DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell Delivers Keynote Address During DASNY Session at 2017 NYS MWBE Conference

DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell speaks with attendees at 2017 NYS MWBE Forum in Albany.
DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell speaks with attendees at 2017 NYS MWBE Forum in Albany.

Thank you to Governor Cuomo for your leadership and commitment to supporting MWBEs throughout our great state. The Governor is driving results and DASNY stands out only because of the commitment he has made to successful MWBE participation.  

DASNY is a leader in offering solutions for financing, designing and building capital projects. One of our projects that I am incredibly proud of is Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus

Just a few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the campus. The university is financing a significant portion of it with low-cost, tax-exempt bonds issued on its behalf by DASNY. I was excited to see how Columbia was putting its capital to work. 

It was incredibly impressive to see how Manhattanville is revving the University’s and the community’s economic engine. The campus is far from complete, yet the elements that are in place -- the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts – are already reshaping the surrounding neighborhood and the University’s role within it. 

Both the science and arts center are open to the community and are part of a campus construction effort where 49 percent of the workers are minorities, women or hired locally. Their youth engagement programs present a value beyond measure. Where Columbia University and the community now intersect, residents of West Harlem and Upper Manhattan will have the ability to embrace opportunities to collaborate and create. 

Columbia University is not alone in realigning its relationship with the community it calls home. Colleges, along with health care service providers across New York State and even the nation are deepening their neighborhood roots. They are recognizing that their long-term success depends on their integration with the local economy. In the process, they are redefining and strengthening their roles as economic engines.

This new outlook is part of a larger transition taking place in these two key sectors of our economy, education and health care. Technology, shifting policies and tightening resources are pushing the institutions in these sectors to refocus on their core missions. 

DASNY and each and every one of you in this room who partner with us play a critical role in supporting these sectors. The transition they are going through presents us with the opportunity to evolve to meet their needs. DASNY is doing this. 

We are delivering One DASNY, a complete integration of all of our resources in finance, design and construction. As One DASNY, we are collaborating to leverage our entire organization. Health and education institutions are partnering with a full complement of resources that maximizes impact and gets results. 

One DASNY is already providing our clients with enhanced flexibility through a hybrid financing structure that mixes tax-exempt and taxable bonds for projects that incorporate private use. 

We deployed the structure last year, when DASNY issued $829 million in bonds on NYU’s behalf. Some of the taxable bonds included in the issue are being used to establish space for start-up companies at NYU’s new technology and arts integrative center at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn. It joins Columbia’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center and CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center in a science and research corridor supported by DASNY. 

One DASNY is expanding use of alternative construction delivery methods to speed project delivery and reduce risk. Last year, the DASNY Board approved construction manager build, adding to our tool box which already included construction manager at risk. 

We are applying these alternatives in particular to support our partners in public higher education – CUNY and SUNY. By getting their assets online faster, DASNY is helping them deliver opportunity for their students.  

This includes the creation of a new design-build contract that can be applied to SUNY campuses. The contract has been executed for a $21 million residence hall at The College at Brockport near Rochester. 

One DASNY is helping cut costs by combining the low-cost financing provided by our Tax-Exempt Leasing Program with our ability to purchase and procure systems. This integration enhances access to capital while connecting clients with DASNY’s rapid procurement ability and volume savings.

Like other SUNY institutions across the state, Monroe Community College enlisted DASNY to provide interior design and purchasing services for its new downtown campus with a $10 million budget. DASNY executed the work with 50 percent MWBE participation. By also coming in under budget, we strengthened our relationship as an extension of their staff with this important institution.  We are supporting Monroe Community College as it develops the workforce that Rochester needs to continue its advance into photonics and other technology. 

The Monroe Community College project’s high level, inclusive execution is representative of the results of One DASNY. 

Brockport’s design-build residence hall will be among the fastest we have ever delivered. When completed minority-owned businesses are expected to have a 19 percent participation rate on the project, and women owned businesses a 16 percent participation rate. It will serve as a model for other design build projects we are seeking to deliver for SUNY campuses across the state. 

A commitment by Columbia to pay more than $130 million to MWBEs and locally owned construction firms in building the Manhattanville Campus. New York University paying on average $50 an hour for skilled trade positions, the majority of jobs on the 370 Jay Street project. Startup space for companies spinning off of technology created at NYU, Columbia and CUNY. Billions of dollars in local wages paid among the universities. Doors opening to community involvement and pathways for success.

Through it all – integration. Integration into neighborhoods and communities. DASNY’s integration of services and support. As our ties evolve and deepen so too will each and every one of yours. 

Throughout this evolution our commitment to MWBEs has been on full display. Earlier this year, we held a surety bond training program that is helping construction firms grow their capacities so they can take on larger projects. For the first time, we executed a broker of record contract for our Commercial General and Excess Liability insurance program with an MWBE firm. For years, our Public Finance division has created opportunities for MWBE legal and banking firms to take on greater responsibilities and larger roles. 

We recognize the importance of having the DASNY team available to each of you. This evening, you will learn more about how DASNY can support and guide you, and about upcoming opportunities from Michael Clay and Lou Cirelli, the co-leaders of our Resource Acquisition Unit. This unit helps ensure that MWBE participation is central to every contract we execute. Mike will speak to you about how to partner with DASNY. Lou will discuss some of our upcoming opportunities. 

Included among them is our Creedmoor Psychiatric Center Building 70 Renovation project.  This ambitious $50 million project will create a new standard for a “community step-up/ step-down” transitional living facility with a safe, healing, home-like therapeutic environment. 

You will also hear from Paul Koopman who will go into further detail on how alternative project delivery methods such as design-build enhance MWBE participation. Portia will describe how we incorporate MWBEs into our bond issuances and Kim Ellis will delve into the role MWBE brokers play in our investment process. 

You will then have the remainder of our time here to meet and greet members of DASNY’s public finance, design, construction, and procurement teams. This is an opportunity to share ideas on how we can help each other in our efforts to make New York State a better place to live, work and learn so that our communities can best compete for jobs in the 21st century economy. 

We have an enormous task ahead of us in meeting capital needs in a fast-changing environment and it is only by growing our partnerships and taking them to new heights that we will find success. New York State is counting on us. Thank you!