Women’s Government Contracting Forum

This event is free and open to the public.
womens_forum2

Women-owned businesses that have gotten federal government contracts are 23 times more likely to break through that $1 million+ revenue barrier, according to Women and Minority Small Business Contractors: Divergent Paths to Equal Success.

Getting government contracts is hard work. Not only do you have to be certified as a women-owned business, you have to actively pursue networking and partnering if you want to work with big business and government, said Pamela Prince Eason, CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in an interview with Associated Press.

Save The Date
We are developing a government contracting forum series for women-owned businesses. The series will help women, obtain government contracts at every level of government: school board, local, county, state, and federal.
 
The focus for the first forum on Saturday, May 16th will be how to obtain contracts with local school districts.
High School Zip Code School District Median Income Mean SAT Scores: Total/Critical Reading/Math/Writing Students Qualifying for Free Lunch 4-Year Graduation Rate
Bronxville 10708 Bronxville UFSD $95,815 1821/605/601/615 0% 99%
Eastchester 10709 Eastchester SD $92,098 1581/520/541/520 0% 97%
Mamaroneck 10543 Mamaroneck UFSD $87,316 1706/563/573/570 8% 94%
Mount Vernon 10552 Mount Vernon City SD $64,001 1227/415/410/402 47% 71%
New Rochelle 10801 New Rochelle City SD $54,504 1472/483/496/493 32% 83%
Gorton 10703 Yonkers PS $57,116 1080/374/347/359 87% 65%

Source: Westchester Magazine

At this forum we will also be exploring how to replicate the DC Central Kitchen model locally to train local people to provide healthy food to local school districts.
The Obamas at DCCK

President Barack Obama checks in on First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia as they prepare burritos while volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., on Martin Luther King Day
Our interview with Robert Egger, founder of DCCK: https://startuptown.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/robert-egger/

Speakers

Urvashi Rangan

Director, Consumer Safety and Sustainability
Expertise in: SafetyFoodProducts
Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. leads and directs the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports. She is responsible for managing risk analysis, policy assessments, label evaluations and consumer advice for tests, reports, and related advocacy work. Urvashi joined Consumers Union in 1999 and developed the ratings system, database, and Web site, Eco-labels.org for evaluating environmental and food labels. In 2005, she managed the launch of GreenerChoices,org, which covers green aspects over a wide range of products and services.
Dr. Rangan serves as a primary, national spokesperson for Consumer Reports in the areas of sustainable production/consumption practices, food safety, and product safety issues related to chemical and contaminant hazards.
barnett
Catherine Barnett
Executive Director ROC New York
Catherine Barnett is the Director of Restaurant Opportunities Center of NY (ROC-NY), an affiliate of ROC United. She comes to ROC-NY after a 15-year career at Project Enterprise, a nonprofit organization providing business training, microloans and leadership development for entrepreneurs in New York City. Catherine serves on the board of The New Economy Project (formerly NEDAP), a resource and advocacy center promoting financial justice in New York City. She is also a volunteer with the Staten Island Neighborhood Food Initiative, and an advisory board member of the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference at Tuskegee University.
Toan Huynh
Toan is the co-founder and co-owner of The Saucey Sauce Co. She is also a co-founder and senior executive at Cloud Sherpas. She also serves as a mentor, investor, and panelist in the NY tech and food start-up space. Toan is a member of the 37 Angels, a women-only angel investing network, Ellevate (formerly 85Broads) among others.
Carmen Huertas-Noble

Associate Professor Huertas-Noble is the founding director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) at CUNY School of Law. She served as a senior staff attorney in the Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). As part of CDP, she worked with neighborhood residents to form nonprofits as well as established organizing groups to create alternative institutions, such as worker-owned cooperatives (cooperatives).

Professor Huertas-Noble has played a leading role in providing transactional legal support to worker-owned cooperatives in New York. While at UJC, she counseled cooperatives in navigating their legal entity formation options and on creating democratic governance structures. She worked with ROC-NY in creating COLORS, a worker-owned restaurant in Manhattan and Green Workers Cooperatives in creating ReBuilders Source, a South Bronx worker-owned business that collects and recycles construction materials. Since then, numerous community groups and attorneys have consulted with Professor Huertas-Noble on entity formation options and democratic decision making structures for cooperatives. Such groups, include Cidadao Global, a current client of the CEDC. Cidadao Global is in the process of creating the first eco-friendly house cleaning cooperative based in Queens.

GMO meals to American school children

One important issue to understand in developing a business to train local people to provide healthy food to local school districts is that millions of GMO meals are served to our children in American schools each day. These meals also contain food dyes, pesticides, synthetic chemicals and high fructose corn syrup which have been linked to diabetes, autism, food allergies, ADHD and auto immune diseases.

297 scientists and experts have signed a statement saying that GM foods have not been proven safe and that existing research raises concerns.

An article from the Institute for Responsible Technology talks to the issue of serving young people healthy food:

Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria’s processed foods with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results.

I'm not a science experiment

A number of Westchester County school districts have food services contract with Aramark and other companies. Aramark is a large corporation with $13.95 billion in revenue in 2013. In an article for the Detroit Free Press, Amy McVay, a former Aramark employee, gives an account of her work at the company:

[I]n a[n] interview with the Free Press and in the complaint filed with OSHA through her Detroit attorneys, McVay alleges she was harassed and retaliated against for complaining about a lack of temperature monitoring in cooking; the serving of raw or undercooked meat; falsified records related to dishwater temperature and cleaning solution quality; the serving of meat that had been dropped on the floor; changing the dates on stored leftover food so it could be served after its throw-away date; suspected inflating of the count of meals served — part of the basis for which Aramark is paid by the state — among other issues….

The Aramark contract, which displaced about 370 state employees and is expected to save more than $14 million a year, has been plagued with problems, including meal shortages, unauthorized menu substitutions, sanitation problems, incidents of Aramark employees smuggling in drugs or other contraband, and Aramark workers getting too friendly or engaging in sex acts with inmates. The Free Press, using the Freedom of Information Act and interviews, has documented problems with the contract in a series of exclusive reports.

According to Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman:

If you don’t want poverty in your community, your businesses must pay living wages with decent benefits. And if you don’t want polluted air, water, and land, your businesses must behave in environmentally sustainable ways.

For this reason, at this forum we also be discussing the Millionaire Healthy Living Business Development Company (BDC) that will prioritize spreading and replicating local business models with outstanding labor and environmental practices.

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