2019 Government Procurement Conference

October 24, 2019  
National Geographic Encounter
226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
9:00AM - 4:00PM
Optimize cost savings, mitigate risks, and enable business growth
Event Description

The procurement process continues to be a major source of business for private organizations in New York. Just last fiscal year, over $19 billion in contracts were available for procurement in New York City. However, successfully navigating the process remains difficult and out of reach for many organizations. The Government Procurement Conference will foster business partnerships between the city and state level government, prime contractors, and small, minority, service-disabled veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.

Dan Symon
Director, New York City Mayor's Office of Contract Services
Dan Symon is the Director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services and the City's Chief Procurement Officer. MOCS oversees and supports agency procurement activity and deploys technology tools to transform operations. Dan previously served as First Deputy Director, leading the development of the City's new Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) which expands online vendor relationship management and will introduce game-changing efficiency to New York City's $21 billion procurement processes. Prior to joining MOCS, Dan served as Executive Director of the Health and Human Services Accelerator initiative which modernized procurement for agencies and service providers who work directly with City residents. Dan has also served in various government executive roles, managing multi-million dollar initiatives and organizations.
Senator James Sanders Jr.
James Sanders Jr.
Chairman, State Senate Task Force on MWBEs
Now in his fourth term, New York State Democrat Senator James Sanders Jr., a lifelong public servant, Marine Corps veteran, proponent of education and advocate for working class families, continues to approach the legislature with a fresh perspective and promise to bring economic opportunities and resources to the people of Southeast Queens. In 2001 Sanders was elected as New York City Council Member for the 31st District. As Council Member, Sanders was unanimously voted Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, making him the first African-American in City history to hold the post. Having an immediate impact in his new role - overseeing the EDC and Department of Small Business Services - Sanders commissioned a major study that became the basis upon which New York City re-instituted policies of affirmative action, and enhanced opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. On September 13, 2012 the people elected Sanders to represent them once again, this time as Senator for the 10th Senatorial District. Since in the Senate, Sanders has risen to become the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks and heads the Senate Task Force on Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE). The Task Force is charged with working to find innovative ways to better encourage and support MWBEs as a valuable part of growing the New York economy. In addition, Sanders is a member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Advisory Council on MWBEs. The Advisory Council guides policy making and strategy to aggressively assist the City in reaching its pledge to award more than $16 billion dollars to MWBEs over a 10-year period. It was Sanders, who in his City Council tenure, set the stage as author of MWBE NYC Local Law 1 to help strengthen the MWBE program, and Local Law 129 that established participation goals for MWBEs to help increase the number of certified firms from 700 to over 3,500 program participants, and win over $3 billion dollars in City contracts.
Rodneyse Bichotte
Rodneyse Bichotte
Chairwoman, Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of MWBEs
Rodneyse Bichotte is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman / District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District. She is also the first Haitian-American woman elected in the city of New York. Assemblymember Bichotte holds the position of Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Assemblymember Bichotte is the Co-Chair of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Workshops Committee, and has been appointed to Governor Cuomo’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence, and appointed by Mayor de Blasio’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise. By her second legislative term, Assemblymember Bichotte introduced over 60 pieces of legislation, of which five became law. In addition, the Assemblymember co-sponsored over 200 pieces of legislation. She is notable for the High Profile Bill -The Elimination of the Personal Net Worth Cap. In addition to a business focus, Assemblymember Bichotte has given legislative attention to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic (STEM) and criminal justice reform as well as resolutions on international human rights reform. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, a BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, a BS in Mathematics in Secondary Education and a BT in Electrical Engineering -- both from Buffalo State College.
Ben Kallos
Chairman, New York City Council Committee on Contracts
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council. He grew up on the Upper East Side with his mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee he has sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government. As Co-Chair for the Progressive Caucus, he has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety. His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them for “Ben In Your Building.” A third generation Upper East Sider, whose grandparents fled anti-Semitism in Russia and Hungary to build a better life in New York City, Ben Kallos has been the Executive Director of a leading good government group, lawyer, entrepreneur and former Chief of Staff to a local Assembly Member. As a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo, he has used his public education for public service in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
Helen Rosenthal
Chairwoman, New York City Council Committee on Women and Gender Equity
Helen Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side in the New York City Council. She is a member of the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team (BNT) and is a leading voice on issues of gender equity and civic engagement, tenants’ rights, accessibility, education equity, and adequate funding for social service providers. As chair of the Contracts Committee during the 2014-2017 session, Helen introduced several pieces of legislation designed to reform the City’s procurement process. She also successfully fought for increased investment in City-funded nonprofits who provide essential social services to 2.5 million New Yorkers, especially seniors, children, and people with disabilities. Helen currently chairs the Committee on Women and Gender Equity and helped to spearhead the Council’s groundbreaking 2018 Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, as well as laws increasing public accountability and protections for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2017, Helen and her colleagues wrote a historic package of new laws which provide greater protections for tenants against harassment and unsafe conditions.
Gregg Bishop
Gregg Bishop
Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services
As Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Gregg Bishop is charged with running a dynamic City agency focused on equity of opportunity, that leads to economic self-sufficiency and mobility for New York City's diverse communities. SBS actively connects New Yorkers to good jobs, creates stronger businesses, and builds a thriving economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Born in Grenada and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bishop began his career at the agency in 2008, and was responsible for a suite of programs designed to make it easier for businesses to start, operate, and grow, and to recover from emergencies. He was successively promoted into higher positions as Deputy Commissioner of the Business Development Division and Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity at SBS, where he oversaw parts of the M/WBE program including certification and capacity building to support the business needs of City buyers and prime contractors. Prior to his career in government, Bishop served as the Senior Manager of Workforce Development at NPower, and the Director of Web Operations at Oxygen Media. He was the Vice President of Technology Operations at TheStreet.com and began his career at VIBE Magazine during the pioneering days of the web. Bishop received a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from Florida State University, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University. He is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.
Sean Carroll
Sean Carroll
Chief Procurement Officer, New York State Office of General Services
In August 2016, Sean Carroll was appointed Chief Procurement Officer for New York State’s Office of General Services. Mr. Carroll oversees the New York State Procurement Services Unit and manages more than 1,500 contracts with an annual spend exceeding $22 billion. Mr. Carroll is responsible for statewide contracts for commodities, services, and information technology for state agencies, state campuses, and other authorized users. His prior public-sector experience includes serving as the Director of Onondaga County’s Division of Purchase from 2010 to 2016, having previously served as the division’s Assistant Director and architect of its S.M.A.R.T. (Strategic, Modernized, Accessible, Responsive, and Technology-Driven) purchasing methodology. Mr. Carroll also was a member of the New York State Parks and Recreation Department Office of Law staff and a Director of Investigations for the New York State Consumer Protection Board. In the private sector, Mr. Carroll managed his own consulting firm for nearly 10 years and held a variety of leadership positions in political and civic organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany.
Mersida Ibric
Mersida Ibric
Deputy Commissioner, New York City Office of Citywide Procurement
Mersida Ibric is the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Citywide Procurement (OCP), the chief procurement agent for the City of New York and is responsible for purchasing goods and services on behalf of all City agencies. OCP solicits and awards a wide variety of contracts and manages a portfolio of approximately 1,000 multi-year citywide requirements contracts, representing $1.5 billion in annual encumbrances across 100 agencies. This is Ibric’s 11th year in NYC government, working previously at the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services as Deputy Director for Research and IT. In that role, Ibric was responsible for maintaining and developing procurement data analytics and reporting; managing the City’s Doing Business and Accountability Project; and the planning and developing of mayoral procurement initiatives such as the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises program. Ibric received a Bachelors in Political Science from CUNY Queens College and a Master’s in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College, School of Public Affairs.
John L. Mascialino
Shareholder, Government Law & Policy Practice, Greenberg Traurig
Michael J. Garner
Chief Diversity Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Michael J. Garner, MBA, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is a champion of the diversity market, making it his personal and professional mission to create a more diverse business industry, by empowering emerging and established New York State certified Minority, Women-owned and MTA certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises across New York State through educational programming and access to increased procurement opportunities. Since arriving at the MTA in 2010, Mr. Garner has designed one of the country’s leading MWDBE Business Development Programs. As architect of the MTA’s Small Business Mentoring Program (SBMP), Mr. Garner has penetrated the largest transportation authority in North America with a pragmatic, results-driven construction mentoring program that continues to break the barriers for minority, women, disadvantaged and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses in New York State, that otherwise would not have contract opportunities in transportation. To date, more than $400 million has been awarded through the MTA’s Small Business Mentoring Program in direct prime contracts to program participants. Overall, through the MTA’s MWDBE/SDVOB programs, the results speak for themselves, since Mr. Garner’s arrival in 2009, more than $3.5 billion have been paid to New York State certified MWBEs. Overall, during Mr. Garner’s tenures at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), and now the MTA, Mr. Garner and his teams have been responsible for more than $10 Billion being awarded to certified MWDBE/SDVOBs. Mr. Garner has had a real impact on the MTA, but his work and vision does not end there. Mr. Garner is an active member of the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. In addition, he also serves as President of the Founding Chapter of One Hundred Black Men, providing scholarship, mentorship and inspiration to hundreds of youth in the New York City area. Mr. Garner is frequently called upon to serve as an advisor to many public agencies as well as the private sector. Mr. Garner is the former Treasurer of the New York/New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, currently serves on the board of Harlem Hospital and advises numerous U.S. cities and states on their minority business development and inclusion programs. Mr. Garner served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s MWBE Team, Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s MWBE Advisory Committee and now serves as a member of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s MWBE Advisory Council.
Claude M. Millman, Partner
Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP
Claude M. Millman is a partner at the New York City office of Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP, a boutique law firm. For the past two decades, Mr. Millman has represented government contractors doing business with state and local government agencies and authorities in New York. In his procurement and government contracting practice, he advises clients on: responding to procurement solicitations (including requests for proposals); completing disclosure forms (including PASSPort); complying with state and local lobbying and ethics laws (including New York City’s conflicts of interest law); using the freedom of information laws; appealing non-responsiveness determinations; appealing non-responsibility findings; addressing vendor integrity issues; responding to government investigations and audits; protesting procurement decisions; and litigating government contracting issues in courts and administrative proceedings. He represents clients in every business sector, including for-profit enterprises (ranging from technology companies, to service providers, engineering firms, construction companies, and suppliers of goods) and not-for-profit organizations (ranging from foster care agencies to employment training providers). Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Millman served as the New York City Chief Procurement Officer (Director, Mayor’s Office of Contract Services or MOCS) and Director and Commissioner of the New York City Charter Revision Commission. Mr. Millman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and his law degree from Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia Law School, Mr. Millman served as a federal judicial law clerk and Assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan. Prior to joining Kostelanetz & Fink, he was a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, which is among the ten largest law firms in New York City. Mr. Millman is ranked in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, and is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Registration & Networking Breakfast


