Diversity Summit

March 21, 2019  
National Geographic Encounter
226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
9:00AM - 4:10PM
Empower and Advance Your Business: Diversity & Inclusion in NY
Event Description

City & State’s Diversity Summit will offer industry executives, public sector leaders and academics a full-day conference dedicated to fostering business partnerships between the state and local government, prime contractors and MWBEs. Find out what it takes to thrive in New York’s competitive procurement arena by connecting with key government agencies, prime contractors and state & local representatives at the City & State Diversity Summit.

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez
Chair, House Small Business Committee
Senator James Sanders, Jr.
State Sen. James Sanders
Chairman, State Senate MWBE Task Force
NYC Councilman Robert Cornegy
Chairman, MWBE Task Force
NYC Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal
Chairwoman, Committee on Women
NYC Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Chairman, Committee on Land Use
Lourdes Zapata
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Jonnel Doris
Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Minority and Women Owned Businesses
Victor Calise
Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
Gregg Bishop
Gregg Bishop
Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Small Business Services
Wendy Garcia
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
Michael J. Garner
Michael J. Garner
Chief Diversity Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Valerie D. White
Division of Minority & Women's Business Development, Empire State Development
Jacqueline Ebanks
Executive Director, NYC Commission on Gender Equity

Registration & Networking Breakfast


Opening Keynote Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Chair, House Small Business Committee with introduction by Ralph Bumbaca - Regional Vice President - TD Bank


The Future of MWBEs in New York

Last year the New York State budget included an extension of New York State’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program for one year, meaning the program is up for renewal once again this session. And with a Democratic majority in the state senate, renewal is expected to be smoother and many are pushing for the legislation to do more. We convene a panel of experts to discuss what this could mean for the future of MWBEs in New York State.


  • Sandra Wilkin, President and CEO, Bradford Construction (moderator)
  • Jonnel Doris, Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women Owned Businesses
  • State Senator James Sanders, Chairman, New York State Senate MWBE Task Force
  • Valerie D. White, Executive Vice President & Executive Director, Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development, Empire State Development
  • New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy, Chairman, MWBE Task Force

Funding & Resource Opportunities for Small Business

Various financing programs have different funding opportunities, options and requirements. Depending on the project, MWBEs can take advantage of loans, bonds, tax incentives and more. This panel helps to demystify these possibilities and help small businesses get the most out of the resources available.


  • Rebecca Lewis, Staff Reporter, City & State NY (moderator)
  • Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services
  • Ray Salaberrios, SVP, Capital Access, Empire State Development
  • Lisa Futterman, NYC Regional Director, Workforce Development Institute


Luncheon speaker:  Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities


Building Trades Employers Association presents Construction Opportunities & Diversity in New York

by Louis J. Coletti, President & CEO, Building Trades Employers Association


    Becoming a Part of New York’s Biggest MWBE Projects

    From Sunnyside Yard to East Side Access and beyond, construction and development projects are taking place across the city. What kinds of contracting opportunities does this present? Panelists discuss opportunities to become part of the city’s biggest projects in transportation, construction, technology and more.


    • Lorraine Grillo, Commissioner, NYC Department of Design & Construction, & President and CEO, NYC School Construction Authority (moderator)
    • Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • New York City Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Chairman, Committee on Land Use
    • Lawrence Roman, Chairman, WDF Inc.
    • Denise Richardson, Executive Director, The General Contractors Association of New York, Inc.
    • Thomas Britt, Supplier Diversity Officer, Cubic Corporation

      Refreshment Break & Networking


           Diversity in Government, Business, Tech and Health Care 

          The current cultural and political lens is in many ways on business and government to be inclusive in hiring practices and fostering a diverse workforce. Additionally, organizations stand to benefit from advancing diversity and inclusion as a strategy to remain competitive. What else can be done for government, business, tech and health care organizations to become more inclusive? How can New York’s government ensure that the diversity in this city and state is embraced within these sectors?


          • Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer, New York City Comptroller’s Office
          • Lawanna Kimbro, Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Office of the Commissioner NYC Department of Social Services 
          • Gary Johnson, Director of Strategy & Operations, Mayor’s Office of the CTO, NYCx
          • Bernie Milan, Enterprise Account Executive, Microsoft

          Evaluating the Glass Ceiling in New York

          The 2018 Congress has a higher percentage of women than ever before, and the New York State Senate is now led by a woman for the first time in history. But for many, the glass ceiling still remains firmly intact. In October, California became the first state to require publicly traded companies to have at least one woman on their board. Is this type of legislation the answer to remaining inequities? What legal barriers does that face? What else can be done to ensure leadership in business and government is inclusive?


          • Holly Lynch, Citizen, Advocate (moderator)
          • Lourdes Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
          • Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, New York City Commission on Gender Equity
          • Nancy R. Hernandez, Deputy Comptroller, Diversity Management, Office of the State Comptroller
          • City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair, Committee on Women
          Gold Sponsors
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          Silver Sponsors
          Bronze Sponsors