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
Representative Nydia M. Velázquez has made history several times during her tenure in Congress. In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This year, she returns to the position of Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee after being the first Hispanic woman to serve as Ranking Member of a full committee in the history of the House in 1998 and as Chair in 2006. As Chairwoman, Velázquez oversees the Small Business Administration (SBA), the only federal agency devoted to supporting this nation’s entrepreneurial sector, and its financing, contracting, and technical assistance programs. She also has oversight of the federal agencies’ regulatory and paperwork requirements that impact small firms, as well as federal policies and legislation that affect small businesses. Although her work on the Small Business Committee keeps her busy, Chairwoman Velázquez can often be found close to home, working for the residents of New York's 7th District. Her district encompasses parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, making it one of the most diverse districts in the nation.
Senator James Sanders, Jr.
State Sen. James Sanders
Chairman, State Senate MWBE Task Force
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.
NYC Councilman Robert Cornegy
Chairman, MWBE Task Force
NYC Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal
Chairwoman, Committee on Women
Helen Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side in the New York City Council. She is a leading voice on issues of gender equity and civic engagement, accessibility, tenants’ rights, education equity, and adequate funding for social service providers. As chair of the Committee on Women since the beginning of 2018, Helen has had a packed agenda. In spring 2018, she and Speaker Corey Johnson spearheaded the Council’s groundbreaking and far reaching Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which was signed into law in May. The Act expands protections to every employee in New York City -- regardless of where they work or how small their workplace. As Committee Chair, Helen has written new laws that provide more support for expectant mothers, especially in communities of color; and better treatment for survivors of sexual assault. She has fought for stronger protections for reproductive rights, and continues to advocate on behalf of survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, including inmates in City jails. In 2017, Helen led the City Council Women’s Caucus in releasing a major report about the declining number of women in the City Council. That same year, Helen and her colleagues wrote a historic package of new laws which provide greater protections for tenants against harassment and unsafe conditions. And as Chair of the Contracts Committee during the 2014-2017 session, Helen successfully fought for increased City investment in nonprofits who provide essential social services to 2.5 million New Yorkers, especially seniors, children, and people with disabilities. In addition to her Committee duties, Helen is co-chair of the Council’s Manhattan Delegation, and a member of its Budget Negotiating Team (BNT).
NYC Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Chairman, Committee on Land Use
Rafael Salamanca Jr. is the Council Member for the 17th District of the New York City Council, representing the South Bronx and serves as Chair of the Land Use Committee. The son of first-generation Puerto Rican immigrants, Council Member Salamanca grew up in the Bronx understanding the value of hard work and the importance of giving back to the community. Beginning his career working in healthcare to expand access for low-income and working families, Council Member Salamanca went on to serve as the District Manager for Bronx Community Board 2 for nearly six years. As former President of the 41st Precinct Council, he worked closely with the NYPD and other local leaders to help improve public safety in the community. Since his special election in 2016, Council Member Salamanca has been a champion for affordable housing, bringing thousands of affordable units to his district and focusing on ensuring residents of all incomes have access to new apartments. Driving more than $52 million in capital investments to his district, Council Member Salamanca has fought for job creation by requiring companies investing in the community to hire local residents, and has committed to providing children in the Bronx with access to a quality education.
Lourdes Zapata
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
In February of 2018, Lourdes Zapata was appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York where she supports the Governor’s programs and initiatives to increase diversity within the State workforce and engages in policy and program development to increase the participation of women and people of color in all areas of State government. Prior to her appointment, she served the State as Executive Vice President of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development at Empire State Development (ESD). Her responsibilities included the development and oversight of statewide MWBE procurement policy as required by Article 15A of the Executive Law - 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. She oversaw the Division’s certification, compliance and business development activities, and worked with State Commissioners and the Legislature on matters affecting the MWBE community. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Ms. 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 employment, engagement and contracting opportunities with the State. Prior to joining the administration, Ms. Zapata served as Senior Vice President for Community & Economic Development at the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO). She also previously served as Community Development Director for the City of Newburgh in Orange County, New York.