Keynote Speaker Dan Symon, Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services


What to Know about Doing Business in New York

While the process is common across different levels of government, businesses in New York face unique procurement challenges and opportunities. This panel will provide an inside look at the New York procurement process and prepare you to navigate the system like a pro. What aspects of procurement are distinct to New York in terms of laws, taxes and MWBE procurement? We discuss strategies effective at addressing potential challenges, tips to win the bidding process and hear what NY government entities want from potential contractors.

Annie McDonough,  Tech Reporter, City & State NY (moderator)
Sean Carroll, Chief Procurement Officer, New York State Office of General Services
Charlette Hamamgian, Senior Executive Director of the Division of Contracts & Purchasing, New York City Department of Education
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises
John Mascialino, Shareholder, GreenbergTraurig

Understanding Government Requirements, Rules & Contracts

Procuring with the government can require navigating a maze of laws and regulations. Procurement officers from various MWBE’s, government agencies, and firms will explain the complexity of RFPs, provide information on best practices for proposals, and address ways to avoid common pitfalls during your bid/no-bid decision making process.
Madina Touré, New York City Reporter, POLITICO New York (moderator)
New York City Councilman Ben Kallos, Chairman, Committee on Contracts
Mersida Ibric, Deputy Commissioner, New York City Office of Citywide Procurement
Claude M. Millman, Partner. Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP



Best Practices for Procurement: MWBE’s and Small Businesses

What are some of the best MWBE programs and procurement opportunities for small MWBE firms looking to work with government agencies? How can they navigate government and authorities?  What are the various procurement methods used by public authorities, and what are the best types for small MWBE firms to gain access? Our panelists will also discuss the process for discretionary purchases for items or services from New York State certified small businesses, MWBEs, LGBTBEs, and SDVOBs.
Tunisha Walker-Miller, Senior Vice President, Capalino+Company (moderator)
State Sen. James Sanders Jr., Chairman, Task Force of MWBEs
Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, New York City Small Business Services
Valerie White, Empire State Development, New York State
Suzanne Veira, Chief Diversity Officer, New York City School Construction Authority
Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Future of Cooperative Procurement: How Everyone Can Benefit

Procurement is by definition a cooperative process, where government entities contract services from private contractors. However, more opportunities for collaboration exist on each side of the deal, including subcontracting with prime contractors, using the shared services model, and collaborating with sustainable procurement entities. Our panelists will discuss these opportunities, ways to modernize the procurement process, and ideas on generating additional spaces for cooperation.
Kay Dervishi, Reporter, New York Nonprofit Media (moderator)
New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, Sponsor of bill to create subcontractor bill of rights
Rachel Miller, Associate Commissioner and Agency Chief Contracting Officer, New York City Administration for Children’s Services
Rachel Laiserin, Associate Commissioner for Procurement and Vendor Management, NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)


Sessions Conclude

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