It is truly an honor to hold this position as Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). There has been a great deal of focus on this issue as interested parties seek to support the fair and equitable distribution of resources. As Chairperson, I plan to work with agencies throughout the state, MWBE stakeholders as well as Alphonso David, General Counsel to the Governor, to identify opportunities and explore ways to improve and build upon the MWBE procurement processes that are in place. I also plan to help expand outreach and help to find innovative ways to build the capacity and sustainability of MWBE contractors and sub-contractors that will create a robust competitive landscape. Later this year, in November, Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Chair of the Government Operations Committee along with my subcommittee, will be holding a series of hearings and roundtables about MWBEs.
And, shortly, I myself will be embarking upon a tour both upstate and downstate so that I can learn first-hand what is happening all around the state.
My office is a resource. Please feel free to contact us at 718-940-0428 or go to my website at: nyassembly.gov/mem/Rodneyse-Bichotte
Member of the NYS Assembly
Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman/District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. She is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), which serves to promote economic diversity in New York State.
Bichotte Hermelyn, a former Wall Street banker, engineer and small business owner, has leveraged her experience in the free market to push public-private partnership initiatives across the state. She has sponsored legislation in the Assembly which reauthorized the MWBE program for five more years under article 15-A; raised the personal net worth cap for MWBE applicants from $3.5 million to $15 million, making more businesses eligible for the MWBE program; increased discretionary purchasing thresholds from $200,000 to $500,000; and created mentorship/workforce development programs as well as a pilot program that expands contracting opportunities for small/MWBE businesses with a total value of up to $20 million. Bichotte Hermelyn has established relationships with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC), School Construction Authority (SCA) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY); and all have set MWBE hiring goals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she championed bills to jump start the economy and improve equity for minority and women-owned small business owners. Bichotte Hermelyn hosted a webinar and participated in several panels with MWBE stakeholders to help them navigate the Coronavirus crisis and access resources, including grants and loans, as well as inform on strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. She provides annually, a platform that promotes networking, education, and resources for existing or potential MWBEs through a series of workshops at the National Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Conference. Under her leadership, the number of certified MWBE firms in New York State has more than doubled. The state has also set a goal of utilizing MWBEs for 30% of all state contracts, the highest rate in the nation.
Now in her fourth term, it is Bichotte Hermelyn’s mission to continue to help those underrepresented and underserved in the business world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, gain access to capital, access mentorship programs and business networks, and get opportunities to develop their business skills.
Bichotte Hermelyn holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and four undergraduate degrees in mathematics and engineering. She is currently a Juris Doctorate Candidate at Brooklyn Law School.