific steps and protocols to ensure that your teaming relationship will work. Teaming also provides you with added talent, capacity, competencies and availability in areas you may not have considered before. This session will provide the basics, suggested strategies and best practices for operating successfully in a teaming environment.

    Sandra Rivera, Principal, Partner, Rivera Law, PLLC

    Fred Davis, Partner, Mitchell & Titus LLP
    Yolanda Sullivan, CEO, Sullivan-Hernandez Agency
    Sandra Wilkin, President, Bradford Construction Corporation
    Charles E. Williams, III, Partner, Peckar & Abramson