2020 Virtual Government Procurement Conference

November 17, 2020  
1:00PM - 4:00PM
Optimize Costs, Mitigate Risks, Enable Business Growth
Event Description

The COVID-19 pandemic created a free for all for medical equipment across the city and the state.  Cuomo worked with neighboring states to create a purchasing consortium while DeBlasio suspended laws relating to procurement to allow the city to quickly purchase what it needed.  As things start to move through phases how does purchasing and procurement return to normal? 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.

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.
Rachel Miller
Associate Commissioner and Agency Chief Contracting Officer, NYC Administration for Children’s Services
Ms. Miller has been active in government contracting for decades, as a government official, a nonprofit vendor and a contracting intermediary. Currently ACCO at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Ms. Miller oversees close to $3 billion in contracts with nonprofit human services organizations and other vendors who support the agency’s child welfare, juvenile justice and early childhood agendas. ACS is an enthusiastic leader in engaging MWBE vendors, consistently exceeding citywide targets. Prior to her time at ACS, Ms. Miller worked as a program and financial executive at NYC nonprofits, including Public Health Solutions, WHEDCO and FEGS, serving as both Chief Program Officer and Chief Financial Officer. From 2004-2015 she managed an outsourced procurement and contract management operation on behalf of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, overseeing $160 million in federal- and city-funded public health initiatives and pioneering innovative reimbursement approaches and information systems. Ms. Miller has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Yale.
Rodneyse Bichotte
Chair, Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises
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.
James Sanders Jr.
Chair, New York 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.
Jonnel Doris
Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
Jonnel Doris was appointed by Mayor de Blasio as the Commissioner for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). He is responsible for 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. Formerly, Doris served as the City's first Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor's Office for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE). Under Doris' leadership, the City has more than doubled its certifications to 9,620 firms, tripled its utilization, and awarded more than $14.6 billion to M/WBEs. Doris also led the City's efforts to secure a $41 million investment from four city depository banks: Amalgamated, Bank of America, TD Bank, and Union Bank for low interest revolving loan funds. His engagement in business communities, city agencies, and both state and city legislatures has also influenced City efforts to pass critical state legislation that expands opportunities for M/WBEs. Doris previously served as the first 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, Doris developed and implemented strategic initiatives resulting in increased utilization of state and federal M/WBEs and Section 3 businesses. He created the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights, and developed GOSR's award winning Local Workforce Opportunities Program and Web Portal. These two resources continue to increase employment and business opportunities, while enabling thousands of M/WBEs, small businesses, and residents to participate in New York's rebuilding efforts. His professional career includes extensive experience in the energy, utility, government, and business sectors working at Public Service Enterprise Group-Long Island, 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. Doris has received numerous awards and recognition over his professional career. Some include, the Women Builders Council Diversity Champion Award; NYSAMC Public Sector Partner Award; City and State 40 Under 40 Award; National Minority Business Council Award; and the Hispanic Chamber MWBE Advocate Award. Doris has guest lectured at Columbia University, New York University, Medgar Evers College, City College, and frequently at Adelphi University, and Oral Roberts University School of Theology and Missions. He also serves on the Bishop's Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. Doris holds several degrees and certificates including, a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Analysis, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Stony Brook University, a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University, and a Turner School of Construction Management Certificate. He currently resides in Queens with his wife Aisha Doris and two children.
Kristin Malek
Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, CDW
Kristin Malek serves as the Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity at CDW. In this capacity, she drives CDW’s strategies to achieve supplier diversity objectives. She is responsible for CDW’s $1.9+ Billion Dollar annual Supplier Diversity spend initiatives. Kristin is the architect of the CDW’s diverse supply chain which today is defined as more than 800+ suppliers that serve the needs and offers solutions to CDW and their customers. She is a member of the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council and TIG (Technology Industry Group), sharing her voice and best practices on inclusive business strategies. Kristin brings more than 16 years of senior leadership experience making her a SME on diversity growth and development. As the Director of Field Projects for a Fortune 200 company, where she was responsible for establishing and executing the organization’s diversity objectives, initiatives and strategies, as well as focusing on the company’s optimization and localization initiatives. Most recently, Kristin served as the Chief Operating Officer for a National Non for Profit, where she created and led the vision and strategy for the organization in partnership with the National Board of Directors and other senior leaders. In her role as COO, Kristin placed a large focus on identifying, onboarding and managing strategic partnerships of all kinds.
Dan Symon
NYC Chief Procurement Officer at City of New York, Mayor's Office of Contract Services
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.

Welcome and Introduction


Keynote Speaker Dan Symon, NYC Chief Procurement Officer at City of New York, Mayor's Office of Contract Services


What to Know about Doing Business in New York Post COVID

Citing the high costs of doing business in New York City and the devastating impact the COVID-19 impact aspects of procurement are distinct to New York in terms of laws, taxes and MWBE procurement. This panel will provide an inside look at the New York procurement process and prepare you to navigate the system in a post-COVID world including strategies effective at addressing potential challenges including the possibility of a second wave, tips to win the bidding process and also explain the complexity of RFPs, plus  hear what NY government entities want from potential contractors.

Rachel Miller, Associate Commissioner and Agency Chief Contracting Officer, NYC Administration for Children’s Services

Mersida Ibric, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Office of Citywide Procurement

Kristin Malek, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, CDW

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.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Chair, Oversight of MWBE Subcommittee

Senator James Sanders Jr., Chair, Task Force of MWBEs

Jonnel Doris, Commissioner, NYC Small Business Services


Sessions Conclude

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