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The 5th annual MTA MWDBE Conference will focus on Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MWDBEs) and hurricane Sandy relief efforts, the Small Business Development Training Program, the MTA’s upcoming projects and projections on the 2015-2019 Capital Plan.

Speaker Profiles

Ken Bharatlall
The Urban Group

Gewan Bharatlall is president of The URBAN Group, Ltd. He is responsible for developing strategic plan managing the growth of the company's portfolio. With URBAN since inception, Ken has over 25 years of extensive experience in the construction industry both private and public sectors. He holds a master's degree in Construction Management and a Degree in Construction Engineering from Southbank University in London, England.  He is an active member of the RICS community in NYC.

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L. Danny Camacho, DDCR
Manager, Certification Unit
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Danny Camacho currently serves the MWDBE community as a manager in the certification unit of the MTA’s department of diversity and civil rights. He is responsible for the timely and comprehensive review of applications for DBE certification submitted by minority and women business owners, to determine their eligibility under US Department of Transportation regulations.

Camacho, along with other certification staff members, maintains a statewide DBE database to ensure that DBEs are current and properly categorized or re-categorized in their respective industries. On a monthly basis, he and his colleagues provide a training course on how to become certified as a DBE under federal regulations.

David Cannon
Senior Director and Chief Procurement Officer
Law and Procurement Department
MTA Capital Construction

David Cannon has over 27 years in the procurement/contract administration field, 25 of those within various agencies of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He has been with MTA Capital Construction since its creation and currently serves as its chief procurement officer where he is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the procurement division. The division’s activities generally involve solicitation, contract administration and management of large public work and professional service contracts.

George Cleary
Deputy Director
MTA Small Business Mentoring Programs

George Cleary is an economist and business strategist with over two decades of experience in business management, consulting and administration. Currently, he is the deputy director of the Small Business Mentoring Program for the MTA. In this role, he is responsible for the marketing, outreach, recruitment, business development, retention and inclusion of small business for participation in the MTA’s Small Business Mentoring programs. He honed his domestic and international business skills working with several Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox, Polaroid, Walt Disney World Co. and American Express.

Steven Cohen
Deputy Commissioner Executive Vice President
Small Business Services and Community Economic Development
State of New York

Steve Cohen is Executive Vice President and Deputy Commissioner at Empire State Development (ESD), where he heads the Department of Small Business Services and Community Economic Development. Since joining ESD, Mr. Cohen has led efforts to create, implement and refine important programs and initiatives to support small business development, increase access to capital, and improve the economic climate in communities throughout New York State.

New programs and resources include the State’s $50MM Small Business Revolving Loan Fund and the Innovate NY Fund - the State’s new $45 million seed stage equity capital fund. Over the past year, department programs facilitated the creation of hundreds of new businesses, hundreds of millions of
dollars in capital investments in small businesses and community development projects, and the creation and retention of thousands of jobs.

Hely Duarte
Zion Contracting

Hely Duarte is President and Founder of Zion Contracting, LLC. Zion Contracting was established and incorporated in 2009 in Hempstead, NY. Under Duarte’s leadership, Zion’s team of experienced and professional general contractors offers a wide range of construction related and building restoration services. Duarte has always had a strong reputation as a reliable, high quality leader and general contractor.

Duarte was a participant in the MTA Small Business Mentoring Program (SBMP) and was awarded a contract was for the Henry Hudson Bridge Service Building Facade Restoration project. The project represented Zion’s first public sector contract as a general contractor. Zion’s scope of work on the project included restoring the building facade of the historic three-story Henry Hudson Service Building. It was a new type of project for Zion, but the firm handled it well, completing the project on time and on budget, thanks to the leadership of Duarte.

With the success of one MTA construction contract under its belt, Zion set its sights on winning another contract and was awarded a project to work on two bus washer stations. On this contract, Zion increased its largest contract amount from approximately $200,000 to over $750,000.

Robert Eskenazi
Senior Director Procurement
New York City Transit

Robert Eskenazi is the senior director of procurement for New York City Transit. He has 36 years of procurement experience, and has been with NYCT for 27 years. Eskenazi supervises seven procurement managers/specialists, and is responsible for the award of most construction contracts including Sandy Repair and Resiliency. He is also responsible for the award of contracts under the Small Business Mentoring Program. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Buffalo State University.

