Fall 2009

  • The Buyers Exchange Helped Us Get Connected
  • A Roadmap for Business Success: The Mentor-Protégé Program
  • Mentors Give Companies the Tools to Succeed
  • Classes & Events
  • Contact
  • Other Issues of The Opportunity Report

The Buyers Exchange Helped Us Get Connected

Minority, Women-Owned and Small (M/WBEs) business owners looking to capitalize on the unique networking opportunities at the Port Authority’s (PA) 2009 Buyers Exchange, held on Thursday, October 1, found a wealth of potential resources and business partners to help them grow their business.

M/WBE businesses often lack the resources to compete with larger vendors. One of the many ways the PA helps level the playing field is by bringing together M/WBE suppliers with PA buyers motivated to meet the agency’s diversity goals. Says Lash Green, Port Authority Office of Business and Job Opportunity Director, ‘The Buyers Exchange provides M/WBE business owners with access to our procurement team as well as information about our special vendor programs. The Port Authority, in turn, taps into a broad base of diverse and talented vendors.” ‘For many firms this event leads to new opportunities” Lillian Valenti, Director of Procurement, adds, ‘For others, it affords a chance to better understand how to navigate the agency’s procurement system.”

The Buyers Exchange also brings together M/WBE sub-contractors with prime contractors, giving them much-needed exposure to larger opportunities. Prime contractors on hand, including Guardian Services Industries and Tishman Construction, exhibited at this event to attract M/WBE sellers who can help them meet their PA diversity goals and, at the same time, strategically complement their product offerings. Through face-to-face interaction, M/WBE vendors learned how to navigate the Port Authority’s vast procurement system to compete more effectively with larger organizations. Representatives from the PA demonstrated how the online contract database helps certified business owners identify and match their products and service offerings against upcoming PA projects.

Perhaps most importantly, the face-to-face interaction at the Buyers Exchange helps personalize business relationships. Maria Coria, owner of Pina M. Inc, a supplier of quality metals and safety products, stresses, ‘If you want to keep your business going, you must show yourself as the face of your company at important events such as the Buyers Exchange.” Says Dennis Kopick, Port Authority Procurement Contracts Manager, ‘Attendees get the information they can use from the people who can give it to them. This venue brings a huge agency down to a personal level. Unlike a trade show, it’s more intimate and conducive to personal conversation.”

Maria concurs, ‘I use the conference as a means to connect directly with business partners. This is my third year in a row attending, and I feel the event gets better each year.” Maria speaks for the majority of this year’s attendees who found the Buyers Exchange a critical networking event to level the playing field for M/WBE businesses to compete more effectively. With more than 2,235 projects representing $2.3 billion awarded between October 2008 and September 2009 the Buyers Exchange is the perfect conduit for M/W/SBEs to learn how they can compete for future procurements.

To learn more about doing business with the Port Authority visit www.panynj.info or contact Jacqueline Grossgold at jgrossgold@panynj.gov.

A Roadmap for Business Success: The Mentor-Protégé Program

Launched in 2002, the Port Authority’s Mentor-Protégé Program has enabled 35 MBE/WBE firms to grow, develop, expand, and ultimately win large contracts with the Port Authority and other public and private organizations. The three-year intensive program matches certified M/WBEs with large experienced firms to improve the smaller firms’ management, organization, and construction skills, thus, helping to pave the way for success. The Mentor-Protégé Program prepares protégés for proficiency in several categories: construction estimating, financial management and strategies, managing projects between $500,000 and $3 million, OSHA and safety, planning and scheduling to reduce project costs, project controls, and professional development. To date, 13 contracts totaling $9.8 million have been awarded to protégé firms under the program. Several graduates have been awarded substantial contracts (see accompanying story).

‘Protégés gain valuable hands-on experience that they can use to speed the growth of their businesses, while in turn the Port Authority helps strengthen the local economy, creates new business opportunities, and broadens workforce participation by MBEs and WBEs,” says the Port Authority’s Office of Business and Job Opportunity’s Director Lash Green. ‘The program is an all-around winner, giving protégés a roadmap to actively participate in Port Authority contracts.”

One of the latest developments for this program is the inclusion of Range A contractors (those capable of performing contracts up to $500,000), who are welcome to take part in the training component but will not be assigned mentors. Concentration is still upon GC-Heavy, GC-Building, Electrical, and Mechanical as the program seeks to help them advance to the B and C ranges (contracts valued between $500,000 and $1.5 million and over $1.5 million dollars respectively).

Learn more about the program and if your business is eligible to participate.

