(Long Island City, NY – January 15, 2021) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today that Wayne Lambert has been named Chief Diversity & Industry Relations Officer for the agency. In this role Mr. Lambert will lead the agency’s efforts to create contract opportunities and build the capacity of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) while also guiding DDC’s outreach to the design and construction firms it engages as the City’s leading capital construction project manager, building infrastructure and public buildings for more than 20 City agencies and non-profit organizations that receive funding from them. Mr. Lambert’s appointment became effective on November 2, 2020.
DDC is one of the leading City agencies in contract awards to M/WBE firms, with a M/WBE utilization rate of 31% in the City’s Fiscal Year 2020, up from 21% in Fiscal Year 2019. DDC’s Office of Diversity & Industry Relations implements policies and programs focused on the principles of accessibility, capacity building, accountability and sustainability and has engaged more than 7,500 M/WBEs through internal and external workshops and seminars that enhance technical and business capacity.
“Wayne takes over a thriving unit at DDC that has seen many recent successes in promoting and enabling M/WBEs that want to play a role in the City’s capital construction program,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “His experience in the Mayor’s M/WBE Office and other City agencies with small business advocacy, training, procurement and contracting make him ideally suited to expand on our M/WBE goals and nurture our developing design-build program. I look forward to working with Wayne on a variety of issues as DDC expands its portfolio and its M/WBE engagement.”
“M/WBEs and small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and I am thrilled to be joining a stellar DDC team,” said Mr. Lambert. “COVID-19 has reminded us that while all businesses are suffering, businesses owned by women and Black and Brown people are especially impacted during these extreme circumstances. Along with my colleagues and partners, I will work to ensure that DDC continues to foster an equitable and competitive business environment while working hard to ensure its procurement processes are fair and its contractors reflect the diversity of New York City.”
DDC recently established a new Business Development Unit in its Office of Diversity & Industry Relations that will be a pathway into entry into public sector work for M/WBEs. A mentoring program within the Unit will place emerging M/WBEs side-by-side in the field with experienced construction managers to guide them and provide real-world experience in City construction. DDC also has increased usage of a recently raised M/WBE discretionary spending limit, now up to $500,000, meaning that any contract up to that amount can be awarded to an M/WBE outside of the City’s usual extended procurement process. The previous discretionary spending limit had been $150,000, and prior to that was just $20,000.
DDC’s planned commitments for City FY 2021 exceed $2.5 billion and the agency has recently expanded its portfolio greatly by taking on the City’s Borough-Based Jails program and several coastal resiliency projects such as the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency.
Prior to joining DDC, Mr. Lambert was Deputy Director of Programs at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, where he worked closely with the Senior Advisor to the Mayor to develop strategic plans, policies and programs for related diversity and inclusion programs. Prior to that he was the Assistant Agency Chief Contracting Officer of Compliance for the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. He began his career in City government in the NYC Department of Small Business Services, where he served in various positions related to compliance and financial opportunity.
Mr. Lambert is a native New Yorker and lives in Brooklyn. He holds a MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College as well as a B.A. from the City College of New York. He spent many years volunteering through Americorps tutoring students in underserved communities, and in 2019 was named a “40 Under 40” award recipient by The Network Journal, a quarterly print and online business magazine for Black professionals and small business owners.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.