Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association
2020 Program Review
What follows is an outline of Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association (a.k.a.; 'The Association') activities for the 2020 calendar year.
Our organization reduced both its budget and number of new members during the year. Nevertheless, presently we remain healthy and at strength with over 100 current members and a membership list of past and future members representing 216 minority, immigrant and Hispanic owned contractors in the Washington Metropolitan region.
We have boosted our Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) membership in 2020 from 14 to 22, comprising some of the largest corporations in the sector including utilities, Airports Authority, insurance & accounting firms. (read listing at www.dchispaniccontractors.com).
This review does not account for time devoted to the organization of Board meetings, introductory 'intake briefings' for new members or other services the Association has offered in 2020. Included here are only live or virtual public gatherings carried out during the year. The work of the Association has now been joined by Cely Argueta from BNG Consulting, as new membership coordinator.
1. Corporate Advisory Council, 'Tapas & Wine Evening' - 2/4/20
On the evening of Tuesday, February 4, 2020 our Association invited 14 Corporate Advisory Council members to an evening of tapas and wine at La Taberna del Alabardero restaurant sponsored by First Citizens Bank.
Present that evening were representatives from 12 corporations, they were: Chairman Carlos Perdomo, Keystone Plus Construction; President Edwin Villegas, Winmar Construction; Jon Seavey, Gilbane Construction; Carolyn Ellison, Turner Construction; Billy Rocha, F.H. Paschen Construction; Chris Kerns, Fort Myer Construction; Amie Kromis, Skanska USA; Mark Bellingham, Monarch Construction; Jim Christian, Consigli Construction; Russell Philips, Cohn Reznick; Stephen Courtien, Balt./DC Building Trades Unions; Luis Clavijo, First Citizens Bank.
That evening all present committed to:
1.) participate in our 2020 fundraiser (postponed due to the pandemic),
2.) sign a statement in support of the work of the Association and
3.) work with the Association on providing partnerships for training and opportunities for our members to bid on their projects.
- Balt./DC Building Trades, networking session - Wednesday, 3/4/20
The Association participated in a, "Small Business Accelerator Program", in collaboration with the Baltimore/DC Building Trades Unions. It was the last live event before the Covid19 quarantine. More than 16 members attended along with numerous union contractors to explore collaboration among the companies from both networks and benefits of becoming a union construction firm. The Association organized a booth as did others including Turner Construction, Liuna and the Plumbers, Painters and miscellaneous unions. A number of large union General Contractors and development entities were also present. There was a presentation where The Association spoke about the history of our collaboration with the Building Trades Unions and our relationship with Stephen Courtien, President of Balt./DC BTU.
III. Cohn Reznick virtual event regarding PPP funding - 5/6/20
86 members of Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Assoc. and National Hispanic Construction Assoc. co-sponsored and participated in a virtual seminar geared toward understanding -at the start of the Covid virus lockdown period- how to apply for PPP and other forms of government assistance, tax implications and investment strategies for construction entities and what everyone should expect in the near future.
The experts who presented from our member company, Cohn Reznick, were: Jack Callahan, a CPA and national Construction Industry leader at CR. Jack lead discussions on some best practices to guide our contractors through these challenging times. Mary Amato CPA, also a presenter, is a tax partner specializing in construction and Real Estate. Mary discussed the CARES Act provisions that modified the tax code and could provide some cash flow relief.
- PEPCO virtual networking session - Tuesday, 6/16/20
With the help, guidance and support of PEPCO Vice President, Miguel Ortega, and the collaboration of Board Member and DCI owner, Pedro Alfonso, the Association prepared a virtual session for member sub-contractors with PEPCO's top officials and procurement managers to explore contracting opportunities for our contractors. There were 17 members on the call who submitted Capability Statements and introduced their companies to top procurement officials and project managers at PEPCO.
DCI, a 'contractor of choice' w/PEPCO, interviewed members after the network event and subsequently sub-contractors from the Association are being considered for PEPCO funded projects.
- 'Doing Business w/the Airports Authority'; MWAA virtual networking session - 9/3/20
21 members of the Association registered for a zoom session with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. MWAA presented Liz Bryan, Director of Procurement & Contracts and Moe Wada, Design Manager in charge of upcoming engineering projects. The Association sub-contractors each got 2 minutes to present their companies and follow up contacts were made for various firms who participated.
- Celebrating Diversity @ DGS - Recognizing the work of Donnie Gonzalez - 10/27,/20
67 members and guests attended our live, outdoor celebration of leadership diversity at the DC Dept. of General Services on the property of Chairman Carlos Perdomo in Lorton Va. on a beautiful Autumn Tuesday evening. At the event members of the Association Board of Directors and invited guests such as Korey Gray from DC Water and Miguel Ortega from PEPCO shared their tribute to Mr. Gonzalez and the work of the DC Dept. of General Services. This was the only fundraiser for 2020 of the Association and we are grateful for the support of all those who were present.
VII. Grof Receptions -Nov. 9 & 12, 2020
6 enterprises on Mon. November 9th & 8 companies on Thursday, November 12th met in person at the Kohler @ Grof Showroom in Bethesda for a reception and tour of the facility.
Present for the receptions were; Carlos Perdomo, Chairman of MDCHCA, owner of Keystone Plus Construction, Ricardo Navarro of Navarro Construction, Humberto Garces of Green Construction, Zaida DeLeon from Sparrow Consulting and Juan Carlos Passos of JCP General Contracting and others. Kohler at Grof has devised a program for Association members who purchase ceramics from their stores. [email protected] presented 2 workshops at their showroom following up this week of receptions.
VIII. Grof Workshops - Nov. 17-19, 2020
5 contractors sent their tradespersons to workshops that took place in the Bethesda show room of the [email protected] stores.
- Gilbane 1, virtual networking session - October 15, 2020
23 contractors signed up for the first zoom networking session with Gilbane Construction. The contractors heard from; Matthew Sarver (Vice President) – Gilbane Culture, Jay Johnson (Chief Purchasing Agent) – Gilbane Pre-qualification Process and Titus Sitnik (Chief Estimator) – Gilbane upcoming opportunities. The session was coordinated by Jessica Elias, an architect & project manager at Gilbane and soon to become Board Member of MDCHCA. In the spirit of doing everything possible to hire member contractors, It was agreed that there would be follow up meetings between Gilbane & the HCA. Gilbane is one of our most steadfast partners.
- Gilbane 2, follow up bid solicitation virtual session - December 18, 2020
8 sub-contractors from our Hispanic Contractors network participated in a follow up contracting session with Msgrs., Johnson & Sitnik on contracting opportunities with the company. The purpose of this follow up was to allow a fewer number of companies to expand on their qualifications and to dig into the opportunities for contracts with Gilbane. We are considering a third feature in 2021 where we can more thoroughly match our sub-contractor's skills with the needs of this large, active General Contractor and perfect our method of finding jobs for our companies.