Honorable Fernando Ferrer
Vice Chairman
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Fernando Ferrer, Vice Chairman of the Board, served as acting Chairman from January 1, 2013 to June 20, 2013. Mr. Ferrer is co-chairman and a partner at Mercury, a high-stakes public strategy firm. He also serves as a director of Sterling Bancorp, Sterling National Bank, and the Regional Plan Association.

Mr. Ferrer served in the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987 and was Bronx Borough President from 1987 through 2001. During his 14-year tenure he created housing for about 66,000 families. The borough saw a significant drop in crime, particularly in the South Bronx, and a steady rise in business and real estate investment.

In 2005, Mr. Ferrer became the first Latino to win the Democratic Party nomination for New York City Mayor. He served as president of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a non-profit, progressive think tank dedicated to economic and social justice; as a member of the board of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity; and as chair of the board of the Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association.

Anthony Gardner
Deputy Director, Procurement Policy
Metro-North Railroad

Anthony Gardner is a procurement professional with 25 years of experience at MTA’s Metro-North Railroad in New York.  Current position as Deputy Director – Procurement Policy, includes the overseeing of professional staff involved interpreting procurement standards & procedures, small business outreach, cost/price analysis, reporting and overall support of all aspects of the Procurement processes.  Additionally, Mr. Gardner has an extensive background in procuring apparatus as well as various professional, construction and general services.

Michael Garner
Chief Diversity Officer
MTA Headquarters

After a long and distinguished career at the New York City School Construction Authority, Michael J. Garner was recruited and appointed as chief diversity officer at the MTA. He is responsible for the development and expansion of Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs; MWDBE Contract Integrity Monitoring functions; Title VI and Equal Employment Opportunities responsibilities; and other existing activities and functions of the Office of Civil Rights. Garner has a BS from SUNY Buffalo and an MBA from the State University of New York.

John Hanna
Assistant Director
MTA Capital Construction

John Hanna is a procurement professional with expertise in the end-to-end procurement process across the various stages of the supply chain, including requirements definition, RFx management, negotiations, contract execution and management, and supplier management. He is particularly effective in increasing value through achieving millions in savings and decreasing risk in order to increase revenue and profitability. He has been the assistant director, procurement at MTA Capital Construction since 2010, where he manages day-to-day activities of several contract administrators, procurement specialists and field procurement managers. From March 2009 until the present, Hanna has been a continuing education instructor at the Raritan Valley Community College in Somerville, N.J., developing and delivering course curriculum for purchasing and procurement courses. His additional work experience includes procurement manager for New York City Transit Authority; independent procurement consultant for AT&T.

Hanna, a member of the Institute for Supply Management, has served as vice president of business development of the ISM-NJ affilite. He holds an MBA in finance from St. John’s University, a master’s certificate in procurement from Arizona State University and a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University.

Seth Horowitz

Seth Horowitz
Engineering News-Record Regional Media

Seth Horowitz is publisher of ENR Regional Media for Dodge Data & Analytics (formerly McGraw Hill Construction). In this role, he is responsible for the leadership, development, strategic direction, and growth of all eight ENR Regional Publications as well as their integration to meet the media needs of customers and prospects, online and in print. Horowitz has a proven track record of identifying and creating new business opportunities related to new markets, new products, and an expanded customer base which help DDA’s customers and prospects Get Seen, Get Smarter, Find Work, and Do Work.

James H. Jones, P.E.
TDX Construction Corporation

James H. Jones is President and Co-Founder of TDX Construction Corporation, and is responsible for overall management of the firm’s employees and all company projects. Mr. Jones is President of the NYC Building Contractors Association and past Chairman of the Building Trades Employers Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the New York Building Congress and the Building Trades Employers Association. Mr. Jones served as Co-chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Blue Ribbon Panel, convened to review and recommend policy and procedures for the MTA’s major capital improvement projects. Mr. Jones is a licensed professional engineer and was a licensed land surveyor. He holds a B.E. in Civil Engineering from New York University and a M.S. in Management from Polytechnic Institute of New York.

Jim co-founded TDX Construction in 1980, and built it into a full-service construction management firm that has completed more than $3 billion of complex, urban projects. He continues to serve in a hands-on capacity, overseeing the management of major projects. Jim has played a key role in making TDX a leader in mentoring Small, Minority and Women-owned Business in the construction industry.

