DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell Delivers Remarks at Western New York MWBE Conference

DASNY President & CEO Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell speaks at MWBE event in Buffalo on June 7, 2018.
DASNY President & CEO Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell speaks at MWBE event in Buffalo on June 7, 2018.
June 7, 2018, Buffalo, NY

Thank you for joining us. Thank you to the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York for partnering with DASNY and hosting us. I would also like to thank Kim Navarroli, Sr. Associate Director of Residential Facilities, Campus Living at UB for all of your assistance.

And thank you to Elyse Fears, representative from Senator Tim Kennedy’s office and Mark Boyd and Joyce Brown from Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes office for joining us.

It is a privilege to stand before you as President and CEO of New York State’s financier, developer, and construction manager.

Since day one, when the Governor asked me to come to DASNY and take on this responsibility, I did not see this as a job. I left a job. This was a mission; this is a mission. And I am grateful every day for this incredible opportunity to serve the extraordinary State of New York.

The State is taking bold steps towards equal opportunity, and DASNY takes pride in advancing an agenda that empowers women and minorities; and values disabled business owners who have served our great country.

Thanks to Governor Cuomo, New York State has the nation’s highest Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) utilization goal: a 30 percent MWBE participation rate for all State contracts.

I applaud Governor Cuomo and I am proud to support this transformative initiative. Our commitment to diversity is apparent in every project we undertake.

We have been working diligently to help firms build capacity and give all New Yorkers the opportunity to participate in a new, growing economy.


DASNY has a large footprint in Western New York and we are looking to help MWBE and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) firms grow and succeed in securing New York State contracts. We have accomplished a lot together and much work is underway.

Right now, we are completing nearly $10 million in summer upgrades right here at the University at Buffalo, and at nearby Buffalo State College, and Alfred State College. This work is part of approximately $31 million in upgrades to SUNY campuses throughout New York State that is being completed this summer, in 90 short days – ready in time for students to begin the fall semester.

Work is almost complete on a $16 million project to renovate Bishop Hall at Buffalo State College. This project involved the transformation of a 1970s style academic building back into a residence hall as the college increases its capacity for a growing student body. Work has begun on a $16 million project to renovate Tower Three at Buffalo State College. This is the third of four scheduled tower projects DASNY is completing for SUNY Buffalo State. Towers One and Four have already been completed.

The $18 million Phase Two renovation of Alfred State’s MacKenzie Complex is underway. We recently completed the $17.8 million Phase One renovation and students have moved into the 132-bed residence hall and we have received rave reviews. 

About 60 miles from here, at the College at Brockport, we are putting the finishing touches on Eagle Hall a new, $24 million residence hall.

It is the first time in recent memory that DASNY has deployed design-build, an alternative delivery tool we can apply to SUNY projects. This is a game changer. To make the project possible, we designed a new contract that applied lessons learned from the past. The contract will serve as a model for other design-build projects we are seeking to execute for SUNY campuses here in Western New York and across the rest of the state. In fact, we have another design-build residence hall project set to start at SUNY Polytechnic in Utica.

Importantly, the design-build contract maintains DASNY’s commitment to working with MWBEs and SDVOBs as well as our small business partners.

Design-build enables us to execute projects with greater speed, while keeping costs down. The design-build contract at Brockport provided flexibility for the selected design and construction team to break ground on the foundation while the balance of the residence hall design was being completed.

We are working to meet Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 30 percent MWBE contract participation goal for State projects.

This reflects our steadfast effort at DASNY to incorporate MWBE and service-disabled veteran participation into every contract we execute. It is a commitment that we apply to every project, no matter the size or how it is procured.


We are expanding our use of alternative construction delivery methods, such as design-build, construction manager build, and construction manager at risk. These methods apply a qualifications-based selection process to speed project delivery and reduce risks. We are doing so through an initiative called “One DASNY.”

Through “One DASNY,” we are streamlining our internal processes and expanding service offerings. “One DASNY” offers a complete integration of our resources in finance, design and construction, and a path for greater collaboration and coordination. Collaborating with DASNY means access to our full complement of resources.

Today, when our clients face challenges, DASNY is ready to deliver. By doing more for our clients and providing the highest level of service, we will deliver more for all New Yorkers.  And, regardless of the delivery method DASNY or New York State choses to apply to a particular project, we remain committed to contracting with MWBEs and SDVOBs.


MWBE and SDVOB contract participation is about more than just hitting targets on a spread sheet. By partnering with MWBE and SDVOB firms, DASNY and is helping create diverse communities that can better compete for business. For majority firms, working with MWBE firms and hiring minorities, women and veterans strengthens your position in the market, which in turn helps you expand and grow New York’s economy. 

Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for your partnership. I look forward to meeting each of you. We are continually seeking new initiatives designed to increase successful MWBE programs. MWBE participation is woven into the fabric of everything we do.