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Pier 60 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY
October 31, 2022, 8AM - 3PM EST


2022 Award Recipients


Richard-Cotton

Richard Cotton

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY

2022 “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” Award

Rick Cotton became Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in August 2017. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Mr. Cotton served as New York State’s Special Counsellor to the Governor for Interagency Initiatives, focused on the State’s major downstate infrastructure projects such as LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Moynihan Train Hall and Penn-Farley Complex, the new Tappan Zee Bridge, the expansion of the Javits Center, and the MTA's Second Avenue Subway project.

Previously, Mr. Cotton spent 25 years at NBC Universal, where he held several positions, including 20 years as EVP and General Counsel and four years in London as President and Managing Director of CNBC Europe. He also served as Executive Secretary to the Department at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Deputy Secretary of Energy John Sawhill at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Cotton received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Dunyo-Awoonor

Dunyo Awoonor

General Contractor of Skyline Industries, LLC.

SKYLINE INDUSTRIES, LLC.

2022 “MBE” Award

Skyline Industries, LLC is a full-service Construction Management and General Contracting firm offering an extensive range of services in multiple markets for both the private and public-sector clients. Mr. Dunyo Awoonor a trained Architect founded Skyline Industries in 2007 in Brooklyn, New York as a General Contractor and Construction Management Firm. After successfully creating the firm into a leading New York City Specialty Contractor, Mr. Awoonor with his management team saw the opportunity to take the company in a new direction, as a full-service and diverse General Contracting and Construction Management Company that is approved and qualified to bid in public sector projects.

Armed with vast technical background, he is focused on fulfilling his goals of becoming one of the most outstanding firms within the construction industry. His aggressive approach to problem solving and eagerness to achieve higher level of project execution has propelled Skyline Industries into one of the premier companies in its field.

Skyline was built around the core of a strong seasoned project management and supervision team, ensuring that projects would be profitable from the time of takeoffs and bids, through the oversight of vendors and subcontractors, with a focus on completing the work ahead of schedule. The key traits to building SKYLINE’s successful team:

  • Strong management
  • Deep and broad array of industry knowledge
  • Timely completion of projects
  • Selective bidding on projects with significant upside profitability
  • Moving early with the trend of “Green” building now permeating public work projects
  • Hiring talented professionals for the office and field
  • Ensuring open communication at each phase of construction

Skyline is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified with NYS and NYC and Certified with the NY/NJ Port Authority as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).

Skyline received certification as a participant in the United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program. The SBA 8(a) Program is awarded to small, disadvantaged businesses in order to compete in the marketplace. Based upon this certification, Skyline is now eligible to bid on federal projects set aside specifically for 8(a) recipients.

Skyline is certified as a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) to work on any Federally funded project.

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Alexis-McSween

Alexis Mcsween

General Contractor of Bottom Line Construction & Development, LLC.

BOTTOM LINE CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT, LLC.

2022 “WBE” Award

Alexis McSween is the founder and CEO of Bottom Line Construction & Development, LLC (BLCD). A 100% woman- and minority-owned construction and development company, BLCD embodies the grit and grace that characterizes Alexis’ life. Alexis brings over eighteen years of practical and professional experience—twelve of which are in real estate development and construction, including public works—to building communities. She combines human centric-community development, entrepreneurial problem solving and hard-core real estate development and construction management. In doing so, BLCD can fulfill market demand, minimize financial risk, leverage transferrable models, and maximize municipal incentives while making a broader and lasting impact.

She acted on her passion in real estate in 1994 after she purchased and renovated her first multi-family unit in Queens, NY. She also owned the end-to-end life cycle development and construction of a $7 million 7-unit boutique condominium development named “Baldwin Park” in honor of Harlem poet and author James Baldwin. While earning her Master’s, she worked as a project manager for a WBE* construction and management firm located in Harlem on public projects to tune of ~$4 million. Her continued success recently allowed her the honor of being awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2020 New York Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

Alexis also practiced nursing full-time for 13 years—she remains an RN to this day, sometimes donning her RN hat when needed—and was also a first responder having been an EMT with New York City Fire Department. She made her foray into real estate while she served as a nurse in various communities in the Greater New York area.

