MAY 17, 2007
AWIB's Annual Conference: Procurement Opportunities for Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) drew a full house of small businesses, Fortune 1000 companies and various government agencies. From construction to manufacturing, technology to food, M/WBEs from across business sectors participated in this highly successful event, which for the second year in a row attracted over 400. AWIB's Annual Procurement Conference has become a leading event for M/WBEs in the tri-state area, and also included participants from across the Northeast.

The Conference offered a day packed with business growth opportunities, including educational and interactive panels, special sessions, one-on-one meetings, and of course numerous exhibitors.

Conference Highlights:

Corporate Procurement: Corporate America offers a huge business potential for small businesses. AWIB's panel on 'Selling to Corporate America' featured procurement and supplier diversity representatives, who discussed their company's procurement needs and process and shared strategies and tips for M/WBEs to get a foot in the door. A lively Q&A session ensued and many stayed back to introduce their companies to the speakers and network well after the session ended.
Participating companies were Ahold (James Sturgis Jr., Director Supplier Diversity), Con Edison (Vernon Blair, Program Administrator, Supplier Diversity), Nationwide (Dan Towslee, Director of Operations, Supply Management Services), United Technologies Corporation (Cassandra Charles-Gerst, Manager, Corporate Supplier Responsibility & Diversity ), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (Curt Jones, Operations Market Manager).

Government Procurement: Two panels, one on 'Selling to New York City' and the other, 'M/WBE Opportunities with State Government & Regional Authorities' offered information on M/WBE certification and how to get in on the billions spent by New York City and regional authorities on procurement each year. AWIB's 'Selling to New York City' session was co-sponsored by NYC Small Business Services.
Participants in the City panel were Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services (Christine Norman, Deputy M/WBE Officer - Office of Contracts), Dept. of Education (Donna K Gilmartin, Director of Customer Services), Dept. of Environmental Protection (Ira Elmore, Deputy Agency Chief Contracting Officer), Dept. of Parks & Recreation (Brett Meaney, Deputy Director of Contracts), Dept. of Small Business Services (Glenis Henriquez, Director of External Affairs & Suzanne Veira, Executive Director, Procurement Initiatives), FDNY (Barry Greenspan, Deputy Agency Chief Contracting Officer). Participants in the Regional Authorities panel were Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Zenaida Chape, Assistant Director, Outreach Programs), New Jersey Transit (Ernest Williams, Director of Certification and Outreach Programs), New York Power Authority (Len Walker, Director- Hydro/Transmission & Special Procurement), Port Authority of NY/NJ (Ida Perich, Manager, Business Services & Labor Force Development).

Construction Opportunities: With construction booming in the region, the potential for M/WBEs is tremendous. Our special session which was open only to construction & related companies included senior representatives from major construction projects and companies - offering information as well as a chance for attendees to ask questions and network with the key players. It included Bovis Lend Lease (Frank Voci, SVP and John Leeper, VP, Project Director), Columbia University (Warren Whitlock, Director, Construction Coordination), NJ Transit (Lisa Marie Codrington, Manager of Contract Compliance), Phoenix Constructors (Bill Quinn, Agency Liaison), Tishman Construction (Henry Estrada, Senior VP).

Corporate Matchmaking: AT&T, Ahold, Bank of New York, Battery Park City Authority, CBS, Con Edison, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, KeySpan Energy, Major League Baseball, Nationwide, Time Warner, United Technologies, Wal-Mart and Xerox met with nearly 100 pre-qualified business owners based on products and services the corporations were looking to source. Based on the excellent feedback we received from both sides, several deals are in the making.

Conference Exhibitors: Over 30 exhibitors took part in the conference offering a wealth of information to attendees, including M/WBE certification, procurement, and more. It included Bank of New York Battery Park City Authority Bovis Lend Lease, CM Consortium, Tishman Construction, FDNY, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob K Javits Convention Center, Lower Manhattan Const. Command Center, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs, New Jersey Transit, New York Power Authority, NYC Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services, NYC Dept. of Education, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection, NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation, NYC Dept. of Sanitation, NYC Dept. of Small Business Services, NYC Housing Authority, NYS Dormitory Authority, Port Authority of NY & NJ, US Commercial Service (US DOC), US Dept. of Labor, US General Services Administration, US Postal Service, US Small Business Administration, Amco Uniform, Oriental Lumberland, Inc.

The conference was held at the Bank of New York in Manhattan and a special word of thanks to them for providing the space as well as breakfast and lunch for the event.

Pictures from the Conference.
Take a look at the conference agenda and flyer


For more information on prior annual procurement conferences:








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