Keynote Speaker
  James Reynolds
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Loop Capital

James Reynolds is founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital. Reynolds, along with Albert R. Grace, Jr., founded Loop Capital in 1997 with a simple motto as a guide: "To provide client service beyond expectations." The motto still serves as the foundational driving force of the firm. Reynolds currently oversees all aspects of Loop Capital, including investment banking, brokerage and financial advisory services.

A 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, Reynolds established and led the Midwest Municipal Bond Sales Desk at PaineWebber in Chicago early in his career, and subsequently joined the Corporate and Institutional Client Group at Merrill Lynch, where he managed the municipal sales team responsible for the distribution of all tax-exempt products to institutions in the Midwest. In 1997, Reynolds collaborated with Albert R. Grace, Jr. to form Loop Capital, where he has led the firm to becoming the largest minority-owned financial services firm and one of the largest privately-held investment banks in the United States.

A passionate advocate of giving back to the community, Reynolds currently serves on the boards of buildOn, Chicago United, Get In Chicago, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and The University of Chicago Medical Center. Additionally, Reynolds is Vice-Chair of the board for the Chicago Urban League and a member of the CFA Institute. In February 2013, he was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to co-chair the Public Safety Action Committee, which aims to prevent violence through intensive mentorship and intervention in the lives of at-risk youth. Previously, he was appointed to serve on the boards of World Business Chicago and The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority by the Mayor Emanuel in 2011.

Reynolds holds a Masters of Management in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the AIMR in 1991 and holds series 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses.

  Thomas F. Prendergast
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Thomas F. Prendergast is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. As a career public transportation professional, he was named president of NYC Transit in November 2009 and served as interim executive director of the MTA from January 1, 2013 until his appointment as chairman and chief executive officer was confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 20, 2013.

Prendergast is former CEO of TransLink, the public transportation system in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. A native of Chicago, with a systems engineering degree from the University of Illinois, Prendergast began his career at the Chicago Transit Authority in 1975. From there, he joined the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, then moved to New York City Transit in 1982 as assistant director of system safety. In 1984, he was named chief of the System Safety Department. In 1987 he became Staten Island general manager, and in 1989, the agency's chief electrical officer. In 1991, he was named senior vice president of the Department of Subways and in 1994 he became president of the Long Island Rail Road.


  Stephanie Dawson
Acting Chief Operating Officer, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Stephanie Dawson is Acting Chief Operating Officer at the Port Authority of NY & NJ and is responsible for the Aviation; Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals; Port Commerce; and PATH Rail Departments, as well as the Operations Services Department and the Office of Storm Mitigation and Resilience. She began her career at the Port Authority delivering Technology and Security Projects and has had responsibility for the Agency Capital Program.

Dawson has also had responsibility for the Public Safety Department, Office of Emergency Management, and Security Program Management, among other assignments. Her focus is on implementing policies, procedures and practices that enhance coordinated action across the Agency, and she advances initiatives that enable the seamless common delivery of vital services. Her goal is to preserve the Authority’s infrastructure, sustain excellent customer service, and further organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Dawson is a retired military ordnance and logistics officer, Sustainment Brigade Commander (NYARNG), and she is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

  Michael J. Garner, MBA
Chief Diversity Officer, MTA

Michael J. Garner was recruited and appointed as Chief Diversity Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters in New York City. Garner is responsible for the development and expansion of Minority, Women-Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) programs; MWDBE Contract Compliance; Title VI and Equal Employment Opportunities responsibilities.

Garner and his staff have created and implemented the MTA Small Business Development Program, consisting of the MTA Small Business Mentoring Program, MTA Small Business Federal Program and Small Business Loan, Surety Bonding Assistance and Construction and Information Technology Training Programs, which has led to a record number of prime and subcontracts being awarded to NYS certified Minority, Women-Owned and MTA certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.

Garner is an active member of the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem, serves as President of One Hundred Black Men Inc. of New York, is the current Treasurer of the New York/New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, serves on the board of Harlem Hospital and advises numerous U.S. cities and states on their minority business development and inclusion programs. In addition, Garner was appointed to the New York State Small Business Advisory Board and more recently appointed to Governor Cuomo’s MWBE Team as chaired by former NYC Comptroller, William C. Thompson, Jr. He has also been consistently recognized as a Diversity Champion by the Women Builders Council.

Garner has a Bachelor of Science from SUNY, College at Buffalo and completed his MBA degree at the State University of New York.

  Shari C. Hyman
President and Chief Operating Officer, Battery Park City Authority

Shari C. Hyman was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the Battery Park City Authority in February 2014. Immediately prior to her appointment as President, Hyman served as Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Business Integrity Commission under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg from 2011 to 2014.

Between 2006 and 2011, Hyman served in multifaceted positions in the Bloomberg Administration including Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations, Senior Counsel and Director of Business Acceleration where she focused on streamlining City operations to help small businesses, including the design and implementation of the New Business Acceleration Team (NBAT), a multi-agency program enabling new restaurant and retail owners to open their doors more quickly through a consolidated and coordinated inspection process.

Hyman also served as First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator in New York City's Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator as well as Director of the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), a multi-agency taskforce dedicated to handling quality of life issues city-wide where she garnered international attention for anti-counterfeiting efforts on Canal Street in operation “counterfeit triangle.” Hyman began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office under Robert M. Morgenthau where she served for over a decade. Hyman holds a JD from Northwestern University and a BA from Columbia University.