Jonnel Doris
Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Minority and Women Owned Businesses
Jonnel Doris was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as the City’s first Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office for the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Program. He is responsible for identifying strategic policy guidance, programs, services and accountability mechanisms to increase the number of awards to qualified M/WBEs. In addition, Mr. Doris works with agencies to improve utilization of the City’s M/WBEs and advise the Mayor and Administration on subjects pertaining to M/WBEs and awarding City contracts. Mr. Doris is responsible for implementing and overseeing the Mayor’s 30 % M/WBE utilization goal, OneNYC target of $20 Billion to M/WBEs and certification of 9,000 firms. In his role as Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of M/WBEs, Mr. Doris facilitates the city’s engagement with the M/WBE and business communities, the Administration and city agencies, and both state and city legislatures. Recently, the Mayor announced that the city awarded a historic $10 Billon to M/WBEs since 2015 or half the OneNYC goal. In addition, Mr. Doris recently led the city’s efforts to secure $41M investment from four city depository banks, Amalgamated, Bank of America, TD Bank and Union Bank. A portion of this investment was added to the city’s existing low interest $10M contract finance fund and $10M Emerging Developer Loan Fund. Mr. Doris previously served as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), which oversees New York State's $4.4 billion recovery allocation for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. At GOSR, Mr. Doris developed and implemented strategic initiatives resulting in increased utilization of State and Federal M/WBEs and Section 3 businesses. He pioneered the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity and developed the GOSR’s Local Workforce Opportunities Program and Web Portal, two resources which continue to increase employment, business opportunities and enable thousands of M/WBEs, small businesses and local residents to participate in New York’s rebuilding efforts. His professional career includes extensive experience in the energy, utility and government sectors working for Public Service Enterprise Group- Long Island (PSEG), Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan and in both State and City Government. He is also a former small business owner who understands firsthand the challenges M/WBEs face.
Victor Calise
Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
As Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Victor Calise tirelessly advocates for the disability community in all City decision-making. Commissioner Calise chairs the Accessibility Committee of the City Building Code and leads efforts to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce through the NYC: ATWORK employment initiative. He also ensures that disability is at the forefront of technological developments including smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and digital accessibility. Recognized as an expert on disability, the Commissioner frequently participates in national and international conferences. A dedicated public servant, Calise previously led efforts within the Department of Parks and Recreation to make the city’s park system—one of the most complex in the world—universally accessible. Calise—an avid athlete—competed in the 1998 Paralympic Games as a member of the U.S. national sled hockey team. A native New Yorker, he is married with two daughters.
Gregg Bishop
Gregg Bishop
Commissioner, NYC Dept. 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.
Wendy Garcia
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
As chief diversity officer in the New York City Comptroller’s office, Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises and managing the comptroller office’s internal supplier diversity initiative as well as other diversity related projects. Garcia also leads the comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion – a group comprised of national, local, corporate and government experts seeking to increase supplier diversity in the public and private sectors. Garcia leads the Office of Diversity Initiatives, which releases a report, Making the Grade: New York City Agency Report Card on Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, that examines how well city agencies meet existing supplier diversity goals while outlining additional measures that could be taken to increase the participation of MWBEs in city contracting. Garcia previously served as the office’s deputy chief diversity officer. She earned a master’s degree in urban policy and management from The New School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.
Michael J. Garner
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 small businesses 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 Development Program (SBDP), 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, that otherwise would not have contract opportunities in transportation. Through the MTA’s program, the results speak for themselves: to date, over 290 contracts have been awarded with a project value of over $274.1 million. Over $14 million in loans have been awarded and $50 million in single capacity surety bonds have been secured for contractors participating in the program. Over its history, the program has created over 6,500 new jobs. Additionally, since Mr. Garner’s arrival, more than $2.4 billion have been paid to New York State certified MWBEs.
Valerie D. White
Division of Minority & Women's Business Development, Empire State Development
Valerie White is the Executive Vice President at the Empire State Development Corporation and serves as the Executive Director of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development; which is charged with promoting equality of economic opportunities for MWBEs throughout New York State. In her role, Valerie oversees the certification program for minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs) including the methodology for eligibility analysis, the application review process, and the maintenance of the MWBE certified business repository. Valerie also leads the team in developing and executing on strategies for the business development of MWBEs through education and outreach to state agencies, MWBEs, and private sector firms. Valerie joined ESD from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, where she served as Vice President, External Affairs. In that role, she led the department in raising the global, national, and local visibility of the ‘Yard’ through the development and execution of corporate public affairs strategies; which included building and growing strategic partnerships with government representatives, community groups, and corporate sponsors. Valerie also led the Navy Yard’s efforts to acquire funding from government, philanthropic and socially responsible investment sources. Prior to her role at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Valerie was managing director and lead analytical manager of the public finance housing and municipal structured securities business at Standard & Poor’s ratings, where she led a team of analysts, directing the development and implementation of analytical methodologies and capital risk assessments. During her time at Standard & Poor’s, Valerie authored nearly 60 commentary papers on public finance, affordable housing, and structured finance market trends and issues, and delivered speeches at international conferences focused on public finance and housing including the 7th Annual Australian National Affordable Housing Conference, the Tri-Country Housing Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, the 5th Global Housing Finance Conference at The World Bank, and the first International Social Housing Summit in Den Haag, Netherlands. Valerie’s career began in public service at the City of New York’s Department of Personnel where she helped transform agency operations as Deputy Director, Management Planning and Analysis. In her next role as HOPE VI Director in the Asset Management and Private Market Operations department at the New York City Housing Authority, Valerie led a series of progressively challenging initiatives, including the highly-visible implementation of three urban revitalization projects.