Alexis is also the founder of Youth Construct; a Harlem based non-profit that trains local high school youth in construction administration. She hopes that Youth Construct will help to diversify and transform the future of construction leadership by equipping NYC’s underserved youth with the skills needed to build and develop their own communities.

Alexis has a Master of Science in Real Estate Development, minoring in Construction Management from New York University’s Shack Real Estate Institute. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and is affiliated with several professional organizations.

Today, Alexis is leading a $6.3 million Tier 1 construction management project in Harlem—The Victoria, a 28-story mixed use complex. She is also pursuing strategic real estate development and construction opportunities that embrace her community development ethos.

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Dan Sawh

Dan Sawh

CEO of Haydan Consultants, Inc.

Haydan consultants, inc.

2022 “DBE” Award

Haydan Consultants, Inc. is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) offering a suite of hands-on professional services to the construction industry. It was founded in January 2019 by AEC industry veteran Dan Sawh, whose 32-year career includes key strategic and operational leadership roles at STV Incorporated and AECOM. Headquartered in Rosedale, Queens, Haydan strives to provide best-in-class service across the transportation, water, facilities, power/energy and environmental markets in both the public and private sectors. The firm’s service offerings include Program Management; Construction Management and Inspection; Project Controls (Scheduling, Estimating, Document Controls, Risk Management); Environmental Services (Investigation, Remediation, Oversight); and Compliance (Safety, Diversity, Code).

In an effort to prioritize long-term partnerships, Haydan is focused on two key goals: client service and employee development. The firm also has a commitment to grow bioing diversity in the AEC industry through mentorship programs, proactive recruiting efforts and partnership outreach to certified Minority and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Dan believes strongly in paying forward the life-changing experiences he has had working in the industry, aiming to empower the next generation by providing opportunities to flourish, with a constant focus on equality.

As the Owner and President of Haydan, Dan leads strategy, operations and client engagement functions for the firm. He has managed thousands of design, engineering, program and construction management professionals throughout his career. Prior to founding Haydan, Dan served as COO for AECOM’s Northeast region, with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. He previously held leadership positions at both DMJM + HARRIS during his 20-year career at AECOM and STV.

Dan immigrated to the United States with his family from Guyana when he was 16, settling in Jamaica, Queens. After studying accounting at Baruch College, Dan found his personal and professional passion in the AEC industry, inspired by the architecture, engineering and construction fields working together toward the common goal of building something that makes a positive impact on residents and their communities. He was motivated to found Haydan by the entrepreneurial spirit of his parents and grandparents, who also built businesses of their own. Dan is a Board Member of CORO New York and is active with a number of other philanthropic and community organizations.

Haydan Consultants, Inc. is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) offering a suite of hands-on professional services to the construction industry. It was founded in January 2019 by AEC industry veteran Dan Sawh, whose 32-year career includes key strategic and operational leadership roles at STV Incorporated and AECOM. Headquartered in Rosedale, Queens, Haydan strives to provide best-in-class service across the transportation, water, facilities, power/energy and environmental markets in both the public and private sectors. The firm’s service offerings include Program Management; Construction Management and Inspection; Project Controls (Scheduling, Estimating, Document Controls, Risk Management); Environmental Services (Investigation, Remediation, Oversight); and Compliance (Safety, Diversity, Code).

In an effort to prioritize long-term partnerships, Haydan is focused on two key goals: client service and employee development. The firm also has a commitment to grow bioing diversity in the AEC industry through mentorship programs, proactive recruiting efforts and partnership outreach to certified Minority and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Dan believes strongly in paying forward the life-changing experiences he has had working in the industry, aiming to empower the next generation by providing opportunities to flourish, with a constant focus on equality.

As the Owner and President of Haydan, Dan leads strategy, operations and client engagement functions for the firm. He has managed thousands of design, engineering, program and construction management professionals throughout his career. Prior to founding Haydan, Dan served as COO for AECOM’s Northeast region, with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. He previously held leadership positions at both DMJM + HARRIS during his 20-year career at AECOM and STV.

Dan immigrated to the United States with his family from Guyana when he was 16, settling in Jamaica, Queens. After studying accounting at Baruch College, Dan found his personal and professional passion in the AEC industry, inspired by the architecture, engineering and construction fields working together toward the common goal of building something that makes a positive impact on residents and their communities. He was motivated to found Haydan by the entrepreneurial spirit of his parents and grandparents, who also built businesses of their own. Dan is a Board Member of CORO New York and is active with a number of other philanthropic and community organizations.