  Katherine Jollon Colsher
National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Goldman Sachs

Katherine Jollon Colsher is the National Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, which helps small businesses grow and create jobs by providing them with a practical business and management education, business support services, and access to capital. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, she was the Director for Organizational Development and Effectiveness at ONE, a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver that is focused on reducing extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Katherine previously worked at Accenture where she was a Manager in the Government Practice.

  James Rubin
Commissioner, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

James (Jamie) Rubin was appointed Commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency charged with carrying out the Governor’s $1 billion House NY plan and financing the development and preservation of affordable housing statewide in May 2015. HCR’s portfolio includes issuing billions of dollars in bonds, providing grants, loans and bonding authority to local municipalities, and awarding low income housing tax credits and mortgages for thousands of low- and moderate-income homebuyers. In New York City and adjacent counties, HCR also oversees rent regulation and works on behalf of tenants facing landlord harassment or rent overcharges.

Rubin comes to HCR from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) where he served as the Executive Director, overseeing and creating programs to disburse $4.4 billion in disaster recovery funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). GOSR assists homeowners, small businesses and entire communities in building back from damage caused by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, emphasizing the State’s commitment to long-term resiliency and growth. Under his leadership, GOSR has grown to a full-time staff of 135, hundreds of contractors, and offices across the state.

Prior to being tapped to lead GOSR, Rubin was New York Director of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Task Force and a Senior Advisor to then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Rubin was previously a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, working with cities including Buffalo and Detroit to identify and implement innovative economic development strategies. Until May 2012, he was a Senior Partner with BC Partners (BCP), a global private equity fund managing over $17 billion across two funds. He joined BCP in May 2008 to establish the firm’s first US office and subsequently built a team and directed over $1 billion of direct investment in the US. Before BCP, Rubin was a Partner with One Equity Partners, JP Morgan’s private equity fund, where he was one of the founding partners in 2001.

Rubin has served as the Chairman of the Board of Common Ground Communities, the country’s largest developer and manager of supportive housing for the formerly homeless. In 2008 he co-founded Greater New York in an effort to prevent the economic crisis from destroying New York’s most promising community organizations. He holds a law degree from Yale University and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He is a born and raised New Yorker who resides in New York City with his wife and two daughters.

  George Toma, AIA
Vice President of Construction Management and Operations, NYC School Construction Authority

George Toma is Vice President of Construction Management and Operations at NYC School Construction Authority. He has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and is a registered architect in New York and New Jersey. Toma is also a member of the American Institute of Architects and CMAA.

Toma has over 25 years of experience in design, construction, and construction management in both the government and private sector. Toma joined the School Construction Authority (SCA) in 1999 as a project officer and advanced to his current position of Vice President of Construction Management and Operations.

In his position as Vice President, Toma is in charge of over 400 professionals managing all construction contracts for the $12.8 billion current Capital Plan 2015-2019. In the last 5 years, the SCA opened 75 new school facilities and completed over 2,200 capital improvement projects.

Prior to the SCA he was a construction manager at MTA Bridges and Tunnels. He also worked for HPD and several private construction companies in USA and overseas.

  Maria Torres-Springer
Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Maria Torres-Springer has a strong record of expanding small business opportunities, uniting community, government and private businesses to support economic development throughout NYC. As Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Torres-Springer has focused the agency around three pillars: creating good jobs, stronger businesses, and a fairer economy. Under her leadership, SBS launched Small Business First, an unprecedented collaboration among City agencies to change government interaction with businesses and improve the City’s regulatory environment.

Her approach to growth and inclusion also resulted in the launch of Women Entrepreneurs NYC, a catalytic effort to expand economic potential among women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs, specifically focusing on underserved women and families. Expanding opportunities for immigrants is likewise critical to SBS’s agenda, ensuring resources reach communities across all boroughs, with particular focus on immigrant business owners who make up more than half of small business owners citywide. SBS has also launched Tech Talent Pipeline, a collaboration between businesses, community groups, training providers and government to grow the tech sector and prepare New Yorkers for 21st century jobs.

Before being appointed SBS Commissioner, Torres-Springer served as EVP and Chief of Staff at the NYCEDC, overseeing 100+ initiatives supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across all industries. She also served as Senior Policy Advisory to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, and as COO of Friends of the Highline.

In July 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Torres-Springer as the future President of NYCEDC. She will be the first woman to lead the organization.

Torres-Springer received a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

  Paul T. Williams, Jr.
Former President and CEO, DASNY

Paul T. Williams, Jr., is the immediate past president and chief executive officer of DASNY (the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York). He served in this office from June 2008, having been appointed to it by two consecutive Governors. In 2008, Williams was appointed chairman of the Executive Order No. 10 Task Force to Increase the Utilization of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises in State Debt Offerings. Due to his leadership, the State’s utilization of small minority and women owned firms increased from 4% to over 25%. His efforts also led to new legislation which increased contracting opportunities for small professional services firms, including legal, banking, accounting, architectural and engineering services.

