Summer 2009

  • Virtual Academy Brings the Classroom to Your Computer
  • School Soundproofing Includes DBEs
  • Buyers Exchange Set for October 1 in Newark
  • M/WBEs and Marketing: A Perfect Fit
  • Contacts
  • Other Issues of The Opportunity Report

Virtual Academy Brings the Classroom to Your Computer

Having trouble squeezing in off-site training classes for your employees? Can’t spare the time off to attend continuing education courses?

Don’t let the challenges of running a business stop you from attending programs and seminars that can impact your bottom line. The new Virtual Academy brings the classroom to your computer, making it easy for you and your employees to acquire new job skills, meet industry standards, and build business capacity.

The Virtual Academy is a distance learning and training program that was developed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Worldwide Virtual Academy, Inc., for the Port Authority and NJ Transit. This is one of several capacity building initiatives sponsored by the two agencies targeting construction companies. “The Virtual Academy uses cutting-edge technology to offer affordable, convenient on-line education and training classes that business professionals can access within their own homes or offices,” says Jonah Cooper, Jr., principal, Worldwide Virtual Academy, Inc. “Most classes run four hours and can be completed in one sitting or over a period of 30 days.”

“We have partnered with NJIT to offer continuing education units [CMEs] once courses have been completed,” says Ernest C. Williams, director of business development programs for NJ Transit. “NJIT was one of the first colleges nationwide to pioneer these programs.”

The Virtual Academy will be offered to Port Authority-certified M/W/SBEs in September. Classes include construction management, contract law, financing and bonding, writing and understanding construction contracts, construction drawings and takeoffs, construction management for the site superintendent, and OSHA regulations and requirements. Most classes will cost $250; the OSHA class will be offered for $139.

“Our mission is to help small businesses succeed using innovative methods,” says Lash Green, director of the Port Authority’s Office of Business and Job Opportunity. “The Virtual Academy offers a state-of-the-art strategy to fulfill this mission.”

Check for updates on upcoming event schedules.

School Soundproofing Includes DBEs

Since 1983, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have teamed up to provide a school soundproofing program to ensure students in schools surrounding Port Authority airports are provided an environment that allows them to concentrate on their studies without the distraction of aircraft noise.

Since the program’s inception, 77 schools in the vicinity of JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, and Teterboro airports have been earmarked for school soundproofing at an estimated $400 million. Of these 77 schools, 57 have been completed and 20 are in various stages of design or construction. All contracting is handled through the schools and their architectural and engineering and construction firms. In February 2009, an additional $35 million was approved by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners to continue school soundproofing efforts.

Part of the requirement of receiving FAA funds for the project is that the Port Authority implement a program ensuring the participation of disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). The Office of Business and Job Opportunity oversees the agency’s DBE Program. Over the last four years, DBE firms working on FAA-assisted projects have been awarded $65 million worth in contracts.

“The school soundproofing program creates contracting opportunities of the size and scope ideal for small specialty contractors and suppliers,” says Robert Foreman, DBE program manager, Office of Business and Job Opportunity. “The types of trades typically associated with these jobs include acoustical engineering, sound testing and monitoring, window and door replacements, insulation, roofing, and HVAC.” One supplier, who has seen her sales grow as a result of participating in the program, is Carol Sanzo, president of Sanzo Ltd., a Port Authority-certified W/DBE. Over the years, Carol has supplied millions of dollars worth of air conditioning equipment, fabricated metal, insulation, and hardware to contractors working on school soundproofing projects.

“The program has expanded our client base and allowed us to participate in meaningful projects that positively impact our communities and children,” says Carol.

If you are a DBE-certified specialty contractor or supplier and you are interested in learning more about FAA-assisted projects or our DBE program, contact Robert Foreman at For information on our certification process, go to

Buyers Exchange Set for October 1 in Newark

Now more than ever, The Port Authority of NY & NJ’s annual Buyers Exchange can help you to build your business. Scheduled for Thursday, October 1, at the Hilton Newark Penn Station, from 8:30 to noon, our Buyers Exchange is a networking opportunity that you can’t pass up.

“We urge all our certified M/W/SBEs to come and learn about contract opportunities that they shouldn’t overlook,” says Lash Green, Director of the Port Authority’s Office of Business and Job Opportunity (OBJO). “There will be plenty of time for you to make important contacts and network with other small business owners.”

