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From the Desk of the President (continued) 

141015 MWBE ForumInside portiamwbe2014 stevemwbe2014 paul_mmc_mwbe2014
DASNY booth at the 2014 New York State MWBE Forum; Portia Lee; Steve Curro, Paul Koopman, Michael Clay 

In his very first State of the State message, he made the pledge to increase the utilization of MWBE businesses with New York State from nine percent to 20 percent during his term. He then formed the MWBE Team with the goal to make certain that the provisions of the 2010 Business Diversification Act were fully implemented.

I am proud to serve on the Governor’s MWBE Team, and was a charter member. Our commitment to leveling the playing field for NYS MWBEs and small businesses and opening the door to greater economic activity and job growth has not waned. The success of thousands of MWBEs seeking to compete and advance in the marketplace is critical to igniting economic growth and spurring prosperity in all of our communities statewide.

In his remarks, the Governor announced that in FY 2013-14 MWBE utilization in construction across the State platform reached 25 percent–representing nearly $2 billion in contracts. At DASNY, during this same period, despite significant challenges, our MWBE participation exceeded goals and reached 29 percent, which represents 21.7 percent MBE and 7.3 percent WBE participation. DASNY’s total cumulative MWBE expenditures for FY 2013-14 were $219,081,002.

Since his 2011 State of the State address where he announced the 20 percent goal, to last Fall when he announced that the State had exceeded the goal, to this year’s NYS MWBE Forum, the Governor has been clear, the 20 percent goal, while significant, was just a first step. To the delight of the capacity crowd at the Hart Theater in the Egg, the Governor announced that he was increasing the goal to 30 percent. This goal represents the highest such target for any state government. At DASNY, we welcome this change while recognizing that it poses significant challenges. We expect to pursue the new goal responsibly while remaining sensitive to the policy objectives of State government.    

Each year, DASNY staff plays a central role in the MWBE Forum in a variety of capacities. I was proud to hear the unsolicited praise from multiple attendees regarding our presentations and our support of the vendor community. I want to extend my appreciation to the many staff who worked at our booth, helped organize the event and who moderated or sat on panels, including Portia Lee, Linda Button, Michael Cusack, Steve Curro, Michael Clay, Paul Koopman, Gene Basle, Dawn Langenbach, Charles Croskey, Nicole White, Dennis Williams, Marilyn Fountain, John Quinlan and Julie Gregory.

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