Jacqueline Ebanks
Executive Director, NYC Commission on Gender Equity
Jacqueline M. Ebanks is the Executive Director of the New York City Commission on Gender Equity. An innovative manager and policy maker with extensive experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector, Jacqueline has worked for over 30 years to promote economic and social justice for women, girls, and marginalized communities. From 2014 to 2017, Ebanks served as the Executive Director of the Women’s City Club of New York, where she guided the civic-engagement organization into its second century of activism. Previously, Jacqueline served as the Vice President of Programs at the New York Women’s Foundation and worked at Citigroup as their Vice President & Director of U.S. Partnerships and Program Development for Global Community Relations Division and then as their Regional Community Relations Director for the Northeast and Puerto Rico. Prior to Citigroup, Jacqueline served as the Vice President for Community Investment at the United Way of New York City. Ebanks began her career at citywide and community-based service organizations serving as Child Welfare Policy Analyst at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Director of United Neighborhood Houses’ Staff Development and Human Resource Management Initiative, Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance at the Society for Seamen’s Children, and Director of Development at Harlem United Community AIDS Centers. She holds a M.S. in Policy Analysis and Public Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Rafael “Ray” Salaberrios
SVP, Capital Access, Empire State Development
Rafael “Ray” Salaberrios first joined Empire State Development in 2010 and currently serves as Senior Vice President in the Division of Small Business and Technology Development. Ray is responsible for the Division’s Capital Access Programs portfolio, developing and managing lending and financial products offered by New York State to small and emerging businesses. Ray currently monitors fourteen small business loan programs, including the Job Development Authority (JDA) and JDA Agriculture Loan Funds which support companies engaged in manufacturing, distribution, warehousing and certain service industries; the Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF) which support public/ private partnerships in economic development projects that create and/or retain substantial jobs in economically distressed areas; and the “Bridge to Success” Loan Program which provides qualified MWBEs with the short-term capital necessary to participate in the up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State, The NYS Surety Bond Assistance Program and the NYS Linked Deposit Program. Collectively, these programs have to date approved over $185 million in loans and subsidies which in turn have leveraged over $796 million in private capital investment in New York State. In addition, Ray manages a team which deploys a wide menu of financial and technical assistance programs, providing capital access through institutional partners for micro-lending, assistance to help small and minority –and women-owned businesses secure surety bonding, and partnering with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFIs) and other private financial institutions to deliver low cost financing to underbanked business communities. Prior to joining ESD, Ray served as President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) where he spearheaded major economic development and community revitalization projects in the Bronx and served as the key resource organization for the Bronx business community, providing technical assistance and an array of business attraction and retention programs. Ray has a BA in economics from Herbert Lehman College in the Bronx, NY.
Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson
Director of Strategy and Operations, Mayor's Office of the CTO, NYCx
Gary Johnson is a New York native, raised in East Harlem with a family lineage dedicated to public service. Gary is currently the Director of Strategy and Operations at the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer on the NYCx, industry engagement program for breakthrough and emerging technology. NYCx is the first-ever municipal tech engagement program that calls on industry to develop new technologies that transform public life, spur economic growth, improve service delivery and increase digital access for all New Yorkers. Gary has spent over nine years working for the City of New York to advance economic development policies and programs that support communities where the needs are greatest.
Lorraine Grillo
Lorraine Grillo
President, NYC School Construction Authority
During eight years as President of the NYC School Construction Authority Lorraine Grillo has overseen the rehab of City schools following Superstorm Sandy and the addition of almost 8,800 seats for the Mayor’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten initiative. The SCA began this school year opening eight new primary, intermediate and high school facilities, six new facilities for the UPK initiative and having completed over 300 capital improvement projects. In July, Lorraine added a completely new set of challenges when she also became Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the City’s primary capital construction project manager that builds public buildings and infrastructure projects for 29 client agencies. DDC’s 1,300+ employees are currently managing a portfolio approaching $14 billion in value. Her mission at the agency is to develop ways for DDC to streamline its practices, to better navigate the City’s complex regulatory environment and to renew focus on the timely delivery of great projects.
