Spring 2010

  • 2010 Business Exchange Program: Building the Future of Your Business
  • 2010 Construction Opportunities: A Snapshot
  • 2009 Year-in-Review - Milestones Presented at Annual Board Meeting
  • M/W/S/DBE Certification Workshop
  • Classes & Events
  • Contact
  • Other Issues of The Opportunity Report

2010 Business Exchange Program: Building the Future of Your Business

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When 40+ prime exhibitors, hundreds of construction industry professionals, and their counterparts at The Port Authority of NY & NJ get together, you know serious business is getting done.

That was the scene at the Hotel Pennsylvania in March, when for the first time the Port Authority combined two annual events — its popular Architectural & Engineering and Construction Contractors Exchanges —into one premier opportunity to meet and greet decision-makers across the entire construction spectrum.

Just what made this event a can’t-miss opportunity for so many M/WBEs? As a first-time attendee at a Port Authority Business Exchange, Wilbert Verwayne of Inventive Builders & General Contractors couldn’t pass up the chance to make some valuable connections.

“Direct contact is what it’s all about,” says the president and CEO of this Bronx-based MBE. “By sitting in on presentations and talking with exhibitors, I gain a better understanding of what exactly the industry is calling for, and how we can present our masonry and fit-out services to meet the needs of potential partners.”

In addition to meeting prime contractors, Louise Alicea and Christine Schettig of C.V. Associates, a Port Authority MBE certified engineering and surveying firm, welcome the chance to connect with their Port Authority colleagues in person and “put a face to the name.”

Jessica Johnson, VP of Johnson Security Bureau Inc., quickly reiterated the many benefits her firm has gained from working with the Port Authority. “Their team has been so helpful with guidance and strategies to help us build our business. Their certification gives you the opportunity to prove yourself, and has opened doors to amazing partnerships,” says Johnson. “For example, when our personnel need OSHA training, Turner Construction, as part of its good faith efforts to assist M/WBEs, offers it to us at no charge. We save money, and it further solidifies an already-great working relationship with a prime contractor.”

But the Business Exchange benefits aren’t limited solely to the M/WBEs in attendance. Lissette Miquel, director of business development for RBA Group Inc., was happy to staff her firm’s booth for the morning. Says Miquel, “Events like these are great forums for initial meetings. Being here is an enormous timesaver in helping us meet the right people for our team. For example, I made a great contact with someone who offers geophysical services, which is a really specialized area.”

Tishman Construction EEO manager Robyn Odita, another exhibitor at this year’s Business Exchange, appreciates the level of quality attendees she sees at all Port Authority events. “We’re here to grow our database of potential vendors,” Odita explains. “When the M/WBEs we meet are already doing business with the Port Authority, it immediately vets them for us because we know the level of quality and service the Port expects.”

But at a bustling event like the Business Exchange, how exactly can M/WBEs stand out in the crowd? Miriam Korn, outreach coordinator for SKANSKA, offered some common-sense tips for success.

“First, have a business card ready. Second, be prepared to narrowly define your business objective. Then, follow up and be specific – where we met, what we discussed, why I asked you to follow up with me.” “Follow-up is essential for success,” notes Lash Green, director, Office of Business and Job Opportunity for the Port Authority. “You need to keep in touch, and sell prime contractors the benefits of your firm’s services, while removing any doubts. This helps build stronger relationships. Research has proven that you need to follow-up with a prospect at least seven times before you get the sale.”

Hanson James, president of Queens-based M/DBE Creative Construction Services Corp., agrees that the secret to securing opportunities is polite persistence. “It takes time and research to find the right contacts. For example, we were interested in the JetBlue terminal project at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and found out the prime contractor was Turner Construction. By being persistent, we were awarded the carpentry, drywall and framing for the project.”

SKANSKA’s Korn reminds M/WBEs to periodically confirm that all their information is correct in the online database. “If your profile has an old email address or the contact person is no longer with your company, you’re missing out on what might be your next big opportunity.”

First-time attendee Marilyn Hyacinth, president of Gorlyn Consulting in Queens, summed up her Business Exchange experience in one word: Impressive. “Every person I spoke with really took the time to listen. Everyone makes you feel as if there's definitely something here for your business. I’m so glad I came today.”

2010 Construction Opportunities: A Snapshot

“Somebody has to be the matchmaker,” declared Frank Lombardi, chief engineer for The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, during the recent 2010 Business Exchange. “And that’s the Port Authority.”

The role of matchmaker is one that is eagerly embraced by the Port Authority, as it works to facilitate business growth for M/WBEs across the tri-state area at events like its Business Exchange. During the free March event, attendees received a detailed overview of the construction and engineering-related projects on tap for 2010 and beyond.

Lash Green, director of the Office of Business and Job Opportunity (OBJO) kicked off the program with a warm welcome that stressed the diversity and volume of opportunities for M/WBEs, both with the Port Authority and with the prime contractors in attendance.