As a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s MWBE Team and chair of its subcommittee on technology, he led the effort to establish the NYS Contract System, an innovative statewide technology solution for MWBE outreach, certification and contract compliance. Prior to DASNY, Williams enjoyed a distinguished career as a corporate attorney, investment banker and civic leader. He is a past president of 100 Black Men, Inc. of New York, and co-founder, former chair and current trustee of the Eagle Academy Foundation. Williams is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Yale University and Phillips Exeter Academy. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was named a Ford Trustees’ Scholar and studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

  William Choi
Director of MWBE Outreach, The City University of New York

William Choi is the Director of MWBE Outreach at The City University of New York, where he is responsible for developing and managing the University’s Supplier Diversity program. The program is designed to diversify CUNY’s supplier base and to promote business opportunities for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB).

In his current role, Mr. Choi is responsible for developing and monitoring compliance with CUNY’s Supplier Diversity policy at 24 CUNY campuses. He is also responsible for the creation and implementation of CUNY’s supplier diversity outreach strategies, which include managing the CUNY-CUCF Supplier Diversity conference and assisting vendors to navigate CUNY’s procurement processes and identify CUNY contracting opportunities. As CUNY’s MWBE liaison to the State of New York, Mr. Choi works closely with government agencies and business resource organizations to provide assistance to the MWBE and SDVOB community. Mr. Choi also participates in the development of strategic initiatives by the Office of the University Controller to leverage the University’s purchasing power to achieve savings, while creating opportunities for MWBE and SDVOB vendors.

Prior to his position as the Director of MWBE Outreach at CUNY, Mr. Choi was the Director of Procurement Operations at the NYC Department of Finance and the Procurement Operations Manager at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, where he procured goods and services while developing procurement strategies using optimal sourcing methods and ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and city regulations, including those for MWBE participation.

  Lash Green
Director, Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Lash Green is Director, Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights (OBDCR) at The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and is responsible for managing the Port Authority’s supplier diversity program. He is also charged with overseeing and ensuring the agency’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Green has led several successful initiatives to increase opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs), including the sponsorship of a highly effective Mentor-Protégé Program.

He was a co-chair of the committee responsible for overseeing the agency’s most recent disparity study whose findings support preference programs for MWBEs. He also chaired the WTC Progress Oversight Committee and has established a WTC Business Resource Center to assist MWBEs working at the site. As the agency civil rights director, Green coordinated the successful response to multiple Federal Aviation Administration Compliance Reviews as well as the submission of Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration Title VI Plan and Programs.

  James Hanlon
Borough Administrator, Procurement Department New York City Housing Authority

James Hanlon has over 30 years of service in New York City agencies dedicated to providing housing to New York City residents. His work experienced is concentrated in Contract Management, Procurement, and the processing of Vendor Payments.

  Kerri Jew
Deputy Commissioner, Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Kerri Jew is Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. Kerri Jew oversees the City’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Program, which certifies eligible firms, promotes equity in City contracting opportunities, and provides services to companies interested in doing business with government. Prior to joining SBS, Kerri served as the Executive Director of New York State’s M/WBE Program at Empire State Development.


Kerri joined Empire State Development in May 2013 as the Corporation’s Compliance Officer. Kerri has also owned and operated a small business, served as a Deputy Commissioner and Deputy General Counsel at SBS from 2003 – 2008, and was Chief of Staff for Columbia University Facilities. Beginning her legal career at Proskauer Rose, Kerri entered City service as a federal civil rights litigator with the New York City Law Department. Kerri graduated with distinction from Emory University School of Law and earned a B.A. from Cornell University.

  Bomi Kim, AICP
Senior Vice President, Contracts
Director, Opportunity M/W/DBE
NYC Economic Development Corporation

Bomi Kim is the Senior Vice President and Director of Opportunity M/W/DBE for New York City Economic Development Corporation. Kim joined NYCEDC in 2006 to develop, implement and manage Opportunity M/W/DBE, NYCEDC’s business development program for certified minority, women and disadvantaged business. Opportunity M/W/DBE is dedicated to increasing participation by M/W/DBEs on NYCEDC projects while providing capacity building assistance. Through Opportunity M/W/DBE, NYCEDC has awarded over $140M to M/W/DBEs in both prime and subcontracts.


Prior to joining NYCEDC, Kim managed Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s procurement assistance program and served as Deputy Director of Economic Development for Queens Borough President’s Office.

Kim is a graduate of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service in Urban Planning.

  Jennifer Mackenburg Murphy
Director of Business Development, STV Inc.

Jennifer Mackenburg Murphy is Director of Business Development at STV Inc. She is a construction professional with over 26 years of experience managing construction, design and program management services. She has been involved in more than $2 billion in construction and served a wide variety of project types including commercial, residential, hospitality, entertainment, cultural, transportation, mixed use, retail, and corporate interiors.


She is focused on assisting clients in the development of the project team and process to achieve their goals. An advocate for women’s growth and achievement in the industry, she participates as a member of the BWAF Board of Trustees and Co-Chairs the NEW Ambassador Council amongst participating actively in several other industry organizations. New to STV last year, Murphy is dedicated to growing the Construction Management Division in both the public and private sectors.

  Robert Nesmith
Chief Contracting Officer, Battery Park City Authority

Robert Nesmith is the Chief Contracting Officer at the Battery Park City Authority. He started his career with BPCA as the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer in February 2013. In his short time at BPCA, Nesmith has streamlined the contract monitoring process, created a new vendor responsibility process, and successfully increased Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) participation and outreach.

