NYPA Hosts 21st Annual Purchasing Exchange: Welcomes New Chief Diversity Officer

Paul DeMichele

June 8, 2011


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) 21st Annual Purchasing Exchange for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) will serve to launch a broadened effort to support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s efforts to increase opportunities for such enterprises and to expand diversity throughout NYPA’s operations.  In addition to this critical event and in support of this renewed commitment, NYPA has hired a dynamic, experienced public servant as its new chief diversity officer to its senior management.

NYPA’s Annual Purchasing Exchange, an established forum for MWBEs seeking opportunities, and companies looking to expand their access to qualified suppliers, will be held Thursday, June 9, from noon to 4 p.m. at NYPA’s White Plains office at 123 Main Street.   

NYPA’s Purchasing Exchange is a venue for minority- and women-owned suppliers of goods and services to gather and exchange information and procurement opportunities with each other, and to pursue contract opportunities with purchasing representatives from large public and private organizations.   MWBE firms attending the Purchasing Exchange specialize in supplying professional services, construction-related goods or services, or high technology goods and services. 

“Over the years, NYPA’s Purchasing Exchange has grown to become one of the most important events of the year in the State of New York for minority- and women-owned businesses looking for opportunities, and companies looking to expand their access to qualified suppliers,” said NYPA Trustee Mark O’Luck. “As our State works to transcend the nation’s economic difficulties, NYPA is proud to have a hand in ensuring that all New York’s business owners benefit.”

Among the nearly 40 entities planning to participate this year in the Purchasing Exchange are private corporations such as Bank of New York Mellon, Pepsi, Con Edison, National Grid and for the first time, Microsoft.  Public agencies include the New York State (NYS) Department of Transportation, NYS Dormitory Authority, NYS Insurance Fund, New York City (NYC) Housing Authority, NYC Health and Hospitals, NYC School Construction Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority and Empire State Development Corporation, along with many others. 

Over 250 MWBE firms, some sending several representatives, will be attending to pursue the many opportunities available at NYPA’s Purchasing Exchange.

“NYPA has a proven track record in soliciting business with minority- and women-owned firms; however,  in an effort to  support Governor Cuomo’s efforts at the state level and to reinforce our diversity commitment, we are strengthening our efforts across all areas of NYPA operations,” said Richard M. Kessel, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “ To accomplish this, we have recently created and filled a new position to oversee diversity issues at NYPA holistically with the appointment of Chief Diversity Officer, Sylvia Hamer. “ 

Hamer comes to the Power Authority after working in numerous positions in New York State and local government including, Deputy Secretary to the Governor, Executive Director for Administration, and Chair of the Labor Management Committee for the New York State Office of the Attorney General, as well as several positions with the New York State Senate.   In Westchester County, Hamer served as Coordinator for the Operation Talent Bank Program; Manager of an outplacement program for dislocated workers; and served as a Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainer for county employees.  She has been honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship from the Council of State Governments, and a Public Policy Fellowship from the Center for Women in Government at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the New York State University of Albany.  

As the Chief Diversity Officer, Hamer will review NYPA's corporate diversity policies and procedures and direct the alignment of workforce initiatives to support the Governor's efforts.  With a  strong background in procurement and extensive MWBE experience, she will support and help expand NYPA’s  well renowned supplier diversity program.

 “I’m honored to join NYPA’s team and to work with dedicated professionals who consider diversity of critical importance and actively work to achieve it. I look forward to building on NYPA’s success in diversity and working to position NYPA as a model for other state and corporate entities,” said Hamer.

More information on NYPA’s Supplier Diversity program can be found at http://www.nypa.gov/SDP/default.htm. It is not necessary for MWBEs to be certified by New York State to attend, though representatives will be available to assist those who are interested in the certification process.

NYPA operates a multimillion dollar supplier diversity program to ensure that diverse suppliers actively and successfully participate in NYPA’s procurement process. NYPA's supplier diversity program is also responsible for negotiating with subcontractors, evaluating compliance for prime contracts and monitoring labor force requirements.

For New York State’s fiscal year 2010-2011, NYPA awarded more than $36.5 million of its reportable expenditures to State-certified MWBE firms and will increase those efforts in support of Governor’s Cuomo’s initiatives to bolster supplier diversity statewide.   

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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