Green then introduced Procurement Department director Lillian Valenti, who outlined some impressive statistics for 2009 and noted that the Port Authority issued over 2000 contracts at the time of the conference. Valenti’s advice, “to maintain an active network,” was a sentiment echoed throughout the morning as attendees sought to make connections and learn more about upcoming projects.

James Starace, deputy director for construction, focused his remarks on important changes to procedures and new initiatives for 2010. “This year, we are forecasting 27 contracts will be set-aside for MBE, WBE and SBEs with an estimated value of $23M,” Starace said. Projects range from wetlands mitigation and storm water management to rehabilitation of airport roofing, roadways and bridges.

Jack Buchsbaum, deputy director for design, followed Starace with an overview of the Engineering Department’s call-in consultant program, which operates on multi-year cycles. According to Buchsbaum, “Over the last three years, we have awarded 349 call-in agreements valued at $550 million.”

The call-in program for Engineering Design will begin a new four-year cycle in 2011, so the time to get involved is now. Interested M/WBEs should complete or update a professional service firm questionnaire, available online: http://www.panynj.gov/business-opportunities/vendor-information.html

Buchsbaum reminded the audience that when contracts are awarded, “your company becomes an extension of the Port Authority’s staff. We need your ‘A’ team, so be prepared.” He also suggested that niche service providers regularly review the list of awards, and approach the winning firm to explore subcontracting opportunities.

According to chief engineer Frank Lombardi, the focus of the day’s events was a rewarding exchange of ideas, best practices, and business contacts. “Because what we are really trying to build is enduring relationships.”

2009 Year-in-Review - Milestones Presented at Annual Board Meeting

During April’s meeting of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, Office of Business and Job Opportunity director Lash Green had the opportunity to present a recap of 2009 M/W/SBE milestones to the Construction Committee.

Despite an economy dominated by a recession, the Port Authority remained steadfast in its commitment to M/W/SBEs with one of the most respected, comprehensive programs in the region — facilitating an estimated $358 million in M/W/SBE awards in 2009. These awards to M/W/SBEs helped support 3,070 jobs in the region, resulting in $165 million in wages and $581 million in regional economic activity.

Other 2009 highlights include:

  • Expansion of services for M/W/SBEs at the World Trade Center Resource Center, including free workshops and direct contract development consultation.
  • A renewed partnership with the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors to provide nearly 20 management, construction and business software courses to nearly 600 M/W/SBE representatives.
  • Expanded bonding and financing assistance from the Jamaica Business Resource Center.
  • Innovative capacity building programs such as the Mentor-Protégé Program, which pairs M/WBEs with the region’s, most successful construction companies.

In 2009, the Port Authority was pleased to have its support of M/W/S/DBE firms recognized by organizations such as the NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, Professional Women in Construction, and the New York State Assembly Hispanic Task Force.

Says Green, “With the ongoing support of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, we look forward to continued pursuit of expanded opportunities for M/W/SBEs across a broad array of industries.”

To View Green’s presentation click here.

M/W/S/DBE Certification Workshop

Certified companies can benefit from the wide-range of services offered - support for contractors, access to capital, management and technical assistance, and preferential programs.

This workshop is an opportunity to learn:

  • How to get certified
  • The benefits of being certified
  • How to access business opportunities

Wednesday, May 19, 2010: 9:00 am - 11:30 am
World Trade Center Business Resource Center*
115 Broadway, 19th floor
Conference Room D
New York, NY 10007

This workshop is free, but advance registration is required.
Please register your interest no later than May 14 at panynj.gov/getconnected
You will receive a confirmation response.
Please register as early as possible as seating is limited to 25 attendees.

We look forward to welcoming you to our workshop and to your company growing your business with the Port Authority and our partners.

*Public Transportation: NJ PATH to WTC station: E subway train to WTC station; 2,3,J,M, and Z trains to Fulton Street; 4,5 trains to Wall Street; 1, W and T trains to Rector Street

Classes & Events

Events Date
Asian Women in Business/Annual Procurement Conference Thursday, May 13, 2010
How to Become Certified and Do Business with The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Wednesday, May 19, 2010
10th Annual Women and Diverse Supplier Business Conference Thursday, May 20, 2010
Queens ASDO's 28th Aviation Networking Event Friday, May 21, 2010
4th Annual Citywide Procurement Fair Tuesday, May 25, 2010
NJSBDC 19th Annual Procurement Expo Thursday, June 10, 2010
NYNJMSDC Business Opportunities Expo Tuesday, June 15, 2010
DBE Capacity Building Seminars to support the Tunnel Project Thursday, June 24
Thursday, August 26
Thursday, October 21
Thursday, December 16
Hold the Date - Competitive Edge Conference Thursday, August 12, 2010
Classes Date
Primavera Project Management May 6 & 10 or
May 7 & 11
Blueprint Reading & Construction Drawings Saturdays May 15 & 22


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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