Dr. Bushell Delivers Remarks at Special DASNY Session During 2018 New York State MWBE Forum

Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell delivers remarks at 2018 NYS MWBE Forum in Albany
Dr. Gerrard P. Bushell delivers remarks at 2018 NYS MWBE Forum in Albany

WELCOME

Thank you all for coming. I am delighted to see so many of you here today. This is an exciting time to partner with New York State. 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 veteran business owners who have served our great country.

We are here today first and foremost because of the example Governor Cuomo has set – it is his 30 percent MWBE participation rate benchmark on all state contracts that we are proud to say at DASNY we have not only proven we can meet, but we will exceed it.

MWBE participation is woven into the fabric of everything we do. That is why I am proud to stand here before you today as the leader of one of the nation’s top issuers of infrastructure financing and largest infrastructure construction project managers. Over the course of the last three and a half years, DASNY has executed transactions worth more than $30 billion.

We are continually evolving so we may better deliver for our clients and all New Yorkers. This is a process that began at the start of my tenure in 2015 when Governor Cuomo appointed me President and CEO of DASNY. The Governor appealed to my commitment to serve the public and do mission-driven work. This is a mission. And we have completed much at DASNY.

We have developed and supported world-class centers of scientific research: (Columbia University’s Mind and Brain Center; NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center). We support the transformation of health care delivery—helping to improve vital care and ensuring New York State retains a world-class health care infrastructure that is best in class and accessible to all.

We build a resilient and sustainable New York—building the infrastructure to help us reduce our energy usage and generate cost savings; and redesigning infrastructure to protect us from storms. We are winning the competition for the best minds in New York State—supporting our colleges and universities in their efforts to grow and innovate. And we are supporting and advancing diversity and inclusion: breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for all New Yorkers.

ONE DASNY

Today, we are positioning DASNY as the nation’s premiere financier and builder of social infrastructure for the future. Our goal is to ensure and expand DASNY’s role as an essential partner that responds swiftly and expertly to our clients’ increasingly varied and rapidly changing needs.

Through an internal initiative, known as “One DASNY,” we have identified three key principals to achieve this worthy goal:

  • Strengthen our partnerships and grow our business;
  • Structure a clearly defined approach to risk management across DASNY; and
  • Develop more efficiencies in our process and execution.

Under the One DASNY initiative, we have successfully implemented numerous improvements at DASNY. We have streamlined processes, increased the flow of information and the speed of decision-making, deployed new technology, and expanded our financing and project delivery methods.

DESIGN-BUILD

Residence halls or dormitories as they are also called are very important to our SUNY partners. We have authorization to do Design-Build, a faster alternative delivery method, in our SUNY portfolio. In this context, we are enabled to incorporate earlier in our general conditions Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs) goals.

We have been building Dorms for SUNY for close to 75 years. However, since 2013, DASNY has supported, a discrete program geared to financing SUNY’s residence hall projects called DASNY’s SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program. This program enables DASNY to issue low-cost, tax-exempt bonds for campus improvements. Student residence hall fees support the program.

Just last month, we successfully completed a $24 million, 263-bed residence hall for The College at Brockport near Rochester using an alternative delivery method design-build. Our MWBE goals on SUNY Brockport exceeded 30%.

SUNY Brockport was a great success, and it is opening the door to many more opportunities for us, including a new 250-bed residence hall at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica and the $750 million NYS Life Sciences Public Health Laboratory in the Capital Region. Both projects will be delivered using design-build.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACTING

DASNY is also providing additional services to meet the needs of our clients. DASNY is developing a combination of its energy performance services with its Tax-Exempt Equipment Leasing Program and a combination of its procurement services with TELP. 

This energy-saving program will help DASNY clients reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs. It will also advance Governor Cuomo’s statewide energy goal to build a clean energy future for all of New York State.

The energy performance/TELP package will allow us to offer a turn-key solution to both public and private clients to design, build, and finance capital projects that save energy, reduce clients’ energy costs, and decrease clients’ operations and maintenance costs.

This is a tremendous opportunity to help clients who would benefit from both the energy improvements and the tax-exempt savings, but do not have the internal capacity to develop and manage these projects.

SURETY BOND TRAINING PROGRAM

At DASNY, we also offer a Surety Bond Training Program for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veterans to help them expand their capacities and grow to become prime contractors.

The DASNY Surety Bond Training Program teaches MWBE and SDVOB firms how to operate their businesses more efficiently and maximize their ability to complete projects on time and on budget.

This program will help these firms grow their reach and increase their bonding capacity to work on larger projects and expand their ability to access procurement opportunities. I am proud to announce we are offering this program again starting on October 23.

In cooperation with The Cayemitte Group, classroom and Quickbooks training will be made available, as well as one-on-one consulting services. Eighteen courses will help firm owners develop their skills in topics including: accounting and finance, operations, contract law and avoiding construction fraud, optimizing your bond line, and estimating and working with construction documents.

Please visit our website, DASNY.org for more information on this program.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

MWBE and SDVOB contract participation is about more than just hitting targets on a spread sheet. It is about helping create diverse communities that can better compete for business.

For majority firms, working with MWBE firms and hiring minorities, women and veterans strengthens market positions, which in turn helps expand and grow New York’s economy. We help firms do so by identifying key procurements.

Just last year, in a seminal moment for New York State and DASNY, JP West, Inc. became the first MWBE firm to be selected as DASNY’s broker of record for our Commercial General and Excess Liability insurance program.

CONCLUSION

At DASNY, we are seizing the opportunity to evolve to meet the capital needs of our partners in a rapidly changing environment. Growing our partnerships will be the key to our success in that arena.

As DASNY prepares to enter its 75th year, we remain steadfast in our dedication to our clients, and to the State of New York. We are on a quest, to do more and to do it better. For that, we rely on your feedback and partnership. I welcome any suggestions and look forward to building New York State together.

Thank you.