Martin Lyons
Centaur Insurance Services

Martin Lyons is the Managing Partner of Centaur Insurance Services Inc. and former Senior Vice President of Willis of New York, the world' s largest surety broker. Martin' s 27 years in the surety business, allows him to bring forth the necessary intellectual capital, negotiating skills, surety contacts and overall business acumen to successfully provide a business plan for suretyship to a contractor client. He is in charge of surety placement for the NYC School Construction Authority Graduate Mentor Program. In addition, Martin was recently appointed to handle the surety placement for the MTA. The MTA Surety Program is focused on assisting MBE, WBE, DBE and small emerging contractors. Centaur Insurance Services Inc. represents all the major surety companies that are

A-Rated and Treasury Listed.

Richard Mack
Director of Capital Construction Contracts
MTA Long Island Railroad

Richard Mack has 29 years of professional experience within the fields of procurement & contract administration, both with the MTA and NJ Transit. He is currently the director of capital construction contracts for the MTA Long Island Rail Road. In this capacity ,he is responsible for the management and implementation of a procurement plan that exceeds $500M.

Gavin Masterson
Chief Procurement Officer
Bridges & Tunnels

Gavin Masterson is the chief procurement officer for capital and major maintenance programs at MTA Bridges & Tunnels, having been with B&T in its construction and its services units for 24 years. He is accredited as a Certified Public Purchasing Officer since 2000, and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta. Prior to working at B&T, Masterson worked as a senior sub-contract administrator at Grumman Aerospace Corporation in Bethpage, N.Y.

Reggie Matela
Senior Manager, Technology Procurement
Long Island Rail Road

Reggie Matela, CPPB, has over 13 years of experience as an IT Procurement Professional managing government contracts. She currently leads a team of Procurement Officers responsible for planning and executing all technology-related procurement activities for the MTA Long Island Rail Road. Prior to joining LIRR, Ms. Matela served as a Manager of Non-Operations Procurements at MTA Metro-North Railroad, and Contract Administrator for the Fire Department of the City of New York.

Scott Mayclim
Senior Contract Manager, Procurement

Scott Mayclim has held a series of management positions since 1999 for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in Procurement. Prior to that he was an advertising executive for Gannett Suburban Newspapers. His expertise includes professional services contracts in addition to many other procurement related skills. He is thrilled to see the continuous growth of the M/WBE program, while it maintains its mission to empower the M/WBE community.

Christine Norman
MWDBE Procurement Manager
Metro-North Railroad

An experienced procurement professional with 15 years of specializing in compliance management and leveraging supplier diversity opportunities, Patricia Norman is is presently manager of MTA’s Metro-North Railroad’s M/W/DBE program. She interprets procurement procedures and guidelines, conducts outreach to small businesses, analyzes and reports agency performance with a focus on increasing diverse utilization. Additionally, Norman has an extensive background that includes setting goals for subcontracting construction and professional services, monitoring utilization, and sourcing diverse vendors to meet aggressive purchasing goals.

Jim Reynolds
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer
Loop Capital Markets, LLC

James Reynolds, Jr. is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital, a global investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm. Founded in 1997 with a team of six, under Mr. Reynolds’ leadership the firm has become one of the largest privately-held investment banks in the country, with nearly 200 professionals in 23 offices across the U.S.

A 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, Mr. Reynolds established and headed the Midwest Municipal Bond Sales Desk at PaineWebber in Chicago early in his career, and subsequently joined the Corporate and Institutional Client Group at Merrill Lynch, where he managed the municipalsales team responsible for the distribution of all tax-exempt products to institutions in the Midwest. In 1997, Mr. Reynolds collaborated with Albert Grace to form Loop Capital.

A passionate advocate of giving back to the community, Mr. Reynolds currently serves on the boards of buildOn, Chicago United, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and The University of Chicago Medical Center. Additionally, Mr. Reynolds is Vice-Chair of the board for the Chicago Urban League and a member of the CFA Institute. Previously, he was appointed to serve on the boards of World Business Chicago and The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority by the Mayor in 2011.

Mr. Reynolds holds a Masters of Management in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the AIMR in 1991 and holds series 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses.

Gregory Robinson
Director of Contract Administration
NYCT Bus Co.

