A Story of Success

"We take on business as a personal, family, ownership commitment." So says Jose Garcia, owner and operator of Maverick Building Services.

"We've been in business 25 years this June," says Mr. Garcia. He laughs. "I started my company when I was very young, only 24 years old, can you imagine? And I won't kid you, it's been a long, hard road. But I've met a lot of good people and I've been blessed to have a lot of good people work for me."

In 2010, Maverick won the Newark Airport Fence Line Cleaning contract, which is one of the contracts set-aside under the Janitorial Maintenance Small Business Program.

"At Newark, we're in charge of patrolling the grounds," says Mr. Garcia. "Melting snow, for instance, creates a lot of havoc. Our crew goes out and makes sure the fence lines are clean. We're also out at LaGuardia cleaning the corridors, entrances, walkways during the nightshift. We do that as a subcontractor through Guardian Service Industries. They're the prime on the Central Terminal Building, or CTB."

Guardian partnered with Maverick Building Services to comply with the M/WBE Subcontracting provisions in their contract. Maverick is certified with the Port Authority as an MBE.

"It's certainly helpful to be certified as an MBE and SBE," says Mr. Garcia. "In a lot of ways, being certified by the Port Authority really gave us our start. We got access to all sorts of opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise."

When Guardian's contract was reduced recently due to PA cost cutting measures, Guardian reaffirmed its commitment by keeping Maverick on. Both companies reduced their staff in order to share the burden.

"Our partnership with Guardian has been great," says Mr. Garcia. "We all had to tighten our belts. But we elected to do so equally to maintain the level of service we were providing. It's never easy, you know. But if I didn't learn to adjust, I could never have stayed in business this long."

Sam Herzfeld, Executive Vice President at Guardian, agrees. "We value our relationship with Maverick," he says "The Port Authority helps us help minority and women-owned businesses that deserve a shot at participating in a market they might not otherwise enter. That's a great story, and one that we at Guardian take great pride in being a part of."

Still, it's never easy. Garcia describes the success of Maverick as "one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward. Like that. But I'm happy to say we're still here. Still growing, too!"

Maverick just put in a bid to provide services at Stewart International Airport. "We made the final list there," he says, "and we're keeping our fingers crossed. We're always looking to get our chance."

When asked if he feels there's a secret to his success, Mr. Garcia thinks for a moment. Then says: "You've got to keep learning. You've got to listen to your clients and understand the economy. You also have to know your place in the greater scheme of things. We're not a bank, we're a family business. We started with four employees working at a building in Paramus. Now we employ 200 people, but we're still servicing that building in Paramus. The building has changed ownership over the years – many times. But we pride ourselves on maintaining long relationships. And I think that's what makes the difference."

Register Now for the Janitorial Maintenance SBE Mini Fair

Did you know that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will set aside nearly 20 multi-year cleaning contracts for agency-certified janitorial maintenance small business enterprises over the next five years? Our goal is to increase the number of certified SBEs in the janitorial maintenance field. And there's no better place to make valuable contacts than the JMSBE Mini Fair.

Mark this on your calendar:

April 7, 2011
Port Authority Center for Learning and Achievement
1 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Then visit this link to register: www.panynj.gov/getconnected.


Contracts Abound for Qualified JMSBEs

The Janitorial Maintenance Small Business Enterprise Program (JMSBE) provides Port Authority-certified businesses with the opportunity to compete with companies of similar size and overall capacity. Over the next five years, the Port Authority's Procurement Department will award nearly 20 contracts ranging from $35,000 to $5.5 million a year to JMSBEs only. All contracts include good faith subcontracting goals of 12 percent and 5 percent for MBEs and WBEs respectively.

To be eligible, your firm must:

  • Have been in operation for a minimum of three years.
  • Not have exceeded an average annualized gross revenue of $16.5 million a year for the last three fiscal years.
  • Maintain principal operations in either New York or New Jersey.

Certification is easy. Download the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Certification Application.

It's a two step process, once certified as an SBE, you must also participate in a prequalification process to determine your firm's eligibility to bid or submit proposals for future cleaning contracts at Port Authority facilities. Your eligibility to bid is determined based on your response to a "Request for Prequalification – General Cleaning and Janitorial Service" solicitation. The prequalification documents will be sent later this year to all firms certified by the Port Authority as Small Business Enterprises in the Janitorial Maintenance category.

Want to learn more? Attend the April 7th Mini Fair or call us at 212-435-7819.

Important Changes to DBE Program

The Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program recently underwent key changes that could affect your business. If you thought you didn't qualify as a DBE, you should consider the updated certification criteria and new regulations which took effect on 2/28/11:

  • The qualifying cap on Personal Net Worth (PNW) for disadvantaged owners has been adjusted for inflation. The previous cap of $750,000 was set in 1989. The new cap is set at $1.32 million.
  • Interstate certification as a DBE has never been easier thanks to a new presumption that a firm certified in one state can be certified in another. Please see the explanation below.

All states are now required to accept DBE certifications obtained in other states, unless the state finds good cause not to accept the DBE status. According to the new ruling, "A firm certified in home state A could take its application materials to State B. Within 60 days, State B would decide either to accept State A's certification or object to it. If [State B] did not object, the firm would be certified in State B."

That's exactly what the Port Authority already does explains Roger Hsu, who oversees the Certification Unit for the Office of Business and Job Opportunity, "The existing PA certification practice regarding the out of state DBE application is consistent with 49CFR Part 26 Final Rule of February 28, 2011. We consider a firm that is certified by its home state as a DBE to be certifiable with the Port Authority and its UCP partners, providing we find no basis to rebut the home state's certification."

This ruling greatly reduces the clerical and procedural burden on DBE firms. It makes it easier for your company to seek DBE certification outside of your home state, as well as to conduct business in more than one state.

Suppose, for example, your company is certified as a DBE in New York State and you want to do business as a DBE in New Jersey. According to the new ruling, New Jersey has 60 days to accept or reject your DBE certification. If New Jersey rejects your DBE status, your firm has the right to file an appeal. At the appeal proceeding, New Jersey certification decision makers must prove specifically why your firm should not be certified in New Jersey. Having the state bear the burden of proof enhances the ability of certification agencies to protect the integrity of the program as well as increase opportunities for firms looking to do business in more than one state. The Port Authority is a certifying partner in both the New York State and New Jersey DBE Unified Certification Programs (UCPs).

Other key changes to the DBE rules and regulations include adding provisions to ensure that prime contractors fulfill commitments to use DBE subcontractors. Prime contractors cannot terminate a DBE subcontractor without the recipient or transportation agency's written consent, and then only with good cause. The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation applauded this change in a recent issue of the Federal Register dated January 28, 2011.

"The Department ... believes that the proposed amendment will help to prevent situations in which a DBE subcontractor, to which a prime contractor has committed work, is arbitrarily dismissed ..."

Classes & Events


Event Date
Janitorial Maintenance Program Mini Fair Thursday, April 7, 2011


Training Date
Construction Management Certificate Program March 26, 2011
Microsoft Excel – Intermediate Level Friday, March 25, 2011
Blueprint Reading & Construction Drawings March 29, 31, 2011
Free Marketing and Branding Seminar
Part IV "Leveraging the Power of SEO, SEM and Social Media"
115 Broadway, 19th Floor
Conference Room D
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Construction Cost Estimating April 9, 16, 2011
Primavera Project Management May 19, 20 or May 23, 24, 2011


Lash Green

Paula London

Roger Hsu
General Manager

M/W/S/DBE Certification Unit

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:
Damon DiMarco
Phone: (212) 435-6401

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

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