Louis Coletti
Louis Coletti
President and CEO, Building Trades Employers' Association
Mr. Coletti has 31 years of experience in the New York City construction industry with 21 years as the Building Trades Employers’ Association President and CEO. He was a Senior VP for the construction management company Lehr McGovern Bovis for six years, and served as the Officer in Charge for M/WBE initiatives on such projects as Grand Central Station, Los Angeles City Hall, U.S. Olympics in Atlanta and several NYC Courthouses. Prior to that, he served for six years as the first president and CEO of the New York Building Congress. Mr. Coletti received the NYS Minority Contractors Association Award for for his contributions to promoting the growth of Small, Minority and Women-Owned Construction Firms. In 2016, he was named one of the 50 Over 50 most influential business and civic leaders by City & State. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rutgers University.
Denise Richardson
Denise M. Richardson
Executive Director, The General Contractors Association of New York, Inc.
Denise M. Richardson is the Executive Director of the General Contractors Association of New York, a 300 member trade association that represents New York City’s unionized, heavy civil/public works construction contractors. Prior to joining the GCA in 2006, Ms. Richardson had over 20 years of construction contract and management experience including positions at NYC DEP, MTA/New York City Transit, the former NYC Department of General Services (now DDC), NYC Department of Sanitation and Honeywell International. She serves as an employer trustee for the benefit funds of: Operating Engineers Locals 14 and 15, Laborers Locals 731, 29, 1010 and 147, and Teamsters Local 282. She is on the boards of Helmets to Hardhats, the New York League of Conservation Voters, Regional Plan Association, Waterfront Alliance and the Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Program at City Poly High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Simmons College and a master’s degree in public administration and urban and regional planning from Princeton University.
Thurston Britt
Thuston A. Britt
Small Business Liaison Officer, Supplier Diversity Officer, Cubic Corp.
Thuston A Britt is a professional in the Supply Chain arena. He has over 25 years’ experience in purchasing, inventory management, contract management, and supplier diversity. His work experience began in 1980 at Louisville Gas & Electric as a laborer. He quickly advanced to warehouse operations with responsibility for fulfilling wiring orders and delivery of materials for electric and gas crews. Later he moved into purchasing, working his way up to senior buyer, where he was introduced to Supplier Diversity and then to Strategic Sourcing and Contract Management. He left LG&E in 2000 to take a purchasing management position with a sanitation company in Cincinnati OH. He went on to hold a temporary senior purchasing position with Jacobs Engineering, and from there to a permanent position as the Manager of Contracts with Provident Bank. Thuston returned to Louisville in 2004 after the acquisition of Provident by National City and secured a position with Humana as a Supplier Diversity Analyst. He later left Humana and accepted a Contract Manager position at Vogt Power International. He returned to the world of Supplier Diversity when he was hired by Cubic Transportation Systems in December 2013. As the Small Business Liaison Officer and Supplier Diversity Officer, he is responsible for the participation and reporting of DBE/MBE/WBE firms for the various contracts with Cubic’s Defense customers (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, etc.) and the customers (Chicago Transit Authority, New York City Transit, etc.) of the transportation business. Thuston received his Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University Southeast, and he has also secured the Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) certification. He and his wife Stephanie have four adult children and six grandchildren.
Bernie Milan
Enterprise Account Executive, Microsoft Corp.
Bernie Milan is a seasoned sales leader and business development strategist with 20 years of enterprise technology, media sales, and international experience. Currently an Enterprise Account Executive at Microsoft, Bernie is focused on delivering innovative enterprise cloud, data & AI, security and productivity solutions that create value for global customers.. He is also the Diversity and Inclusion Lead for Microsoft's NY Metro Region and is passionate about leading cultural change in technology companies. Prior to Microsoft, Bernie held sales leadership roles at The New York Times, InterActive Corp, Conde Nast and Time Inc. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of St. La Salle and his MBA from Columbia Business School.
Lisa Futterman
Regional Director for NYC, Workforce Development Institute
Lisa Futterman is the Regional Director for New York City with the Workforce Development Institute. She has over 15 years experience in workforce development and prior to joining WDI, Lisa spent nine years with FEGS Health and Human Services where she created innovative workforce training programs connecting a range of job seekers with employment. Earlier in her career, she taught children with severe disabilities and was a child protection caseworker for the City of New York. In her role at WDI, Lisa works with businesses, unions, government, education and community-based organizations on projects that support workforce and economic development. Lisa holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Special Education from CUNY, Hunter College. Lisa also serves as a Member of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council and Chairs the Workforce Development Work Group.
