Increasing the role of MWBE firms in the construction arena makes good sense for the business owners, the City of New York, and its taxpayers.
That’s the bottom line according to Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway.
Holloway joined Craig Collins, vice president of administration for the School Construction Authority, in addressing Anchin’s Building the Future: Celebrating MWBEs and Their Advocates, a recognition event for outstanding MWBEs held May 3, 2012.
The annual recognition event was held in co-operation with the New York Building Congress and the Women Builders Council.
Fifteen awards were presented at this year’s event, based upon applications submitted by the companies and judged by an independent panel of industry executives. Judges included Ronald Berger, eecutive director, Subcontractors Trade Association; Bob DeScenza, president, Thornton Tomasetti; Gloria Kemper, president, Recon Construction; and Raymond Rivera, president, Park Avenue Building and Roofing Supplies.
The following firms were recognized as this year’s Outstanding MWBEs:
Architecture, Mathews Nielsen of New York City, Katherine Mathews and Signe Nielsen, principals.
Engineering, Creative Environmental Solutions of New York City, Victoria Drozdov, president.
Engineering, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, New York City, SawTeen See, managing partner.
Engineering, Matrix New World Engineering, Florham Park, NY, Jayne Warne, PE, co-founder.
Subcontractor, Robinson Aerial Surveys, Hackettstown, NJ, Carlos Medina, president.
Subcontractor, Donaldson Traditional Interiors, Huntington Station, Christine Donaldson Boccia, executive manager.
Supplier, Luthin Associates, Allenhurst, NJ, Catherine Luthin, president.
General Contractor, The Urban Group, Woodhaven, NY, Gewan (Ken) Bharatalall, president.
General Contractor, CitiStructure, Hoboken, NJ, Ravi Reddy, Partner.
General Contractor, Padilla Construction Services, Westbury, NY, Samuel Padilla, president.
In addition to these honors, awards were made to one firm for Outstanding Public Service and to four organizations/ institutions for Outstanding Advocacy on behalf of the MWBE community. The Outstanding Public Service Award went to Padilla Construction Services, making Padilla the first company to receive two awards at this event.
Advocacy awards were made to: Professional Women in Construction, Lenore Janis, president; Subcontractors Trade Association, Ronald Berger, executive director; Columbia University Facilities, Joe Ienuso, executive vice president; QWIC, Nancy Myers, president.
In opening comments, Holloway said the Bloomberg administration is committed to building the infrastructure of the City, with $10.1 billion committed to capital expenditures in 2012, including city schools, the development of green infrastructure, and other energy efficiency investments.
Helping MWBEs earn their share of those expenditures has been a city goal since 2005 with the passage of local Law 129, which sets targets/goals for MWBE participation in public projects.
These targets are a foundation, Holloway said, to improving cash flow of the MWBEs, increasing bonding capacity, and expanding the number of firms that go through a certification program. Today, there are 3,400 companies certified as MWBEs in the City.
The City’s new program, “Compete to Win” is designed to help small firms “develop capacity, compete, win business, perform, and compete again,” Holloway said. Initiatives in this program include the availability of construction loans, a mentorship program, a bonding readiness program, and teaming programs, in which small companies are mentored in real time, while on the job.
“The City wins when you bid,” Holloway said. “More competition leads to better prices and that ultimately benefits the taxpayer.”
The School Construction Authority (SCA) has been a pioneering agency in nurturing the growth and participation of MWBE firms in its capital programs, creating a program that has positioned the SCA as a model agency through the City and State.
“We have created a level playing field for competing at the SCA,” Collins said.
In addition to the Outstanding MWBE Recognition program, Anchin also hosts the annual State of the Construction Industry event, which will be held at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY. Frank Schettino, Anchin’s managing partner, announced that speakers to date for the Sept. 20 event include Sharon Greenberger, senior vice president for Facilities Development and Engineering at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Milo Riverso, president and CEO, STV Group, Inc.