Nesmith came to BPCA after 20 successful years at the New York City Comptroller’s office. He is a graduate of the NYC Management Academy.

Born in the Bronx, Nesmith has a BA in Government from John Jay University and earned a MA in Urban Affairs from Queens College.

  Stephen G. Walter
Senior Director, Procurement, MTA New York City Transit

Stephen G. Walter is Senior Director, Procurement of the NYCT Bus Maintenance & Support. He manages and directs the activities of a procurement staff that consists of seven procurement representatives who handle approximately 9,000 forecasted stock items, which are required by the department of buses for running repair and normal operations. He is also responsible for the procurement of paratransit vehicles, non-revenue vehicles and replacement parts. Walter is a key individual promoting MWDBE business opportunities at NYCT. He recently presented at the New York State MWBE Forum held in Albany, as well as the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors held in New York City.
  Lourdes Zapata
Executive Director, Division of Minority and Women's Business Development, Empire State Development

Lourdes Zapata joined Empire State Development (ESD) in October 2014 as the new Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women's Business Development. As Executive Director, Zapata is responsible for the development of the statewide MWBE procurement policy as required by Article 15A of the Executive Law and reflective of New York State Governor Cuomo’s priority to promote equality of economic opportunities for Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and to eliminate barriers to their participation in obtaining State contracts.

Zapata is dedicated to efforts to achieve the Governor’s goals, and is committed to ensuring that minorities and women have their fair share of contracting opportunities with the State of New York.

Prior to joining ESD, Zapata served as Senior Vice President for the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO). In this role, Zapata oversaw the community and economic development programs as well as real estate development activities. In addition to supervising the management of more than 750 units of affordable, market rate and special needs housing, she was also responsible for the creation and operations of numerous economic development programs in the Bronx targeted to businesses throughout New York State, particularly MWBEs.

Zapata also previously served as Community Development Director for the City of Newburgh in Orange County, New York. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Zapata holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in Law and Society/Women’s Studies from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.

  Husam Ahmad P.E.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HAKS

Husam Ahmad is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at HAKS. He established the firm as a partnership in 1991 and incorporated it in 1994. Under Ahmad’s leadership, HAKS has grown steadily to become a leading, mid-sized consulting firm in the New York metropolitan area with a multi-disciplined staff of over 600.

Ahmad has over 30 years of diversified experience in design and construction management for bridges, roads, and various facilities. He plays a lead role as a board member of numerous professional societies, including the Concrete Industry Board, ACEC, CMAA Metro NY/NJ Chapter, and the New York Building Foundation. Ahmad is an expert in QA/QC and Safety and oversees all corporate-wide initiatives, including the HAKS mentoring program for M/W/DBE firms. He is also responsible for developing and directing HAKS’ strategic plan.

He has served as principal-in-charge on a wide array of firm projects, including the HAKS-led CM joint venture for the Gilboa Dam Reconstruction for the NYCDEP, which received a 2015 ACEC New York Gold Award for Engineering Excellence and a 2014 Concrete Industry Board New York Award of Merit; the Hamilton Avenue Asphalt Plant, recipient of a 2014 ACEC New York Diamond Award and National Recognition and CMAA Honorable Mention; NYCHA CM as Agent for five housing developments and a separate contract for CM/Build services; PANYNJ on-call CM and technical services from 2001-2014; SCA Emergency CM services for the New York City public school system; the final construction phase of the Manhattan leg of the Third City Water Tunnel in joint venture for the NYCDEP; and the award-winning St. George Ferry Terminal Ramp Reconstruction for the NYCDOT, for which HAKS provided REI services.

Ahmad is a professional engineer in ten states and the District of Columbia.

  Andrew Fox
Managing Partner, Alliance Building Services

Andrew Fox is the Managing Partner at Alliance Building Services. He is in charge of acquisitions, technology deployment, government relations and revenue generation. Fox is a member of Young Presidents Organization (“YPO”) and Membership Chair of The Global Diplomacy and Public Policy Network for YPO. In addition to Alliance, he is a successful entrepreneur and investor. His companies include Start Up Health, Kidville Centers, Jswipe, Wantickets, ClubPlanet , Track.net, as well as being a co-founder of YJP.org.

Fox is also on the Board of Advisers for The Conrad Foundation whose mission is to challenge high school students to solve real-world, 21st century problems using science, technology, and entrepreneurship. Fox has been named New Yorker of the Week, one of the “30 Most Influential People in Nightlife” and featured in Crain’s “40 under 40”, Forbes, NY Post and Wall Street Journal.

  Michael A. Rodriguez
President, Alliance Building Services

Michael A. Rodriguez is President of Alliance Building Services. His background, combined with a passion for the industry and distinctive management approach, perfectly positioned him to take a leadership position at Alliance. As President of Alliance, Rodriguez has been instrumental in executing the vision of the one-stop shop of building services, allowing for a more simplified process for building owners.

Simultaneously increasing productivity and improving clients’ “bottom line” has led owners and managers to recommend him to their contemporaries nationwide. With a talented and experienced team sharing his vision – applying cost effective strategies and attending to every detail with timeliness and precision – Rodriguez is the embodiment of Alliance’s brand promise: “Consider it Done.” Rodriguez’s combination of hard work, dedicated hours, attentive service, strong relationships and a quick passionate mind earned him the acclaim as one of Crain’s New York’s “40 under 40”.