Mentors Give Companies the Tools to Succeed

Established in 2002, the Port Authority’s Mentor-Protégé Program has helped 35 MBE/WBE-certified construction companies to expand, succeed, and win construction contracts. On average the program accepts five new MBE/WBEs each year but can enroll as many as eight. Protégés are paired with experienced mentors for an intensive three years of participation.

One of the largest contracts one of our protégés won – $5 million over a three-year period -- was recently awarded to Lambco Erecting Inc., of Bloomfield, N.J., to work as a subcontractor with DCM Erectors on One World Trade Center headed by President Lambert Leslaine, Lambco Erecting fabricates structural steel and then installs it in new construction. Lambco will be working with DCM Erectors to fabricate and install safety equipment on One World Trade Center.

Lambco has participated in the Mentor-Protégé Program since 2006. The company was first mentored by Bill Quinn of Phoenix Constructors, JV, the GC/CM for the WTC Transportation Hub project and is currently working with mentor Art Blattner of E.E. Cruz.

“Our mentors have helped us tremendously with estimating, marketing, and providing a range of scheduling advice,” says Leslaine. “Working one-to-one with my mentors has assisted me in deciding which contracts I should bid on and how best to estimate a job. Even though Lambco is no longer assigned to Bill Quinn, he has been a valued asset to our company and is always willing to advise me, on his own time, as to what will help my business grow.”

Another Port Authority project completed by Lambco was a $200,000 contract to work as a subcontractor with Phoenix Constructors, JV to supply and install embedded steel plates and temporary utility support steel for the WTC Transportation Hub project. Lambco has also been successful in securing larger contracts with other agencies and was awarded a $1.9 million MTA contract to supply and install steel at five subway stations in Brooklyn, a $200,000 contract to install stairs and railings at P.S. 169 in the Bronx, and a $705,000 contract to install stairs and railings at P.S. 95 in the Bronx. For the Megrant Corporation’s Sam M. Mirian, president, and Farid D. Mirian, chairwoman and CEO, the Mentor-Protégé Program has been instrumental to the success of their West Babylon, N.Y., company.

“Our mentor, Richard McCann of the Austin Helle Company, provided us with crucial technical assistance, including how to prepare bids and estimates, how to gain contracts, and how to cope with the current economic market,” says Sam Mirian.

Established in 1985 and certified as a WBE/SBE since 1993, Megrant Corporation graduated from the three-year Mentor-Protégé Program in 2006. The company is close to completing an $8 million Port Authority contract to install lift stations at LaGuardia Airport.

Megrant has a current $55 million workload, including two other Port Authority projects: a $12 million contract to install the heating system at One World Trade Center and a $966,000 contract to modify lift stations at Newark Liberty International Airport. As a result of The Port Authority’s Office of Business and Job Opportunity (OBJO) certification and participation in the Mentor Protégé Program, Megrant also obtained a private enterprise contract of $25 million to shop manufacture, barge transport, and field install a 24 cell air-cooled condenser at the Astoria II generating station and an $8 million State University of New York Construction Fund to install Phase I and Phase II high-pressure steam piping throughout the SUNY New Paltz, N.Y., campus.

Learn how your MBE/WBE/DBE can benefit by enrolling in the Mentor-Protégé Program.

Classes & Events

Classes Date
Intuit Quickbooks Pro - Introductory Level Thursday, February 11, 2010
Intuit Quickbooks Pro - Intermediate Level Thursday, February 25, 2010
Microsoft Excel - Introductory Level Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Microsoft Excel – Intermediate Level Thursday, April 29, 2010
Construction Management Certificate Saturdays March 6th, 13th. 20th and 27th


Lash Green

Paula London

Roger Hsu
General Manager

Rosemary Jenkins-Varela
Manager, Certification

Ida Perich
Manager, Business Utilization and Services

Mariko Egawa
Pr. Business Development Representative
WTC Retail, Real Estate and corporate commodities and services

Robert Foreman
Pr. Business Development Representative
JFK, LGA and WTC construction

Jacqueline Grossgold
Pr. Business Development Representative
JFK, LGA, EWR commodities and services, PATH construction, commodities and services

Quinzell McKenzie
Pr. Business Development Representative
EWR construction, Teterboro and Stewart airport construction, commodities and services

Jorge Mercado
Business Development Representative
LT, HT, GWB, OBX, BB and NY & NJ Marine Terminals construction, commodities and services

Hilary McCarron

The Opportunity Report is published by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007

For news and article ideas:
Hilary McCarron
Phone: (212) 435-6915
Fax: (212) 435-6934

To check the status of your certification please email OBJOcert@panynj.gov

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