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William-Levine

William Levine

CEO of WL Concepts & Production, Inc.

WL Concepts & production, inc.

2022 “SDVOB” Award

Bill Levine is a Service Disabled Navy Veteran of Vietnam. As such, he was able to participate in New York State’s Veteran’s Outreach Program when he started WL Concepts in 2001. This dynamic program through SEAP (Self Employment Assistance Program) provided him a Veteran mentor, a well-decorated retired Navy Captain, with a wealth of information and direction to impart. Bill absorbed this knowledge and coupled it with his prior 20 years in the signage, graphics and branding industry to become NYS’s Veteran Business of the Year as the President and CEO of WL Concepts & Production, Inc. He and his team continue to take the industry by storm!

Through his business strategies and tenacity, Bill and his team have become a part of the global market. WL Concepts has grown in size, technological capabilities, sales and partner satisfaction. WL Concepts provides design/build solutions to both the State and the Federal Governments, as well as many significant names throughout the private sector. A few project highlights in 2022 include the design/build Clean Energy, Green Environment exhibition at the New York State Fair (with raves that it is the closest to Disney that the State Fair has ever seen); comprehensive wayfinding signage and environmental graphics packages for Veterans Hospitals throughout the US; signage, graphic and branding programs for SUNY: design/build beautification projects for Naval Special Warfare in San Diego; NYS’s EVolve Initiative for electric charging stations throughout the State; and, the Electric Vehicle discovery center at the Javits auto show. WL is currently working on projects with a maximum impact to the environment. In the entertainment industry, WL acted as a subcontractor for the new build of the Islander’s UBS Arena, and prime contractor for the US Open.

Bill’s team of experts work on projects from concept design through fabrication and implementation, taking on all roles and responsibilities to ensure our clients have the most impactful results. Bill and his team seamlessly integrate the client’s dream into a reality more rewarding than they imagined. The renovation and completion of New York’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library was a resounding success followed by the design/build of the LT. Michael P Murphy Navy SEAL Museum in Sayville, NY.

In addition to the national and global projects, Bill provides charitable services to organizations close to his heart; some of which include United Cerebral Palsy, Literacy Nassau and the Navy SEAL Museum. It brings him great joy to be able to share his successes.

About seven years ago, Bill’s youngest son James joined the company. James is a Cornell graduate from The Hotel School. The addition of James’ hospitality and business leadership expertise have brought WL Concepts to a whole new level. He is able to stimulate conversation with clients as though they were his guests; and then his supportive team of experts gets to work on fulfilling the clients’ dreams. It is a win for everyone!

It is with pride that Bill continues to run WL Concepts as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business. That designation provides the company with the opportunity to participate in the design and development of enterprise throughout the Country.

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CHRISTOPHER ASARO

Christopher Asaro

President of Holt Construction Corporation

HOLT CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION

2022 “GENE SWANSTON LEADERSHIP” Award

As Holt’s President, Christopher Asaro sets the daily direction for the firm’s team of over 300 professionals. Asaro and his leadership team have consistently increased the firm’s revenue since 2001, strategically opening offices in key geographic areas throughout the nation. Considered a national aviation construction leader, Asaro has fostered key relationships throughout the country with carriers, concessionaires, and the AEC community.

Asaro has instituted a culture at Holt that focuses on client service and satisfaction while also maintaining a family atmosphere at the 103-year-old firm. Asaro has been recognized by several organizations, including the Subcontractor Trade Association of New York and the Women Builders Council for his commitment to elevating and advancing the AEC industry.

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Lateef-Belfor

Lateef Belfor

General Contractor of Bonanza Contracting, LLC.

Bonanza Contracting, llc.

2022 “Rising Star” Award

Bonanza Contracting is a family-owned MBE, certified licensed commercial and residential contractor based in Westchester County and serving NYC and the Tri-State area. Attention to detail, exemplary customer service, and dedication to safety & quality are the company's defining values. Bonanza Contracting specializes in commercial carpentry like framing, drywall, layout, millwork, safety protection, flooring, and ceilings, as well as residential construction such as general contracting, full gut renovations/remodeling, kitchens, bathrooms, taping, painting, millwork and roofing.

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