  Adrian Perry
Management Consultant, Accenture

Adrian Perry is a Management Consultant at Accenture. With 19 years experience, he has advised on executive-level strategies and business development. Perry also worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a top consulting firm and was involved with various re-structuring and growth strategies for Fortune 100 companies.

In addition, part of his career was spent in investment banking conducting mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse, where he worked on multi-billion dollar deals. Throughout his career he has worked and travelled throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean working in pharmaceuticals / Healthcare, managing over 3 billion in IT / Operation projects and Centers of Excellence. Perry possesses a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from the Wharton Business School.

  Anthony Peterson
Director of Diversity Programs/ MWBE Compliance Officer, Battery Park City Authority

Anthony Peterson is the Director of Diversity Programs for the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), a New York State public benefit corporation whose mission is to plan, develop and maintain a balanced community of commercial, residential, retail, and park space within its designated 92-acre site located on the southern tip of Manhattan.

Peterson is one of New York’s leading advocates for Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and since 2001 has been instrumental in assisting MWBEs to obtain over $750,000,000 in contract awards at BPCA. Today, under his stewardship, the Authority has achieved a 35% MWBE utilization rate, exceeding New York State’s new 30% goal.

Peterson is responsible for ensuring the Authority’s compliance with Executive Law; Article 15A which requires state agencies to award a portion of their contracts to MWBEs. Peterson is the key point person for outreach to qualified MWBE’s for contract opportunities with both the Authority and its tenant developers. He has also taken leadership for the planning and coordination of numerous workshops that provide information and opportunities to MWBE’s. For four years, he served as Chair of the annual Competitive Edge Conference attended by several hundred businesses owners and various state and local agency representatives.

Peterson began his relationship with BPCA / Battery Park City Park Corp. (BPCPC) in June 1987 as a part-time employee, while he was still in High School. Over the years he grew to the position of Recreation Leader for BPCPC, then Recreation Site Supervisor for BPCA while also working as the Affirmative Action Department’s Project Associate on a part-time basis. During that period, he assisted in obtaining contracts totaling over $41 million for MWBE’s in 1999 alone. He was then hired as a full-time Project Associate and later became the Director of Diversity Programs.

Through the years, Mr. Peterson has watched Battery Park City develop into the thriving business and residential community it is today.

  Kourtney Ratliff
Partner, Loop Capital

Kourtney Ratliff is a Partner at Loop Capital and head of the firm's Global Equity, Taxable Fixed Income and Transition Management Divisions. She is responsible for managing all aspects of trading, operations, institutional new business development and relationship management with consultants, corporate and public pension funds, in addition to institutional asset managers ranging in size from less than $100 million to over $3 trillion under management. Additionally, Ratliff oversees all brand building efforts at Loop Capital and participates in decisions regarding firm-wide strategy and growth, including spearheading the firm's expansion into the global markets as well as asset management.

Ratliff possesses 15 years of experience at Loop Capital with extensive involvement across all of the firm's platforms. She holds Series 7, 55, 24 and 63 FINRA registrations and sits on the board of the University of Miami Alumni Board of Directors and the Chicago Scholars Foundation and the Rush Associates' Board.

  Barbara Armand
President and CEO, Armand Corporation

Barbara Armand is the President and CEO of Armand Corporation. Armand started the construction management firm in 1991. The firm’s markets include transportation, housing, and institutions. Services offered include program management and construction management including operations, budgeting, reporting, supervision, scheduling, and cost estimating. Some of the firm’s notable Clients include the New York City Housing Authority, the MTA, and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

Armand Corporation’s reputation for excellent quality, professionalism, and client satisfaction have sustained its 24-year growth. The certified DBE/MBE/WBE firm has won many awards and continues to expand in NY, NJ and PA. Armand was elected President of Professional Women in Construction in 2014. She resides in Manhattan and holds a B.A. in Mathematics with a minor in Physics from Thomas Edison State College, NJ.

  Lisa Bova-Hiatt
Interim Executive Director, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery

Lisa Bova-Hiatt is the Interim Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), which was created by Governor Cuomo in August 2013 to oversee New York State’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Office of Storm Recovery manages New York State’s $4.4 billion grant made available through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program to better prepare New York for future extreme weather.

Additionally, the office co-manages the state’s $1.2 billion Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which awards federal funding for storm-related capital projects statewide. Previously, Ms. Bova-Hiatt served as GOSR’s General Counsel and Acting Chief Operating Officer playing an integral role in helping the agency carry out four key programs within the NY Rising portfolio: Housing Recovery, Small Business, Infrastructure and Community Reconstruction.

Before coming to GOSR, Ms. Bova-Hiatt, spent 19 years at the New York City Law Department. Serving as the Deputy Chief of the Tax and Bankruptcy Litigation, she specialized in the acquisition of property by eminent domain. She also served in the Bloomberg Administration as a Legislative Representative in the Office of City Legislative Affairs, and on the leadership team assembled by Mayor Bloomberg to address emergency and long term needs on Staten Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

She is a graduate of Villanova University and Brooklyn Law School and lives with her family in Staten Island.

