Director of Public Relations
Director of Marketing
Leslie E. Robertson Associates
- Chair, SMPS-NY Coordinators Club
- Co-Chair, SMPS-NY Communications Committee
The latest SMPS-NY Coordinators Club presented a chance to showcase the ins and outs of WMBE requirements, certifications and paperwork—the unavoidable headaches that come with working in the public sector in New York. A number of coordinators and senior professionals gathered to gain insight into this often confusing government program that offers little instruction or resource to help businesses navigate its many steps and requirements.
Carrie Villani, Marketing Director at Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA), a WBE and MBE certified firm, has over ten years of experience working on pursuits in the public sector for numerous certified firms. Carrie shared tales of her own trials and tribulations in pursuing WMBE certification and the sweet triumph that comes with successfully navigating the program and helping your firm add value to winning project teams.
After reviewing a brief history of the WMBE programs, trends and projections, Carrie revealed some helpful marketing tips for navigating the world of WMBE. Tips discussed included giving yourself plenty of time to apply, as new certifications can take several months to process (some agencies go so far as to suggest submitting a recertification application six months in advance of expiration); attending pre-proposal meetings to find qualified certified WBE and MBE firms; listing certification on your business cards; and utilizing helpful online resources, such as WMBE directories and interested vendor lists. Perhaps most importantly, Carrie urged everyone to reach out to their SMPS network to help solve WMBE puzzles, find the right firm for your team and successfully win public work.