Gregory Robinson has served as the director of contract administration for all centrally managed third party contracts for New York City Transit, Department of Buses and MTA Bus Company for the past 12 years. These include multi-year contract awards such as providing of bus fuel, leasing of bus tires, equipment purchases and all service and construction type related contracts. Overall, Robinson has almost 30 years of experience in mass transit procurement and contract administration with the MTA.

Mecca E. Santana
Chief Diversity Officer
State of New York

Mecca E. Santana was appointed as the Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York in September 2013.  The Chief Diversity Officer is one of three statutorily required positions with in the Executive Chamber, along with the Secretary and the Counsel.  As the Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Santana is responsible for the creation and implementation of recruitment and retention initiatives designed to promote workforce diversity and inclusion, while also leading new initiatives to increase Minority & Women Owned Business (MWBE) procurement opportunities.

Prior to joining the administration in 2013, Ms. Santana was the Executive Director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Management for the Office of Equal Opportunity at the New York City Department of Education.  As the Executive Director of EEO/Diversity & Inclusion for the largest school district in the country, Ms. Santana was responsible for ensuring department-wide compliance with all EEO laws and diversity policies by overseeing the Discrimination Complaint Unit, the Contract Compliance Unit, the Training Unit, the Disability Rights Unit, and the Diversity Management Unit – a unit that Ms. Santana created.  

Andrew Simmons  
Lashay’s Construction & Development Company

Andrew Simmons is a graduate of New York University where he received a diploma in building and construction management. He has received numerous awards and certificates including the Developers in the Community Award from the Housing Action Council. In February 2010, Simmons was recognized by Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins for his contributions to the community. He is active in the City of Yonkers and has served on the boards of the Yonkers YMCA and the Beczak Environmental Center. He continues to develop and build new affordable homes in Yonkers, N.Y.

Craig Stewart
Chief Officer Capital Programs
MTA Headquarters

Craig F. Stewart is the Senior Director, Capital Programs for the MTA. He advises the MTA Chairman on the capital plan and directs the development of the MTA’s Five Year Capital Program currently values at $35 billion. Stewart manages the MTA capital program funding plans, oversees the administration of the MTA’s Federal Grants program and provides oversight of the capital program through the Office of Construction Oversight. Additionally, he is responsible for construction management for the Small Business Mentoring program and directs the long-term investment strategies for MTA’s capital assets.

He is one of the lead professionals responsible for charting a new course of small business involvement in the over $35 billion MTA capital program. Stewart is a graduate of Boston College where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Niles Stewart
Vice President
Carver Federal Savings Bank

Niles Stewart is currently the VP and Business Banking Team Manager for Carver Federal Savings Bank, and has been since 2012. He has 25+ years of experience in banking, and has worked with big banks, small banks and financial Service Giants. He has worked in lending on the residential, commercial real estate and business side. He managed teams for years that have lent hundreds of millions of dollars in NYC. Mr. Stewart has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, and has taught small business owners at many different venues, including: WIBO (Workshops in Business Opportunities), NYC Solutions Center, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce. He has a passion for putting capital into the hands of small business owners throughout the city, spending time with his family and all things Brooklyn.

Bruce Wagner
Senior Director, Bid Solicitation
MTA NYC Transit

Bruce Wagner has over 30 years procurement experience, spanning both private and public arenas. For the last 13 years Wagner has managed the bid solicitation unit for  NYC Transit. He manages the solicitation/bidding process and vendor outreach for the material division of NYCT. Wagner has received a BBA in international business from Baruch College, an MBA in executive management from St. John’s University, and holds two certifications in the field of procurement. He is a Certified Purchasing Manager and Certified Public Procurement Officer.

Michael Wetherell
Director, Office of Construction Oversight
MTA Headquarters

Michael P. Wetherell, PE is the MTA’s director of the office of construction oversight. Wetherell brings more than 26 years of major transit project management experience to his position, including seven years of performing capital program oversight and capital project risk assessments nationally for the Federal Transit Administration. His career began with his service as an Officer in the U.S. Navy, followed by tours as a director with the bombardier transit division and as general manager of fleet engineering at MTA Long Island Rail Road, and most recently as vice president and chief mechanical officer for MTA New York City Transit.

He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a BS in engineering; and of New York University – Polytechnic, where he received a BS in civil engineering.