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Register Today For The 28th Annual Conference!

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

Event Program


8:00am - 9:00am

Registration & Breakfast

Location: Majestic

Opening Remarks

Reverend Jacques Degraff

Marlene Cintron, Administrator, Small Business Administration


9:00am - 10:00am

Plenary Discussion: “Back to Business 2.0”

Agency Executives discuss new initiatives specific for small business on back to business PROJECT AND FINANCE opportunities throughout NYS

Location: Majestic


Zenaida Rodriguez, CEC Chair, Executive Director
The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors


Suzanne Veira, Vice President, Chief, NYC School Construction Authority

Michael J. Garner, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Kevin Kim, Commissioner, Small Business Services

Karine Apollon, Chief Diversity Officer, DDO, Department of Education

Suzette Bather-Taylor, Program Director, Business Diversity, Aviation Department, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey


10:15am - 11:15am

Special Presentation | “Getting Ready to Access Capital” Programs for Business Growth

Discussion on finance opportunities to include access to line of credit, bridge loans, SBA loans, and business continuity planning.

Location: Aquitannia East


Justin McLaughlin, Diversity Director, Battery Park City Authority


Madeline Marquez, EVP Chief External Affairs, Ponce Bank

Michael Clay, Director of Opportunity Programs, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York

David Cayemitte, Chief Executive Officer, Embrace Partners

Ray Salaberrios, Senior VP, Empire State Development

Access to Procurement Opportunities | Major Contract Opportunities In Tri-State Area

Take an in-depth look at contracts, partners/joint ventures, and private-public partnerships.

Location: Aquitannia West


Melissa Jones, Director, Construction Diversity Programs & Contract Compliance Management, Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Kimberly Hardy, Diversity Manager, The New Terminal One

Eric Alemany, Senior Director Supplier Relationship Management, New York Power Authority

Tony Alvarado, Regional Contract Manager, ABM

Heather Baumann, Contracts Manager, New York State Insurance Fund

The New Office & Back-office Support Paradigm | Technology in Your Office Space

Learn how the office must revise its approach to insurance, taxes, benefits, and technology.

Location: Oceanic


Andrea Giraldo, Owner/Business Consultant, A&G Trading & Giraldo Farms


Veronica Flanders, Assistant Vice President/Director, New York State Homes and Community Renewals

Abner Larrieaux, Founder, A.L. Consulting Group

Jacqueline Capriles, President, Leading Factor

Robin Wilcox, Director/Corporate Development, Haydan Consultants, Inc.


11:15am - 12:15pm

NYS/NYC Discretionary Opportunities & Guidelines

Take advantage of discretionary funding available for your business at all levels of government. Up-to-date information and guidance on how to take advantage of those small purchases.


Quenia Abreu, President and CEO, New York Women's Chamber of Commerce


Anthony Peterson, Executive Director, Crescent Consulting

William Choi, Directory of Supplier Diversity, City University of New York

Christine Norman, Assistant Deputy Chief of Supplier Diversity for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Headquarters Procurement

Eric Alemany, Senior Director Supplier Relationship Management, New York Power Authority

Glenessa Gordon, Assistant Director Business Diversity and Outreach Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


12:30pm - 2:00pm

Awards Luncheon


Catherine Trigg-Jones,

Michael Max Knobbe,

Ruth Hassel-Thompson,
Special Advisor, New York State Homes and Community Renewal

Julissa Gutierrez,
Chief Diversity Officer, Office of New York State Governor Hochul


11:00am - 3:00pm

Marketplace Open

Network Opportunities


2:30pm - 3:30pm

Health & Wellness Opportunities: Cannabis - A Growing Market

The cannabis industry is green but poised for exponential growth.


Dasheeda Dawson, Founding Director, Cannabis, NYC


Dr. Duclas Charles, PharmD

Solonje Burnett, Co-Founder and CEO, Humble Bloom, Co-founder and Chief Culture & Community Officer, Honeypottt