While sitting with New York State Association of Minority Contractors (NYSAMC) President Joseph Coello Sr. at Fort Greene’s Madiba Restaurant one gets a feeling of a person of wisdom in both life and work experience, as well as someone with a burning passion for making the world a fairer and better place to live.
And as NYSAMC readies to celebrate it’s 20th year Anniversary gala at the end of the week, Coello and his organization’s advocacy for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) getting its’ fair share of contracts relating to the construction and development boom taking place throughout both Brooklyn and Queens, and the rest of New York City and State is stronger than ever.
“NYSAMC has been a fierce supporter and advocate for minority contractors in New York State over the last 20-plus years. The playing field has been mildly tilled as we struggle to address that New York City spends $17 billion on goods and services, but less than four percent goes towards MWBEs,” said Coello, who has been in construction for over 20 years.
“There is still so much more work for us to do. I am excited and energized with new initiatives as part of our strategic plan. We will be expanding membership to include greater representation from Asian and Hispanic-owned businesses,” he added.
The NYSAMC office, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, currently has 52 member contractors representing all construction trades including electrical, plumbing, concrete, rebar, demolition, carpentry, painting and general construction.
The organizations core services include providing technical and management training to minority contractors to help better prepare them for competitive bidding opportunities, advocating for and actively participating in local, state and federal government initiatives and programs which advance the concerns of minority contractors and seek to remove barriers to work opportunities. promoting the economic interests of minority contracting firms by gaining an equitable share of procurement and business opportunities for them, and building bridges between minority contractors and the parties and institutions with which they work.
In it’s 29-plus years NYSAMC, which is the NYS Chapter of the Washington DC-headquartered National Association of Minority Contractors, has also forged corporate and governmental partnerships in both development and infrastructure work. This includes the School Construction Authority (SCA), MTA, Forest City Ratner Companies, the State’s Dormitory Authority (DASNY), Con Edison, Battery Park, and New York Port Authority.
“Over the years NYSAMC has earned a solid and excellent working relationships with key stakeholders and community organizations in the New York State construction industry. We have played a major role in advancing the causes and continue to be a major contributor for key legislation that affects our MWBE community,” said NYSAMC Executive director Len Britton.
This year’s NYSAMC Anniversary Awards Gala is also honoring a number of local civic, business and elected leaders at the event Medgar Evers Professor Dr. John Flateau, who is also a CUNY Commissioner and sit’s as Brooklyn’s representative to the City’s Board of Elections; Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, who will receive the community empowerment Award; Veronica Hakim, the MTA’s Managing director and NYC Deputy Mayor Richard Buery Jr., who both will recieve the New York City and New York State Public Sector Partnership Awards; Dawanna Williams, Founder and principal of Dabar Development Partners, who will receive the Private Sector Partner Award; Meredith Marshall, President/CEO of BRP Companies, who will receive the Developer of the Year Award; Kevin Johnson, President/CEO of the Crystal Group, who will receive the Emerging Developer of the year Award; Dwayne C. Sampson, founder and president of the Transportation Diversity Council, who will receive the Darryl E. Greene MWBE Advocacy Award; Gloria C. Shealy, President of the Danielle Company and past President of NAMC; Nancy M. Lepre, President of the Avante Contracting Corp. and Abracadabra Painting Corp; and LaRay Brown, President and CEO of Interfaith Medical Center with WBE Champion Awards.