  Edward S. Campanella-Rodriguez
President, MBI Group

Edward S. Campanella-Rodriquez is the President and founder of MBI Group. Campanella’s vision and hands-on direction has enabled the growth of MBI from a small interiors firm to a top rated general contracting and construction management organization. The firm serves many of the leading corporations in the Greater New York metropolitan region. The company is comprised of three construction divisions: Interiors, Mission Critical and Core & Shell.

A 25-year construction industry veteran, he began his work as an apprentice and rose through the ranks of companies such as Ryder and Morse Diesel International. He pursued his education at the New York City Technical College where he earned a degree in Building Construction Technology. When Campanella graduated in 1984, he sought to change the perception of the construction marketplace, and in 1987, he began his own company—Manhattan Business Interiors, Inc. more commonly known as MBI Group.

MBI Group has been renowned in the construction industry for 22 years and prides itself on its core values of innovation, integration and integrity— integral components of every MBI construction project. The firm has completed signature installations for recognized industry leaders including The Boys' Club of New York, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, W&M Properties, Yeshiva University, CB Richard Ellis Real Estate, Newmark Knight Frank, Rachael Ray, Swig Equities LLC and ConEdison Substation @7WTC.

  Michael Clay
Director, Opportunity Programs Group, DASNY

Michael Clay serves as the Director of the Opportunity Programs Group for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) located in the corporate headquarters in Albany, N.Y., where he directs a staff of 18 professionals who facilitate and advocate for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) participation within DASNY.

Michael functions as DASNY’s internal consultant on M/WBE participation in Construction, Professional Services, and Financial/Professional Services and Commodity procurement. He has 29 years of progressive, diverse management in small business development, M/WBE compliance, Affirmation Action, Labor Relations, Purchasing and Contract Administration. Prior to his tenure at DASNY, Michael served as Director, of the Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises for the NYS Office of General Services. Michael attended Seton Hall University, School of Business.

  Jayne Czik
General Counsel, Citnalta Construction Corp.

Jayne Czik joined Citnalta Construction Corp. as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer in May 2011. Czik is responsible for overseeing compliance and ensuring that executive management is apprised of new regulatory and compliance requirements. Prior to joining Citnalta, Czik was the Deputy General Counsel at MTA Capital Construction (MTACC) in New York. She counseled senior management on legal and procurement issues pertaining to MTACC projects involving state, city and federal funding.

Czik has authored several papers and has been a frequent speaker and instructor on issues related to the construction industry and construction law. She is currently the Editor of Under Construction, the American Bar Association – Forum on Construction’s newsletter that publishes current articles on construction law and is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National Construction Panel.

  Joseph J. Fitzpatrick
Principal, TDX Construction Corporation

Joseph Fitzpatrick is Principal of TDX Construction Corporation, a construction management firm founded in 1980, which specializes in the management of complex construction projects for public and private institutions. Fitzpatrick joined TDX in 1986, becoming Vice president and a principal in the firm in1990. He was promoted to President this past year. He is responsible for the day to day operations of TDX.

He is partner in charge of TDX’s work with the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), including TDX’s role in the development and success of Mentoring Programs at both Authorities. Fitzpatrick also oversees TDX’s major projects for DASNY, OGS and OMH, including Manhattan Psychiatric Center and South Beach Psychiatric Center.

Prior to his work at TDX, Fitzpatrick began his professional career at Walsh Construction Company in 1975. While there, he worked on major projects at Lehman College, major power plant projects in Maryland and at corporate office facilities in Connecticut.

Fitzpatrick holds an MBA from George Washington University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College. He currently serves on the Board of the Building Contractor’s Association, and previously served as an elected member of the Town of Weston, Connecticut’s Board of Education, and as an appointed member of the Town’s Building Committee.

  Barbara J. Gavosto
Director of the Pre-Qualification division, NYC School Construction Authority

Barbara J. Gavosto is the Director of the Pre-Qualification division at the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA). She oversees all aspects of the qualification process to determine the eligibility of a firm to perform work for the SCA. Gavosto works with the SCA’s Contract Administration and Business Development divisions to help meet the SCA’s commitment plan.

In collaboration with the Business Development division, she ensures that firms participating in the SCA’s M/W/LBE program are pre-qualified and have the opportunity to bid and grow within the program. The Pre-Qualification division also manages pre-award reviews and project specific subcontractor approvals.

In 1999, Gavosto joined the SCA, and has devoted more than 20 years of her professional career in the business of construction administration. She was instrumental in developing the SCA’s Vendor Access System (VAS), which streamlined the on-line Prequalification Application, Prequalification/Certification Application, and Sub-Contractor Approval processes.

Gavosto earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the College of New Rochelle and holds a Master’s Degree from CUNY, Hunter College.

  Gerrmaioud Chape
Founder, The Social Society

Gerrmaioud is a sales and social media marketing practitioner. Chape is well versed in content management, curating and creation. His specific background affords him a set of skills that have made him very effective at establishing a robust and well-rounded social media plan with which to launch and manage any campaign. He has established a very specific time management process to increase social media engagement while saving time and money.

Chape has launched basic business to business programs for independent contractors and Corporate business members ranging from the real estate firms for industry experts such as Century 21 Gold standard, Public Trust realty, Weichert home sales, and Remax Home to artistic based challenges for the social Media launch of movies, short films, music record releases and religious campaigns.