According to Lillian Valenti, Director of the agency’s Procurement Department, her staff will be on hand with laptop computers providing demonstrations on how to navigate the Web site for relevant contract information and to optimize vendor contact with the Port Authority.

“We will show participants how they can easily learn what bidding opportunities are currently open,” she adds. Four hundred people attended last year’s Buyers Exchange. “This year, we expect at least the same amount or more.” noted Green. To maximize the day, attendees are encouraged to bring ample business cards, sample marketing materials and line cards.

“We have lined up more than 25 buying staff for the event, including representatives from our Procurement Department – who will be available to speak with attendees,” says Joseph DellaBarca, Special Projects Manager in the Port Authority’s Procurement Department. “We are also bringing in several large contractors who work with M/W/SBE subcontractors in their Port Authority contracts as well as in other operations. Representatives on key capital projects such as the ARC Tunnel Project and World Trade Center redevelopment will be on hand as well.”

“Our annual Buyers Exchange is one of many successful programs that we offer to help M/W/SBEs access information on contract opportunities and network with potential clients and decision makers,” says Ida Perich, Manager of OBJO’s Business Utilization and Services. “This is an event that you shouldn’t miss.”

Check for updates on upcoming event schedules.

M/WBEs and Marketing: A Perfect Fit

When it’s time to get the word out about a new Port Authority program, service, or policy initiative, the agency frequently turns to certified M/WBEs to help get the job done. From writers and graphic designers to printers and producers of specialty items to email marketing, list management and fulfillment, M/WBEs have become an integral part of the operations of the Marketing Department, which manages all marketing communications for the agency.

“The Office of Business and Job Opportunity’s assistance in matching certified vendors with Port Authority staff has worked especially well with the Port Authority’s marketing communications products,” says Rae Ann Hoffmann, Marketing Communications General Manager. “Although we don’t have huge dollar contracts – as with some of the Port Authority’s construction projects – we do produce a large volume of smaller projects that are a good match particularly for our certified small, minority, and women-owned businesses.”

The Marketing Department typically procures between $1,500 and $5,000 per job for copywriting, graphic design, printing, and other related skills. Although it has an in-house graphics team and print shop, the volume of work that is needed from the department sometimes requires outsourcing of work to outside suppliers. The department works with more than a dozen certified businesses annually. Prime contractor Korey Kay & Partners, Inc. (KKP) -- the advertising agency of record for the Port Authority – frequently subcontracts with certified M/WBE vendors.

“We are committed to the Port Authority’s goals of using 12 percent minority- and 5 percent women-owned businesses, and encourage small companies with which we subcontract to become certified if they are not already,” says Patrick Carolan, Vice President, Account Director for KKP. “One perfect example is MBE Litho-Art, Inc. We worked with Litho-Art, Inc prior to our contract with the Port Authority and urged them to become Port Authority certified. Now they are often called upon for print jobs for the agency.”

Procuring printing services is one of the major expenditures required by the Marketing Department for a myriad of communication projects.

“We have a group of certified printers with whom we have come to rely on to provide quality, cost-effective, time-sensitive printing services,” says Flory Danish, Supervisor, Creative Services Division within Operations Services Department. “We connect with potential printing partners at trade shows and are always open to viewing printers’ portfolios. We are fortunate to have built lasting relationships with a large number of certified printers.”

Ideal Data has been a certified WBE and minority vendor with the Port Authority for 24 of the 25 years it has been in business. Services have included everything from data entry, management, and marketing to conducting customer satisfaction surveys and travel studies. Says President Linda Rueda, "I started with one Port Authority department and now I'm involved with three to four. Internal word of mouth and a commitment to exceed expectations have been instrumental in helping my business grow."

LJS Communications is an example of a women-owned business that does subcontract work with KKP and also works directly with the Port Authority to provide the agency with a range of communications services.

“Through the Port Authority’s certification programs, we have been able to bring in the talents of small enterprises, such as LJS Communications and many others, to give them the opportunity to share their skills with us,” says Hilary McCarron, Manager of Port Marketing.

“Our M/WBEs are a terrific resource and help to expedite our goals,” says John Olberding, Manager of Aviation Marketing for all five Port Authority airports. “We frequently turn to a number of small businesses to produce giveaways and promotional items for our airports. The pricing and quality of products has been excellent.”


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

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