Sandra Wilkin
Sandra Wilkin
Founder and President, Bradford Construction Corp.
Sandra Wilkin is the Founder and CEO of Bradford Construction, the trailblazing construction management firm that she founded in 1989, and has grown into one of the leading women-owned business enterprises in New York’s building industry. A passionate advocate for minority and woman-owned business enterprises, she has spent more than two decades providing award-winning oversight for mentorship programs for emerging MWBEs. Crain’s New York Business called her a “hard hat with style” and Forbes magazine has lauded her as a “game-changer.” Wilkin makes a point of developing Bradford’s diverse capabilities and project base. The firm’s construction management and technology and diversity consulting divisions regularly manage projects in sectors as varied as healthcare, transportation, education, and housing. In 2016, Wilkin and Ehab Shehata co-founded Bravo: a cooperative company where talent and experience meet. Bravo is an innovative network of companies working with clients, communities, and colleagues to address New York’s most complex building challenges. The co-op consists of Bradford Construction, Velocity Architectural Services, and Chu Engineering. In 2004, Wilkin co-founded the Women Builders Council, a not-for-profit to advance women businesses in the building industry where she helped set the WBC’s Campaign “to break the concrete ceiling,” and make a lasting impact on city and state-wide policy. Wilkin serves on Governor Cuomo’s Minority-and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Team and Mayo de Blasio’s MWBE Advisory Council. She was the first woman to serve on the Board of Governors of the New York Building Foundation.
Ralph Bumbaca
Ralph Bumbaca
Regional Vice President, TD Bank
Ralph Bumbaca joined TD Bank in January 2010 and is our senior banker in the New York City Market, responsible for leading our small business and commercial banking efforts. He has a dedicated staff of 17 bankers that oversee a large commercial banking portfolio comprised of a broad group of business owners throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Ralph is a decisive, results-driven banker experienced in leading lending and credit teams, sales, client relations, and employee development. With over 25 years of finance and banking experience, he has developed proven skills in financial analysis, marketing and business development, and risk management; dealing with a wide range of financial products and services for a diverse client base. Throughout his career, he has consistently been a top performer in fostering new relationships, enhancing portfolio profitability, and developing banking teams. Prior to joining TD Bank, Ralph held senior banking positions at several financial institutions including Banco Popular, Mellon Bank, Bank of New York and Chase with the responsibility for portfolio and people management as well as business development in the New York Metropolitan area. Ralph has successfully initiated a client driven needs based sales strategies to stimulated both growth and profitability. In 1986, Ralph started his career in commercial banking at NatWest USA where he successfully completed the loan officer development program and spent 8 years as a commercial banker in corporate finance and health care lending. Outside of banking, Ralph serves on several non-profit boards as a board trustee and/or treasurer for the: Frederick Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens, Business Initiative Corp of NYC, Rocklyn Asset Management, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Carroll Garden Association and Rockville Centre Little League. Ralph also served for 10 years as a board member of Center for Family Support. Ralph has been the Bank's local United Way ambassador for the NYC market for several years and is currently a member of the United Way Tocqueville Society cabinet. At home in Rockville Centre, he has volunteered to support several youth sports programs including baseball, basketball, and soccer. His time coaching has been both an enriching and rewarding experience especially being a part of a Little League program for the Challenger Division that provides a fun and instructional baseball experience for children with development disabilities. Ralph is also active in local government serving on the Rockville Centre Citizens Budget Advisory committee. Ralph is active in raising funds and awareness for several causes including autism awareness and research. Through a successful banking career and the encouragement of the TD culture, Ralph has been able to assist and support the well-being of many citizens throughout the New York community. Ralph was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn and now resides in Rockville Centre, New York with his wife Ada and their children: Christopher, Matthew, Lauren, and William along with their dog Penny.
Hillary Peckham
Co-Founder and COO, Etain

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
    • Chris Woods, MWBE Director, WDF Inc.
    • Denise Richardson, Executive Director, The General Contractors Association of New York, Inc.
    • Thuston 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?


          • Annie McDonough, Tech and Policy Reporter, City & State NY (Moderator)
          • 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
          • City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair, Committee on Women
          • Hillary Peckham, Co-Founder and COO, Etain
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