Chape has spoken at numerous speaking engagements as a keynote speaker for the Bergen County board of Realtors in venues as small as 10-20 listeners up to as many as 2-300. Most recently Chape has been recognized as an industry expert by NYU and will be guest speaking for the facilities marketing programs.

  Michael Giaramita
Managing Principal/CEO, Group PMX LLC

Michael Giaramita is Managing Principal/CEO of Group PMX LLC. Co-Founder Michael Giaramita began his career on large industrial/petro chemical construction projects where he accelerated in planning and scheduling, cost management, and construction means and methods. Since then, Giaramita has worked on virtually every type of project and large program, including airports, transit, highways, environmental, infrastructure, college and universities, research and development, corporate and governmental buildings.

His accomplishments on the Southwest Freeway Reconstruction Program in Texas won him industry recognition, appearing in the industry publication, ENR. He is regarded as an industry take charge leader in the fields of program/project/construction management, design management, program controls and general construction on large and complex projects. Giaramita specializes in bringing troubled projects (off schedule, off budget projects) back on-line. He has been able to make it happen when others have not.

Giaramita developed CM Neutral™ Concept; authored several articles on Program Management and Change Orders; successfully saved clients millions of dollars through various management and technical skills. He demonstrates expertise at negotiations, planning and scheduling, cost control and overall program controls.

  Dwight McLeod
Chief Executive Officer, Capstone Strategy Group

Dwight McLeod is a successful business owner and entrepreneur. Dwight has developed his sales and marketing expertise through a diverse career that has included purchasing, sales and IT technical solutions experiences. He has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies and education agencies such as Verizon, AT&T, Northern Telecom, TII Industries, St. Johns, Arizona State and Anapolis to negotiate product, provide technical solutions and sales, and develop advanced training for purchasing professionals.

Dwight has a clear understanding of the issues businesses face in today’s challenging economic environment. This experience combined with Dwight’s strong interpersonal skills make him a valuable asset to our team. Dwight holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Marymount/Fordham University and has completed additional Graduate work in Organizational Behavior. He has been a real estate investor since 2003 and past member of the Board of Directors at SBAY (Strategic Business Alliance of Yonkers) where he also is involved in Real Estate Development. He is an active member of the Yonkers and Mount Vernon Chambers of Commerce.

  Paul Seletsky, AIA
Principal, ArcSphere LLC

Paul Seletsky AIA, is the founding principal of ArcSphere, an architecture and research practice leveraging digital technology into expanded investigations of conceptual and operational criteria, client services, and theoretical and social dialogues. He provides strategic consulting, deployment and implementation of Digital Design applications and leads Digital Design integration via selective project, training and technology analysis.

A licensed architect in New York, Seletsky served as Chair of the AIANY Chapter Technology Committee from 2002 to 2012. He was awarded the Vice Presidential Citation for Professional Development. From The American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cooper Union in 1982 and has managed design technology in both the public and private sectors since 1989.

  Sandra Wilkin
Founder and President, Bradford Construction Corporation

Praised by Forbes in an October 2012 profile on her game-changing digital “makeover of [the] New York construction industry,” Wilkin is a passionate advocate for minority- and women-owned small business enterprises (M/W/SBEs) and the creative ways Bradford’s three core divisions⎯technology, diversity consulting and construction management⎯can support them. In partnership with Leica, Bradford provides laser scanning and Building Information Modeling (BIM) services for building life-cycle and disaster recovery information projects, such as 9-11 and Hurricane Sandy. This capacity-building approach provides a competitive edge for a small woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) like Bradford.

Wilkin’s all-inclusive M/W/SBE experience spans articles for City & State Magazine, service on Governor Cuomo’s M/WBE Team and oversight of Bradford’s management of the nationally recognized New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) mentorship program, which once mentored Wilkin, and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (NYCSBS) mentorship program, where Bradford provides technical assistance.

The firm works in a range of sectors, such as healthcare, transportation, education and housing for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), the New York State Office of General Services (NYSOGS) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), among others.

  George A. Cleary, MBA
Deputy Director, Small Business Development Programs Department of Diversity and Civil Rights

George A. Cleary is the Deputy Director of Small Business Development Programs for the MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights. In his role, Cleary is responsible for the marketing, outreach, recruitment, business development, retention and inclusion of small businesses, including New York State certified Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and federally certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), in the MTA Small Business Development Program, which includes the MTA Small Business Mentoring Program and the MTA Small Business Federal Program – the nation’s first regional small business mentoring program.

A savvy economist and business strategist with over two decades of experience in business management, consulting and administration, Cleary brings a unique vision and eye for detail to the MTA. Before joining the MTA, Cleary was the founder and CEO of The CDI Group-Partners, a supplier diversity consulting firm. He also gained a wealth of both domestic and international experience while traveling and working as a corporate auditor, business strategist and procurement specialist throughout the United States, Asia and Europe.

While at Walt Disney World Company Procurement Services Group, Cleary provided outstanding cost saving initiatives and supplier development programs. His accomplishments included the development and execution of sourcing strategies. Cleary also partnered with Disney’s Minority Business Development Group to identify & recruit MWBEs and increased MWBE participation from 2% to 30% in eight years. He identified, developed and mentored six MWBE firms. In addition, he managed new construction, remodel projects, non-repetitive material supply and inventoried material management commodities with a budget of over $80 million.

  Paisley Demby
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Director Business Services

Paisley Demby is the Business Services Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College. He is a seasoned executive, leader, and manager educated at top-Universities (Wharton and Brown) with exceptional project management, collaboration, and development skills in the profit and non-profit sectors.

Demby is a tactical developer of stakeholder relationships spanning government, private industry, nonprofit and economic development communities.

Trusted advisor to senior leaders and other business stakeholders, with the ability to develop and leverage internal and external relationships to provide customized advice aimed at maximizing business objectives, with attention to important variables such as organizational culture and human resources/talent.

Successfully designs, sets up, markets and executes entrepreneurial training, business development, and access to capital programs. Savvy and results-oriented marketer when reaching start-ups and existing business owners.

Dynamic and engaging teacher, public speaker, and facilitator.

  Monique Guidry
Marketing/Media Relations, NYS Homes & Community Renewal

For over 30 years, Monique Guidry has worked in the private and public sectors as a marketing professional. As Special Assistant for Marketing/Media Relations, Ms. Guidry has lead throughout the state, New York State Homes and Community Renewal outreach efforts producing events featuring the State of New York Mortgage Agency - SONYMA.

In her private sector experience she pioneered and implemented one of the first dynamic multiplatform online services, for the mobile rental property sector. Throughout her career, Ms. Guidry held leadership positions as Director of Marketing LANline Communications, Inc.; White Plains Housing Commissioner; Co-Chair of the White Plains Juneteenth Parade & Festival; Development Director for GLAAD with HBO films; Assistant Producer The 53rd Presidential Inauguration.

  Pamela Parlor
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Manager, Contract Compliance

Pamela Parlor serves as Manager for the Contract Compliance Unit within the Construction Management Division of the Engineering Department where her unit is responsible for managing a database of over 900 M/W/D/SBE construction firms and administering departmental reporting processes that measure, evaluate, and report contractual, financial, and project status of MWDBE participation on construction contracts. Other responsibilities include conducting reference checks as part of the M/W/SBE qualification process, generating M/W/SBE Set Aside lists and employing compliance measures associated with helping to enforce the agency’s M/W/DBE goals on construction contracts.

In her role as Manager, Parlor is also responsible for maintaining a strong liaison relationship with other staff and line departments and engineering field staff for the purpose of collaborating to increase M/WBE participation and make recommendations for improvements to existing programs that support the Port Authority’s M/WBE construction goals.

One of her key roles is serving as director for the agency’s Mentor-Protégé Program. Now in its thirteenth year of operation, Parlor oversees this dynamic program that pairs smaller M/WBE construction firms with larger, well-established firms in the construction industry. This pairing is designed to develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship affording M/WBE firms access to expert knowledge that will help grow their businesses. In addition to the mentoring aspect, the Program also offers a series of monthly seminars on construction-related and professional development topics strategically designed to improve the M/WBE’s construction, management, and organizational skills. The success of this program is shared with the help and support of a passionate program manager, the mentors, and senior management staff at the Port Authority. In 2009, the program was recognized by the New York State Senate as one of two public authorities having established a program that has “been highly successful in enhancing the capabilities of small and minority and women-owned business concerns and creating sources of reliable contractors and subcontractors for public projects”.

Parlor has been an employee of The Port Authority of NY & NJ for the past 34years and is happy to play a vital role in the advancement of the M/WBE construction community. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individualized Studies and a Masters in Public Administration.

  Walter E. Maxwell
NYC Department of Small Business Services

Executive Director for External Affairs Div. of Economic and Financial Opportunity/Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Walter E. Maxwell is the Executive Director for External Affairs within the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity (DEFO) at the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Maxwell is charged with defining and implementing outreach strategies to community groups, trade associations, industry membership organizations and local chambers of commerce to spread the word about the benefits of certification and identify companies that are eligible for M/WBE certification. He has been working with the city’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program for over 16 years. His work has taken on even more importance since 2005, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed Local Law 129, creating a new Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program.

Maxwell began his employment at DSBS as a procurement specialist. In that capacity, he assisted New York City based manufacturers and wholesale distributors in their efforts to locate and obtain Federal, State, and Local government contracts. His primary duties involved counseling and giving advice to new vendors on the public procurement process. Maxwell’s background at DSBS also includes positions within the Vendor Initiative Division, the Executive Volunteer Corps and the Street Vendor Review Panel (SVRP).

  Suzanne Veira
NYC School Construction Authority
Senior Director of the Business Development Division

Suzanne Veira is the Senior Director of the Business Development Division at the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA). As Senior Director, her division is responsible for the management of the SCA’s Minority, Women and Locally Based Enterprise (MWLBE) program; the oversight and enforcement of compliance with the SCA’s subcontracting and work force participation goals; and in coordination with the Project Management Division, the oversight of the Agency’s Mentor and Graduate Mentor Programs.

Since joining the SCA in 2007 as the Director of Operations, Veira has been instrumental in developing new systems and procedures to streamline and improve the Division’s effectiveness and strengthened its collaboration with other SCA Departments and governmental agencies.

She was part of the team that developed the agency’s Vendor Access System, a one-stop on-line prequalification and certification system.

Veira’s experience prior to joining the SCA includes over 20 years of government experience in roles as Executive Director of Procurement Initiatives for the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Director of Capital Budget for the NYC Department of Corrections.